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Inflation to fall to 7pc by March: PM

New Delhi: Exuding confidence that inflation will fall to 7 percent by March-end, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the government was trying to tackle the situation without hurting growth, which he pegged at around 8.5 percent for the entire fiscal.

Addressing editors of the electronic media, Singh said the government is trying to strike a balance between growth and inflation, despite the government having no control over international events, which are partly fuelling the price rise.

"By the end of this (fiscal) year, inflation rate should come down to no more than 7 percent," he said.

He said inflation, particularly that of food, has been a major concern in recent months, but the government was trying to deal the situation without hurting growth prospects.

Food inflation has been hovering above 15 percent in the past few months before falling to 13.07 percent in the last week of January.

Singh said the government is trying its best to deal with inflation, but "we don`t have at our disposal" instruments to insulate the Indian economy from international events such as the developments in Egypt, which have resulted in spiraling crude oil prices.

"We don`t have control over international events… oil prices are rising, food prices are also rising," Singh said.

Commenting on economic growth, Singh said India has done well to come out of the aftermath of the global financial crisis and "our economy is in a good shape. We will have a growth rate of 8.5 percent this fiscal year."

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