Inflation has been a priority for the govt: Economic Survey
Regular review meeting on price and availability situation is being held at the highest level, says the survey
Controlling inflation has been a priority area for the government, says the Economic Survey 2017-18 placed in Parliament today by Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley. It says that the government has taken a number of measures for this purpose which include the following:-
• Advisories are being issued, as and when required, to state governments to take strict action against black marketing and effectively enforce the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, the Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, for commodities in short supply.
• Regular review meeting on price and availability situation is being held at the highest level including at the level of Committee of Secretaries, Inter Ministerial Committee, Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee and other Departmental level review meetings.
• Higher MSP has been announced so as to incentivise production and thereby enhance availability of food items which may help moderate prices.
• A scheme titled Price Stabilization Fund(PSF) is being implemented to control price volatility of agricultural commodities like pulses, onions, etc.
• The government approved enhancement in buffer stock of pulses from 1.5 lakh million tonnes (MT) to 20 Lakh MT to enable effective market intervention for moderation of retail prices. Accordingly, a dynamic buffer stock of pulses of up to 20 lakh tones has been built.
• Pulses from the buffer are being provided to states/UTs for PDS distribution, Mid-day Meal scheme, etc. The requirement of pulses by army and central para-military forces.
• The government has imposed stock holding limits on stockiest/dealers of sugar till April, 2018.
• The government imposed 20% duty on export of sugar for promoting availability and moderating price rise.
• Permitted import of 5 lakh tones of raw sugar at zero duty; subsequently, import of additional 3 lakh tones was allowed at 25% duty.
• Export of all varieties of onion will be allowed only on letter of credit subject to a minimum export price (MEWP) of $850 per MT till 31st December, 2017.
• States/UTs have been advised to impose stock limit on onions. States were requested to indicate their requirement of onions so that import of requisite quantity may be undertaken to improve availability and help moderate the prices.