Good monsoon will ease inflation: Montek

June 13th, 2008 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) A good monsoon will moderate the prices of essential commodities, said Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia here Friday. “We are going to have a good monsoon, which will ease inflation by checking the prices of essential commodities,” Ahluwalia told reporters at the sideline of a function at the Congress headquarters.

Ahluwalia’s optimism is in sharp contrast to India’s zooming inflation, which touched a seven-year high of 8.75 percent for the week ended May 31, against 8.24 percent for the week before.

Though Ahluwalia claimed the current bout of inflation was a global phenomenon, he admitted that persistent increase in prices of commodities was a major challenge to the government.

“The government is taking all possible measures to contain inflation. A good monsoon will increase agricultural output, and will bring down prices of commodities,” he said.

Friday’s government data on inflation showed higher prices of both food articles like eggs, lentils, fruits, vegetables and meat, as well as manufactured products like edible oils.

The official figures showed an increase of six percent in the prices of mustard oil, three percent in oil cakes and cotton seed oil, while prices of eggs went up by four percent, and that of fruits and vegetables by one percent.

Ahluwalia, who went to the Congress headquarters to attend the inaugural function of the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Raj Sangthan, said wheat production was quite satisfactory in this season.

“Good rains will ensure an increase in rice production, something that will in turn bring down the inflation rate significantly,” he said.

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