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New Delhi, Sept 8

The Finance Minister, Mr P Chidambaram, said on Friday that the Government intends to keep the headline inflation rate below five per cent and promised steps to pull it below this mark.

The official data released on Friday showed the wholesale price index at 5.01 per cent in the 12 months up to August 26.

"An inflation of 5.01 per cent is of course technically above five per cent. It is not something to be alarmed about. Our intention is to keep it below five per cent," Mr Chidambaram told newspersons.

The Finance Minister admitted that there have been supply-side disruptions in fruits and vegetables, etc.

He also said that there continues to be some pressure on wheat and pulses and added that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs was best equipped to address it.

Mr Chidambaram said inflation had crossed 5 per cent even in July for a week or so and then came down. "It has now crossed five per cent. We will look into what needs to be done to pull it down below 5 per cent."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 9, 2006)
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