New Delhi: The head of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council today said he favours "some tightening" of money supply by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) later this month, in case food prices do not come down.
"The inflation rate for December has turned out to be much higher than what was originally expected... Given the present situation, perhaps some tightening on the part of the Reserve Bank may be required," Dr C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, told PTI.
The overall inflation for December, measured on the basis of wholesale prices, increased from 7.48 per cent in November to 8.43% in December.
"Unless there is some substantial decline in the food prices in the next two weeks, in my view, perhaps some tightening may be required," Dr Rangarajan said.
The RBI is expected to announce a hike in key policy rates by 25-50 basis points at its quarterly monetary policy review meeting on 25th January. The apex bank raised policy rates six times last year, but has not changed rates since its review in November.
Food inflation has remained high through December, touching a one-year high of 18.32%. It eased somewhat to 16.91% for the week ended 1st January.
The commercial is utterly confusing. While it tries very hard to be funny and entertaining, it actually leaves you bored
So after two years of hawking handsets (using mainly irritating methods like Akshay Kumar's mind-effing laughter), Micromax has decided it's time to do something about the brand itself. After all, its rivals include biggies like Nokia and Samsung, so Micromax needs to stand for something distinct in the consumer's mind. And the route they have chosen is 'innovation'.
Yes, Akshay Kumar (with his intolerable laughter) is back. This time he plays Robinson Crusoe. The stud finds himself marooned on an island. And he chances upon a Micromax phone. To make the point about innovation, the cave man is shown using his phone for all sorts of bizarre things, but not for making that all-important phone call. So he roasts a fish with the phone. He uses it as a shaver and as a wood cutter. He also uses the instrument to project an image of his beloved wife Twinkle Khanna. And the cave man then gets attacked by an angry bear for some cheap laughs.
My immediate take: Micromax is looking to make Swiss knives out of mobile phones! On a serious note, the attempt is to project Micromax as the phone of tomorrow, and within that framework, tell the story of innovation. So all very well, but I have a couple of serious problems with this ad.
One, the TVC is utterly confusing. I am not sure, as a viewer, if I can actually use my phone as a Swiss knife and as a film projector. I almost thought of visiting a retail outlet to check if I can shave with my phone. That it is a surreal imagery of things to come remains in the head of the advertiser. After repeated exposures, I am still unsure about the innovation story. Clearly, a large amount of self-indulgence is going on out here. Not a very smart thing to do when you have only 30 seconds to keep me in.
Two, while the commercial tries very hard to be funny and entertaining, it actually leaves you bored. The situations depicted are tiring and duh, and do not catch my imagination at all. There was a great opportunity here to really make this commercial funny, because surrealism is at play, and therefore anything goes. In short, not only am I left dazed and confused, I am also very put off by the ad.
However, to be fair, there's one big positive in the ad: That blood pressure-raising Akshay Kumar laughter has been toned down this time. Cool! That's one 'innovation' I really appreciate!
New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today said he will meet his state counterparts on 19th January to discuss ways to rein in rising food prices.
"Food inflation at this level is not acceptable and we are trying our best to control it along with the co-operation of state governments," Mr Mukherjee told journalists here today. He said he would meet with state finance ministers on 19th January to discuss the price rise matter, among other issues, reports PTI.
Food inflation fell for the first time in six weeks to 16.91% for the week ended 1st January, but it still remains high as vegetables like onions, and protein-based items have become more expensive. Rising food prices also pushed up overall WPI inflation for December to 8.43% from 7.48% in the previous month.
"WPI month-wise has been moderating, though it is more than it was in November... But it is a little less than October," Mr Mukherjee said. In October, WPI inflation was 9.12%.
The finance minister said inflation is an economic phenomenon which may have monetary factors behind it. He said it could be caused by a mismatch between demand and supply, as well as international factors like high crude prices.
Mr Mukherjee said that in the event of a wide fluctuation in global petroleum prices, no amount of domestic policy measures could bring it down sufficiently. Though consumers could be helped by increasing subsidies in petroleum products, it would fuel inflation in the long run, the finance minister said.
"You can help consumers, but providing subsidies...is not helping inflation in the long run," the finance minister said. Fuel and power inflation rose to 11.19% in December from 10.32% in the previous month.
The finance minister said he would have pre-budget interactions with his state counterparts on Wednesday, when the issue of inflation would also be discussed. "On 19th January I am having a meeting with the state finance ministers in connection with the ensuing budget...I will also raise this inflation issue in the meeting. This is a continuing battle," he said.
The finance minister said that he had himself written letters to states asking them to remove supply bottlenecks in food products. He said monthly wholesale prices have been declining since August, even as weekly food inflation numbers continued to be volatile. "I am emphasising on the way weekly fluctuations took place (food inflation) during the month of December...It is little more than November," he said.
Food inflation remained high through December and also breached the double-digit mark, touching the year's high of 18.32% per cent for the week ended 25th December. After that, it moderated to 16.91% in the week ended 1st January.