Govt. working on short, medium-term measures to control price rise: Finance Minister

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The wholesale price index based inflation rose to a seven-month high of 1.32% in September

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said perishable goods are putting upward pressure on inflation and the government is working on both short and medium-term measures for controlling price rise.

The wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation rose to a seven-month high of 1.32% in September, while retail inflation was at an eight-month high of 7.34% on spiraling prices of food items, especially vegetables.

Speaking to reporters, Ms. Sitharaman said floods in certain districts have led to uptick in prices of perishable goods, and the government is taking steps for their better preservation, longer shelf life and providing weather proof storage, particularly for crops like onion and potato.

“Strictly, the perishable goods are the one which went up… and its more because some districts got flooded… The government is working on both short-term and medium-term steps. Import where necessary for short duration and for medium-term, substantial investment is being attracted to and incentives being provided to create agri infrastructure, ”she said.

The Reserve Bank in a report on the state of economy on Wednesday had also flagged unrelenting pressure of inflation as a downside risk confronting the prospects of economic recovery.

“The foremost is the unrelenting pressure of inflation, with no signs of waning in spite of supply management measures… There is a grave risk of generalization of price pressures, unanchoring of inflation expectations feeding into a loss of credibility in policy interventions and the eventual corrosion of the nascent growth impulses that are making their appearance, ”RBI said.

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