HTLS 2020: Food inflation a blip, will come down soon, says Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said on Friday at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit that inflation, particularly food inflation will come down soon.
In a wide-ranging discussion with Hindustan Times editor-in-chief Sukumar Ranganathan, Sitharama said the rise in prices was seasonal and the “blip in the inflation particularly of food items will ease out”.
Asked if she was worried about inflation she said, “I am actually not worried about inflation to the extent that there are seasonal ups and downs in prices and the commodities about which we are seeing clear hike in their prices are largely seasonal. If you take the foodgrains or edible commodities, such as fruits and vegetables or look at edible oil, there are seasonal fluctuations.”
She also said that the government’s intervention has kept supply shortages in check.
“I am also happy that the government through the inter-ministerial group has been very frequently looking at the changes and taking conscious call to fill in any supply-level shortages through imports and also to make sure that any logistical constraints are getting sorted out,” she said at the virtual summit
She went on to say that food prices will come down sooner rather than later.
“So with the intervention of the government periodically to mitigate shortages in supply I have a feeling this blip in the inflation particularly of food items will ease out and therefore I don’t see this inflation particularly on food items continuing because it will have to come down,” Sitharaman said.
Hours before Sitharaman’s comments at HTLS, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said retail inflation is likely to remain elevated and pegged it at 6.8% for the third quarter of the current fiscal.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is of the view that inflation is likely to remain elevated, barring transient relief in the winter months from prices of perishables.