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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 07:32 GMT
Kalam voices inflation concerns
APJ Kalam
Mr Kalam vowed steps would be taken to protect the poor
Indian President APJ Kalam has expressed concerns over the country's rising inflation, saying the government will strive to keep it in check.

India's inflation has soared to over 6.5% this year, exceeding the government's annual target.

Inflation is a key concern among Indians and correspondents say it could effect how the ruling Congress party fares in upcoming state elections.

Mr Kalam said that India's economy will grow by around 9% during 2006/2007.

"In recent months, the rate of inflation has shown an upward trend. My government will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that the poor are not adversely affected by inflation," Mr Kalam told parliament.


Indian PM Manmohan Singh has already appealed to the chief ministers of India's states to take steps to check the rising prices of essential commodities.

Analysts say the Congress party is worried that the high inflation could hurt its prospects in crucial upcoming elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The government has taken several steps in recent weeks to reduce price increases, including cutting prices of petrol and diesel and lowering import duties.

The president also expressed concern over farmers committing suicide in various parts of the country.

Mr Kalam said a special financial package is being introduced in 31 districts that have been worst hit by such suicides.

"An expert group is looking into the problems of agricultural indebtedness and will suggest measures to provide relief to the farmers," he said.

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