NEW DELHI, Aug 4 � Attributing high prices to external factors, the Government today said it is working to moderate food inflation to 5 per cent from over 8 per cent now without sacrificing growth, reports PTI.
Replying to a debate in Lok Sabha on price rise, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee gave details of various steps the Government had taken to rein in inflation but did not outline any further strategy in this regard.
�Growth with moderate rate of inflation... That is what we want to achieve,� Mukherjee said in nearly an hour-long reply which left NDA �disappointed� and was followed by a walk out by the BSP, SP, BJD, AIADMK and Left parties.
Through a division, the House negative the amendment moved by CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta which wanted a reference to the �failure� of the Government to curb food price inflation.
Later, it adopted by voice-vote the motion asking the Government to take immediate effective steps to check inflation and provide relief to common man.
Pointing out that the food inflation has come down from 22 per cent in February, 2010 to 8.3 per cent in July this year, he said, �I am not accepting it. This is not the bench mark.�
Mukherjee said the comfortable level of food inflation is five per cent but six to seven per cent can be tolerated.
Responding to the demand for removing subsidy on diesel used by passenger cars, Mukherjee said, �We can accept the suggestion and try to work out what mechanism could be found out so that this section (passenger cars owners) are not subsidised.�
The Opposition, however, expressed disappointment over Mukherjee�s reply as he did not announce any step to contain overall inflation which is currently at over nine per cent for the month of June.
�I had expected that the Finance Minister would announce 10 steps to be taken in the coming days and months to control inflation... Not even one has been mentioned. So I express my disappointment... NDA is disappointed,� BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said.