Inflation, oil prices major concerns: Pranab

February 25th, 2011 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Persistently high inflation and soaring crude oil prices in the international markets are the major areas of concern and might adversely affect Indian economy, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Friday. “Inflation pressure is there. Oil prices are going up. It will naturally have adverse impact on the overall economic scenario,” Mukherjee told reporters here after tabling in parliament the Economic Survey for 2010-11.

Food inflation moved up to 11.49 percent for the week ended Feb 12 as compared with 11.05 percent in the previous week. Food inflation has remained in high double-digit for most part of current fiscal.

The annual inflation based on wholesale prices stood at 8.23 percent in January.

The recent spike in crude oil price has further complicated the situation for the economic policy makers in India. Crude oil price surged to $112 a barrel (159 litres) Friday on concerns that political unrest in the Arab world will create supply shortage.

Mukherjee said another major area of concern was the high current account deficit. “Gaps have narrowed but it is still an area of concern.”

On growth, the finance minister said the Indian economy was likely to grow 8.6 percent in the current fiscal and 9 percent in fiscal 2011-12.

He emphasised on the need for increased investment in agriculture and social infrastructure to tackle the menace of inflation.

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