Rising food prices are no worry: Thomas

Rising food prices are no worry: Thomas

Rising food prices are no worry: Thomas

“Food inflation now is 9.5 per cent, which we presume that it may come down to 7 per cent soon. So, we are not worried about inflation. We feel that we will be able to control that,” he told reporters here.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with Jerome Bonnafont, Ambassador of France in India, he said India is confident of containing food inflation as the availability of foodgrains in the country is comfortable. “We are trying to manage supply-demand gap in pulses and edible oil,” he said.

On sugar, the minister said although India’s production is estimated to be higher this year, but we are not taking “hasty decision” on allowing exports as the government’s priority is to protect the interest of consumers.

The country’s food inflation has come down to 9.52 per cent for the week ended February 29, from 10.39 per cent in the previous week. The minister also said the situation of food inflation in the European countries is worse at present.

Thomas and  Ambassador of France in India, Jerome Bonnafont met to discuss about the group meetings on agriculture and food prices, which are part of the forthcoming G-20 meeting to be held in June in Paris.

“The group meeting on agriculture prices is in May. In continuation of this process, we discussed on inflation, food security bill and issues related to export and import of farm items,” he said.

FM says it’s unacceptable

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, however, while terming the current level of food inflation at 9.5 per cent as ‘unacceptable’ said the government has taken several steps to bring it down further especially through enhancing supply of essential commodities.

“At the beginning of last year, food inflation was 20.2 per cent, and now it is 9.5 per cent. However, this figure is equally unacceptable,” Mukherjee said adding high inflationary pressure, specially in food and some non-food articles, existed in other emerging economies also.

“I am not making any plea. This is not an excuse that because there is inflation in other areas there should be inflation in India also. It is not. But the fact of the matter is inflationary pressure is visible all over the world. It is not merely in our country,” he said.