The new government, headed by Narendra Modi, will accord top most priority to containing food inflation and take tough against hoarding and black marketing, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday. "Containing food inflation will be the topmost priority for my government. There would be an emphasis on improving the supply side of various agro and agro-based products. My government will take effective steps to prevent hoarding and black marketing," Mukherjee said in his address to the first joint sitting of Parliament after the general elections.
Outlining the policies of the BJP-led NDA government, Mukherjee said efforts will be made to reform the Public Distribution System (PDS) by incorporating best practices from the states.
On the possibility of deficient rains, he said that "my government is alert about the possibility of a subnormal monsoon this year and contingency plans are being prepared".
The retail inflation accelerated to a three-month high of 8.59% in April mainly due to increasing prices of vegetables, fruits and milk. "Inflation continues to be at an unacceptable level," he said, adding that "we will work together to usher our economy into a high growth path, rein in inflation, reignite the investment cycle".
On Saturday, top bureaucrats, headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, had reviewed the prevailing price situation in the country and preparedness to deal with the impact of delayed monsoon on inflation. Fighting inflation is on the top of the agenda of the new government. In its election manifesto, the BJP had said that the immediate task of its government would be to rein in price rise. The steps listed in the manifesto to contain inflation include a price stabilisation fund, setting up of special courts to deal with hoarding and black marketing, unbundling of the Food Corporation of India and establishment of national agriculture market.