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Monday, 8 September 2008

Price control steps not to hurt growth: Manmohan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said inflation and its control have become a major concern with steep hike in global oil and commodity prices but the government is ensuring that the growth is not hurt by the steps taken to moderate the rising prices. "In the last few months, because of the steep increase in international prices of petroleum products and primary commodities, inflation and its control have emerged as a major concerns of policy.

"We have taken steps to moderate the rise in prices. In so doing, we have also tried to ensure that inflation control measures do not hurt the growth momentum we have built up in the last four years," Singh said while laying the foundation stone for Rs 1,750-crore expansion project of Salem Steel Plant, a part of Steel Authority of India. Hoping that the economy would grow by nine per cent annually during the 11th Plan period, he said, "to ensure non-inflationary growth, we must step up production in all sectors. In agriculture, in manufacturing and in services.

"We still have a long to go in creating infrastructure essential for modernising India. Ready availability of steel is a key requirement for such infrastructure," he said and asked the industry to work hard to increase steel supply to meet the rising demand. Stating that it was a sellers` market for steel he complimented the industry, in particular the public sector, saying "the rising prominence of our steel industry on the world`s steel landscape also mirrors the emergence of our country as a leading economic power in the world." From a small beginning, India has now become the fifth largest producer of steel in the world, he said and projected that the country would become the second largest producer by 2015 if present trends continued.



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