Just two days after industry chamber ASSOCHAM discounted the government’s predictions of 7.5 per cent economic growth this fiscal, the government on Wednesday pegged growth for the current year even higher at 7.75 per cent.
However, the government said high food inflation remained a cause for concern.
In a pre-Budget interaction with states’ finance ministers, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed open market sale of the government’s wheat and rice stocks to increase availability in the market, which would ease prices.
“A major area of concern is high food inflation; WPI index increased by 19.79 per cent, therefore collaborative efforts of the central and state governments are required to tackle this problem... Offtake of surplus stock by the state governments are not satisfactory. Therefore, all state governments may cooperate in this regard to lift these surplus stocks allotted to them,” Mukherjee said.
He also called for efforts to increase farm productivity.