New Delhi: Concerned over high food inflation, Congress president and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday discussed with Food Minister K V Thomas steps required to check price rise besides reviewing progress on the proposed Food Security legislation.

"I apprised her of the proposed Food Bill. I also briefed her about inflation. Sonia Gandhi is concerned about high food inflation. We discussed how to tackle this problem and the areas that the government should give thrust on," Thomas said.

Food inflation accelerated to a six-month high of 11.43 per cent for week ended October 15, driven by soaring milk and vegetable prices.

"I told her (Sonia Gandhi) that there was no inflation in foodgrains and prices were stable. In the case of edible oils, prices have gone up slightly because we import.

"Similarly, prices of milk, meat and vegetables have gone up largely because of change in the consumption pattern and rise in income," he said.

Thomas noted that the average food inflation, which stood at 7 per cent in 2006-07, rose to 14.5 per cent in 2010-11, and is ruling now in the range of 8-11 per cent.

On the proposed National Food Security Act, Thomas said he told the UPA Chairperson that the Food Ministry would start finalising the draft bill next week.

"We have received feedback from state governments. There are some changes. We will start preparing the final bill next week," he said.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had asked the state governments to send their comments on the draft bill at the earliest to help the government finalise the bill for
introduction in the winter session of Parliament.

The proposed bill aims to provide legal right to subsidised foodgrains to nearly 70 per cent of the country's population.

(Agencies)