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Government sees inflation easing to 6-7% by March end

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee attributed the rising prices to demand-supply mismatch, depreciating rupee, global commodity prices and easy monetary policy followed by some countries

New Delhi: As the opposition geared up to move a an adjournment motion on the issue of price rise, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee admitted that more needs to be done to get desired outcomes on inflation control, hoping it will come down to 6%-7% per cent by March end, reports PTI.

“...while there has been a steady improvement in the inflation situation in India, there are important tasks ahead to be undertaken to get the desired outcomes,” Mr Mukherjee said in a suo-motu statement on inflation in Lok Sabha.

He attributed the rising prices to demand-supply mismatch, depreciating rupee, global commodity prices and easy monetary policy followed by some countries.

“...the government is committed to bring down inflation to more acceptable levels. I hope to see the March end inflation between 6% and 7%,” he said and sought suggestions from the members on how to tackle the issue.

Inflation has remained over 9% since December 2010. The headline inflation measured on the basis of the wholesale price index (WPI) was 9.7% in October, while the rate of price in food segment for the week ended 5th November was 10.6%.

Mr Mukherjee’s statement was laid in the Lok Sabha amid turmoil over a variety of issues including price rise. The Left parties had announced that they will move an adjournment motion in the House today and the BJP-led NDA had promised support to it, much to discomfiture of the government.

Mr Mukherjee, however, said that during periods of rapid growth and structural change, that India is currently undergoing, inflation does tend to increase.

He said in a globalised economy, where the Indian economy is dependent on commodity imports like fuel oils, movement in international prices have a direct bearing on level of domestic inflation and its management.

The minister said as Indian currency was sliding against the dollar, “whatever little benefit could have been derived from the softening of international commodity prices, has been wiped out by the depreciation in rupee.”

Mr Mukherjee said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was keeping a close watch on foreign exchange markets.

“The RBI has been monitoring the foreign exchange markets closely and will take the required action in the light of international developments as the situation unfolds,” he said.

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