Govt watchful of price situation; pointed attack on inflation to continue: FM


Nirmala Sitaraman. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: With consumer price inflation remaining high, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government is watchful of the price situation and will continue the pointed attack on inflation.

Her remarks came hours after official data showed that retail inflation in June eased to 7.01 per cent in June. The print was lower than 7.04 per cent recorded in May but still higher than RBI's comfort level of 6 per cent.

"As RBI has estimated, till the start of the second half of the (fiscal) year, both RBI and government will have to be mindful," she told reporters here.

India's fiscal year is from April to March and second half would be from October.

"We will have to be mindful and watchful how the price movement is," she said. "I will keep monitoring (prices) item by item for anything that goes haywire. This pointed attack on inflation will need to continue."

The finance minister also said a favourable monsoon will lead to good production and rural demand.

The government has taken several steps in the past to cool down prices. These include reducing excise duty on petrol and diesel, banning wheat exports, allowing duty free import of certain crude edible oil and revising duty structure on steel and steel products.

Besides, the government asked edible oil manufacturers to reduce rate Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of edible oils by Rs 15 per litre amid a fall in global prices.

Last week, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the price situation will gradually improve in the second half of the current fiscal and the central bank would continue to take monetary measures to anchor inflation with a view to achieving strong and sustainable growth.

PTI

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