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NEW DELHI: Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says authorities are attempting to ease the country’s inflation rate below 7%, after rising prices have consistently breached the central bank’s target this year.
“We are keeping an eye on inflation and will certainly bring it down below 7%,” Sitharaman told lawmakers in New Delhi.
Tangled supply chains and shortages stemming from the war in Ukraine, coupled with a weakening domestic currency are adding to inflationary concerns in Asia’s third-largest economy, with prices staying above the central bank’s 6% target ceiling since the beginning of the year.
Retail inflation rose 7.01% in June from a year earlier and price gains remain elevated following the rupee’s 5.9% decline against the dollar this year, keeping India’s import bill high.,
The Reserve Bank of India, which has faced criticism for not acting aggressively enough, has raised interest rates by a total 90 basis points in two moves this year and is scheduled to hold its next monetary policy review later this week on Friday.
If prices are not brought down to the mandated 2% to 6% range, the central bank will have to answer why it failed to do so.
India’s federal government took a raft of measures in May including, excise duty cuts on fuel, enhancing subsidies and slashing import duty on some edible oils to tame prices. — Bloomberg