The rise in prices of food items - or food inflation, which quickened due to lockdown restrictions imposed in several states between April-May in order to control the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, is likely to moderate soon. Chief Economic Adviser K V Subramanian told news agency PTI that food inflation is likely to ease on account of the twin impact of relaxation of lockdown restrictions in various states as well as good monsoon this year.
The top economist asserted that the high food inflation has not impacted a large section of the population as they are being given free ration under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana scheme - which has around 81.35 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act.
The chief economic advisor to the central government, also stated that good monsoon in most parts of the country this year will contribute to the easing of food inflation due to higher farm output. Most regions are likely to receive average to above-average monsoon rains this year, according to data by the India Meteorological Department or IMD.
The weather department noted that the country may receive 101 per cent rainfall of a long-term average this year, raising expectations of higher output in the agriculture sector.
The rising prices of edible oils and protein-rich items pushed the retail inflation to a record six-month high of 6.3 per cent in May 2021. The central government asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to keep the retail inflation at four per cent with a margin of two per cent on either side.