Lok Sabha elections are to be held this year. Regarding this, the government is trying in every possible way to control inflation in the country as soon as possible. Recently Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has given her statement regarding this. He has said that due to the steps taken by the government to stop the rise in prices of perishable goods in particular, inflation has come within satisfactory limits. Actually, he gave this information while answering a question in Rajya Sabha. Sitharaman said that Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) is working with the government on dehumidifying onions through gamma rays to preserve them for a longer period.
Condition of India’s retail inflation?
He said that the Government is aware of the difficulties that arise due to shortage of perishable commodities which are not grown in India. The committee meets and reviews from time to time, and efforts on the ground have shown that inflation is now within tolerable limits. India’s retail inflation has declined from an average of 6.8 percent in April-December, 2022 to 5.5 percent in the same period of 2023. Retail inflation is now stable and at a satisfactory level of four percent (with a two percent fluctuation).
This is how onion prices were controlled
The Finance Minister said that to prevent volatility in onion prices, the government has increased its buffer size from one lakh tonnes in the year 2020-21 to seven lakh tonnes in the year 2023-24. Till February 3, 2024, a total of 6.32 lakh tonnes of onion was procured and 3.96 lakh tonnes of Grade-A onion was released through retail sale, e-NAM auction and wholesale sale. At present, steps are being taken to improve the preservation level of highly perishable commodities like onion. He said that the government has taken several steps to meet the shortage in supply especially of perishable goods.
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Sitharaman said that India has imported 8.79 lakh tonnes of tur dal and 15.14 lakh tonnes of lentils in the calendar year 2023. Similarly, the country imported other pulses and launched them in the market. Since we do not grow enough pulses in the country and due to shortage in supply, prices of pulses generally fluctuate, for which we start negotiating for imports by analyzing the crop estimates. Retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 5.69 percent in December 2023.