Agriculture ministry can't be blamed for price rise: Pawar

Agriculture ministry can't be blamed for price rise: Pawar

"It is a collective decision-making process in which inflation control measures are discussed at the highest level, including Prime Minister, Pranab Mukherjee and economic adviser to the PM. We gather state-wise information for guidelines to form a policy", Pawar told reporters at Manchar, about 100 km from Pune.

Responding to a suggestion that Congress was targeting NCP on this issue, Pawar only said, "It is not right to blame agriculture ministry for the price-rise."

"The responsibility of agriculture ministry is to see that adequate production of wheat, rice, sugar and oilseeds is taking place in the country. Now we have stocks for the next two to three years. In India, wheat, rice and sugar are cheaper, compared to other countries", the NCP chief said.

Pawar, who attended a function at a dairy plant at Manchar, said he was not aware of the proposed meeting of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with the state finance ministers to discuss price-rise."It could be a pre-budget discussion", he said.

Replying to another query, Pawar said the ban on onion exports would be reviewed when the situation warrants it.On milk prices, he said the hike was due to the gap between demand and supply. The minister said the government was considering offering incentives for development of dairy sector