Inflation will come down by Dec: Chief statistician T C A Anant

New Delhi: Inflation is coming down and it will cease to be an issue by December this year, reports PTI quoting chief statistician T C A Anant.

"Inflation will cease to be an issue by end of this year (December 2010). It is coming down and all the economic indicators suggest that it will further come down. It would be difficult for me to say that by which month it would come down to a comfortable zone but it that is sure now, it will come down," Anant told PTI.

The wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation, for the fourth month in a row, was in double-digits at 10.55% in June due to rise in prices of certain manufactured items and hike in rates of petroleum products. Food inflation softened to 9.53% for the week ended 24th July.

The issue of price rise has already rocked the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament.

Yesterday, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had said that inflation will come down by September and reach the comfortable level of 6% by December.

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US considering legal options to force India to open up farm sector

Washington: The US has said it is exploring all options, including legal tools, to force India to open up its agriculture market, especially the dairy sector, reports PTI.

"We are exceptionally frustrated. I will tell you its generally not our practice to comment publicly as to whether we are going to take legal action, but I would tell you we are exploring every alternative and every enforcement tool available to us to get India to open up their markets on a number of agriculture issues," US Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, told the US lawmakers on Thursday.

Mr Kirk, who has been to India twice and soon would be travelling to New Delhi, said that he has raised this issue of opening up of the agricultural market, in particular those of dairy products, at the highest level.

"We have raised ... I was in India twice. Last year I met with them directly about it. Ambassador (Demetrois) Marantis (deputy US trade representative) just came back. Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, who is our chief agriculture negotiator ... we have used every tool of diplomacy we have, but we are going to be examining everything else in our toolbox to see if we can't get them to behave differently," Mr Kirk said.

Mr Kirk was responding to a question from Senator Debbie Stabenow in this regard.

"For far too long, India has not been playing by the rules with dairy. There are many ongoing issues where they are, frankly, ignoring science. One of the most troubling is a situation with dairy and an issue that a number of us wrote you about earlier this year," Ms Stabenow said.

"For over six years now, India has issued dairy certificates to block legitimate US dairy exports and refused to negotiate in good faith to find a resolution. This certification requirement is not based on sound science."

India has exported an average of $77 million worth of dairy products to the US over the last three years, while the US dairy exports are being blocked, the senator said.

"So my question is, given the lack of progress with India over many years, what is the US trade representative (USTR) doing to examine legal alternatives?" he asked.

Mr Kirk said he completely agrees with the Senators assessment on India.

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