Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday assured parliament that every possible step would be taken to curb price rise and said inflation would ease as there are indications of a fall in food prices that have been driving it.
'The government has utmost concern about the current price situation,' Mukherjee said a day after 13 opposition parties held a 12-hour nationwide strike saying the government had failed in taming inflation.
'Indications of softening of food inflation are clearly visible,' Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha during a debate, ahead of the passage of the Finance Bill.
'It is expected that this decline would continue in the recent months uninterruptedly,' he said. 'The outlook is further brightened by the fact that a normal monsoon is predicted this year.'
Food inflation declined from 20 percent in December 2009 to 17.7 percent in March 2010.
He said the government held sufficient stocks of wheat and rice to meet the demands of the public distribution system and other welfare schemes.
He also said The government was committed to the goal of comprehensive tax reform through the introduction of the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
'I am happy to inform the honourable members that, in the case of DTC, the process of consultation with the stakeholders for revising the first draft is almost over. We expect to place a revised discussion paper in the public domain by next month... I have indicated my intent to introduce GST in the country with effect from April 1, 2011. Central Government is closely engaged with the Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers in finalising the GST design,' he said.
On the apprehensions of some states that they may lose some revenue in the initial years of the GST regime, the minister assured that the centre would provide compensation to the states.