Food prices may ease after rabi harvest | india | Hindustan Times
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Food prices may ease after rabi harvest

india Updated: Apr 03, 2010 13:03 IST

Blaming the inflation on the supply bottleneck, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said prices of foodgrains are expected to come down after the rabi harvest.

"The inflation is due to non-availability of certain commodities. The supply bottleneck is one of the reasons," Mukherjee said.

"We are taking steps. After the rabi harvest, the prices of food items should come down," he said.

Mukherjee said "that the country needed 18 million tonnes of pulses while production was only 14 million tonnes. There is a shortfall of 4 million tonnes and we have to import it."

"Very few countries produce pulses and the international prices are also high. The same is the case with sugar. There is a shortfall of about 90 lakh tonnes," Mukherjee said, adding that the country has to import about 20 lakh tonnes of edible oil.

Stating that the international price of sugar has come down of late because of a Brazilian product in the market, he said "it's price might ease a little."

Inflation zoomed towards the double-digit mark at 9.89 per cent in February, the highest in 16 months, driven mainly by rising prices of essential food items and the hike in excise duty on fuel announced in the Budget.

The wholesale-price based on food inflation for the week ended on March 20 was at 16.35 per cent due to higher prices of milk and pulses.