RBI may take more monetary action to combat inflation: PMEAC

However, with money supply being a little tight on borrowings by telecom companies for spectrum and advance tax by corporates, RBI might go only for a hike in short term rates

The Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) has said that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may further tighten monetary policy in view of the persistent rise in prices and comfortable growth in factory output, reports PTI.

"RBI will take a view of the fact that inflation still persists at high level. If inflation level persists at double-digit level for several months together, some action on the demand side is needed and some action on the part of RBI is required," C Rangarajan, chairman of PMEAC, told reporters.

To rein in prices, the RBI could tweak in policy rates to either suck out money supply or make borrowings costlier.

But with money supply being a little tight due to borrowings by telecom companies for spectrum and advance tax by corporates, analysts said RBI might go only for a hike in short term rates, leaving the money supply intact.

The Reserve Bank is slated to come out with its quarterly monetary policy on 27th July.

Industrial growth, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), slipped to 11.5% in May, from 16.52% in the previous month, though the output recorded a double-digit growth for the eighth month in a row.

"The (IIP) figures do indicate some slight reduction in the rate of growth but on the whole I believe growth rate of industrial production will be close to what we had achieved in the last year. I believe industrial production is still strong," Mr Rangarajan said.

For the year 2009-10, industry grew by 10.4%, up from 2.8% in the previous financial year

Driven by spiralling prices of essential items, inflation surged into double digits at 10.16% in May, the highest in the last 19 months.

It was at 9.59% in April, according to provisional estimate. The final figure is expected this week.

The final inflation estimate during March was 11.04%, up from the provisional figure of 9.90%.

The Reserve Bank raised key short-term policy rates by 25 basis points in an unscheduled announcement earlier this month. It had earlier increased the repo and reverse-repo rates by 25 basis points in April.

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Acreage of kharif crops up, courtesy onset of monsoon

The kharif season starts from middle of May and sowing for the season ends by August. With the onset of monsoon, sowing area of these crops is expected to increase further

With monsoon reaching all parts of the country, sowing area of major kharif crops, including paddy and coarse cereals, has increased though pulses acreage still lags behind, reports PTI.

As per the official data, paddy sowing picked up in the last one week with its acreage going up to 72.3 lakh hectare till 9th July, which is 3.6 lakh hectare more than the same period last year.

Acreage of coarse cereals also witnessed an increase, with the crops having been sown in 58.2 lakh hectare area, 5 lakh hectare more than the corresponding period a year ago.

Sugarcane sowing area also went up to 47.37 lakh hectare as against 41.79 lakh hectare during the same year-ago period.

However, sowing of pulses is still lagging behind and has been sown in 8.2 lakh hectare area, which is marginally less than previous year's acreage of 8.4 lakh hectare.

Oilseeds acreage has also surged to 58.39 lakh hectare over last year's acreage of 56.64 lakh hectare.

The kharif season starts from middle of May and sowing for the season ends by August. With the onset of monsoon, sowing area of these crops is expected to increase further.

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