Steps to check prices will be felt more significantly in few months: FinMin
The Finance Ministry on Monday attributed the rise in inflation to base effect and increase in food and fuel prices, and stressed that initiatives taken by the government to curb price rise will be felt more significantly in the coming months.
According to the data, the retail inflation inched up to 7 per cent in August from 6.71 per cent in July.
The ministry further said that the core inflation, which is calculated by excluding the transient components of CPI –‘food and beverages’ and ‘fuel and light’ at 5.9 per cent remained below the tolerance limit of 6 per cent for the fourth consecutive month.
“The headline inflation based on retail CPI recorded a moderate increase from 6.71 % in July 22 to 7.0 % in August 22. This increase is attributable both to an adverse base effect and an increase in food & fuel prices – the transient components of CPI inflation,” the ministry said in a series of tweets.
This is the second instance since RBI adopted the inflation targeting approach that the retail inflation has breached the upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent for eight consecutive months – the earlier instance was from April 2020 to November 2020.
However, the finance ministry expressed optimism that export curb imposed by the government on atta, rice, maida, etc will moderate prices of these items.
“Government has prohibited exports of food products like wheat flour/atta, rice, maida, etc to keep domestic supplies steady and curb rise in prices. The impact of these measures is expected to be felt more significantly in the coming weeks and months,” the ministry said in another tweet.
Core inflation calculated by excluding the transient component of CPI viz. “food and beverages” and “fuel and light” was recorded at 5.9 percent in August 2022, remaining below the tolerance limit of 6 percent for the fourth consecutive month. (2/7)
— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) September 12, 2022
Similar measures taken in the past have resulted in price moderation of commodities like edible oil and pulses, the ministry said.
“To soften the prices of edible oils and pulses, tariffs on imported items have been rationalized periodically and stock limits on edible oils have been kept, to avoid hoarding. Inflation in oils and fats &pulses and products have moderated to 5.62% and 2.52% respectively,” another tweet said.
Referring to sobering prices of iron ore and steel, the ministry said this coupled with the measures taken by the government to rationalize tariff structures of inputs to augment domestic supply has helped to keep cost push inflation in consumer items under control.
“Despite erratic monsoons and negative seasonality in vegetable prices, food inflation in July still lower than the April peak of the current year. With global inflation pressures, inflationary expectations remain anchored in India with stable core inflation,” another tweet said.
According to IIM-Ahmedabad’s One-year ahead Business Inflation Expectations Survey, it said, July has seen 34 basis points decline to 4.83 per cent from 5.17 per cent in June.
Quoting the Survey, the ministry said, inflation expectations have fallen below 5 per cent after 17 months.
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