Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Thursday said the current high level of inflation at 10.55 per cent is a problem, but it should come down to a comfortable level of 6 per cent by December.
"Inflation right now is a problem and the government regonises that...in my judgment by the end of this year it will not be what it is now. It will be much close to 6 per cent, which most people regard as a comfortable level," Ahluwalia said at a panel discussion organised by private news channel NewsX.
For the week ended July 24, food inflation slipped to 9.53 per cent on cheaper vegetables, fruits and sea fish. However, the wholesale price-based inflation stood at 10.55 per cent in June.
"What we are seeing today is not something which has not happened before," he said, adding in the past also inflation had touched double-digits.
Yesterday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had told the Lok Sabha both the states as well as the Centre will have to collectively address the issue of fighting inflation and take concrete steps, including revamping of the public distribution system (PDS).
Amid exchange of barbs during the reply to the debate on inflation, Mukherjee had said, "I am from a village...I studied under a kerosene lamp till my 10th class...commuted to school by walking, in today's terminology, 10 km everyday. Don't ridicule my sensitivity...sensitivity should not be a temporary thing...".
The government, he said, has been keeping the selling price PDS foodgrain for the poor unchanged since 2002.