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PM admits to have mishandled inflation

Jaipur: Admitting that handling inflation is a shortcoming of the UPA government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asserted that there was need to take "solid steps" to ease the situation on price rise especially this year.

Addressing the AICC session here, he said inflation has been "one shortcoming in our record". During the UPA regime, the average rate of inflation has remained higher than we desired.

Manmohan Singh. Agencies.

He said a major reason for this has been hike in the rates of petroleum products in the international market during the last eight years and the benefit extended to farmers by increasing the minimum support price for crops.

"We need to take sold steps to eliminate inflation, especially in 2013-14," he said. Comparing UPA's performance with the predecessor NDA, Singh said the growth rate during the six years of previous regime was 5.8 per cent, while the UPA's eight year rule saw it increase to 8.2 per cent per annum.

Similarly, he said, the UPA has fared better in eliminating poverty and improving agricultural growth. Referring to the brutal gangrape incident in Delhi, the Prime Minister said the country has to travel a long way to provide women with equal social and economic equity.

"We should not forget that women are half of our population and their contribution to development and prosperity is necessary," he said.

PTI