Government Will Take Necessary Steps to Control Inflation

Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, said on Tuesday that rising inflation is a major area of concern and the government will take necessary steps to control prices.

Mr. Mukherjee said Inflation has risen mainly due to the prices of food that have gone up in last month. According to the provisional data issued on Monday by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the reported inflation rate accelerated to 4.78% in November to 1.34% in October.

Pranab Mukherjee also said the government is taking necessary steps to cut its recorded fiscal deficit to 3 % of GDP after 2001/12, from 6.8 % estimated for the current financial year ending March 2010.

During 2005-06 and 2007-08, the economic growth was recorded at 9 % is mainly coming down due to Inflation and high financial loss, which is creating obstacles in the way of economic development.

Mukherjee told in parliament, “Prices are a major area of concern and we shall have to address it.” He also added “Whatever steps are needed, we will take those steps,”

The government agencies are paying high prices to farmers for buying grains and supply shortage of food items in the country, resulted in increase of inflation in the last four decades.

According to the latest government data released shows food inflation at 16.7 % in November, which have pushed the inflation to 4.78 %.

Taking the steps to control inflation, the Reserve Bank of India (BBI) has cut its policy lending rate by 425 basis points between October 2008 and April 2009, reduced Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and brought in liquidity in financial markets to control the increasing Inflation rate.

The government also increased the tax slabs and higher spending, which widened the fiscal deficit that has to be funded by a record borrowing of 4.51 trillion rupees ($96.6 billion) in 2009-10.

Mr. Mukherjee also said the deficit was “unsustainable”, and the government would reduce it to 5.5 % in financial year 2010-11 and to 4 % in 2011-12″ and thereafter, we shall have to come back to 3%.”

The government”s fiscal deficit has touched almost half of the full-year estimate in the first six months of FY”10. The fiscal deficit for the six-month period stood at Rs 1,97,775 crore, which is 49.3 per cent of the total estimate of Rs 4,00,996 crore for this fiscal. The fiscal deficit during the same period last year was at 77 per cent of the annual estimate.

It swelled to 6.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last fiscal against budget estimates of 2.5 per cent.

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