Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said there was an urgent need to review the present system of monitoring wholesale and retail prices of the essential commodities even as he maintained that inflation has emerged as a major concern for India.
“There is a need to also review the present system of monitoring wholesale and retail prices of the essential commodities,” Mukherjee said at the first meeting of the inter-ministerial group (IMG) on inflation.
Inflation during the month of January stood at 8.23% as food prices have remained stubbornly high pummelled by a supply crunch in staple vegetables.
Weather problems in Australia, Argentina and Russia have hit global food and commodity prices, while oil prices have crossed $100 a barrel and these have knocked up prices of other goods.
“Ultimately, there is a need to improve the manner in which the available information is put to use in designing and formulating the required policy responses. In that context, perhaps there is a case for establishing standard operation procedures for addressing both sudden and anticipated price fluctuations,” he said.
The IMG, set up by the Prime Minister, is chaired by the chief economic advisor, Kaushik Basu with secretaries from several departments as members.