Expressing commitment to ensure price stability, the government today said it is taking measures to bring down inflation. "Government is committed to ensuring price stability and is closely monitoring the situation and taking measures on an ongoing basis to bring down inflation," Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Some of the important steps taken during the last three years to bring down inflation include reducing import duties to zero for wheat, onion and pulses and imposing stock limits on various commodities, she said. Besides, she said, the government has also suspended futures trading in rice, urad and tur as matter of abundant precaution.
As per the latest WPI data, inflation in 31 essential commodities moderated to 6.05 per cent in June as against 9.27 per cent in the same month last year. The retail inflation data also showed that food prices moderated to a 28 month low of 7.9 per cent in June.
Among various steps to contain food inflation, the government recently recommended delisting of fruits and vegetables from the purview of Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Acts of the states and fixing a minimum export price on onion and potato to ensure domestic supplies.
In a separate response, Sitharaman said the government has been implementing many anti-poverty and welfare programmes for the benefit of poor including SCs/STs. "While there has been a moderation in the inflation in terms of consumer prices, as per the new series of the Central Statistics Office, to 7.32 per cent in June 2014 as against 9.87 per cent in June 2013, the level of inflation is still elevated having implications in terms of real income and consumption levels for the poor," she said. Various fiscal and administrative measures have been taken to control food inflation and to protect vulnerable sections of society from inflation.