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BIG STORY                                                                 MAY 27, 2022  |    The Indian Eye                     4

                                                TACKLING CRISIS

           INFLATION vs GROWTH

               The Narendra Modi government takes a drastic step of reducing oil and diesel prices
                                        as ordinary Indians feel the pain of rising inflation.
                                  What else can the government to avoid a full-blown crisis?

        OUR BUREAU
        New Delhi/Mumbai
           n a sign of a looming crisis, the
           wholesale inflation in India surged
        Ito 15.08 per cent in April from
        14.55 per cent in the previous month
        due to a sharp jump in the prices of
        fuel, metal, food and non-food arti-
        cles and chemical products.
            The Wholesale Price Index
        (WPI) based inflation has been in the
        double-digit for the 13 months in a
        row.  The  WPI-based  inflation  stood
        at 10.74 per cent in April 2021. The
        high  rate  of  inflation  in  April  2022
        was primarily due to a rise in prices of
        mineral oils, basic metals, crude pe-
        troleum & natural gas, food articles,
        non-food articles, food products and
        chemicals & chemical products, etc.
        as compared to the corresponding
        month of the previous year, the Min-
        istry of Commerce & Industry said in     An attendant refills a two-wheeler with petrol as the government reduces central excise duty on petrol and diesel on Sunday (ANI)
        a statement.
            The  rate  of  inflation  based  on   er announcements aimed at curbing   per gas cylinder (up to 12 cylinders) to   remained lower than during previous
        WPI Food Index increased marginal-  inflation said subsidy will be provided   over nine crore beneficiaries of Prad-  governments,” she said.
        ly from 8.71 per cent in March, 2022   on cylinders under Ujjwala scheme.   han Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.    The  Minister  said  that  notifica-
        to 8.88 per cent in April, 2022. The   She urged states to also reduce VAT   “This will help our mothers and   tions with specific details on the an-
        Food Index consisting of ‘Food Arti-  on petroleum products to give relief   sisters. This will have a revenue im-  nouncements are being issued by the
        cles’ from Primary Articles group and   to the common man.          plication of around Rs 6100 crore a   Centre. Sitharaman on Saturday also
        ‘Food Product’ from the Manufac-      The government had similarly re-  year,” she said.              said that the government has protect-
        tured Products group have increased   duced excise duty on petrol and die-  The minister also referred to the   ed farmers from the rise in prices of
        from 167.3 in March, 2022 to 172.9 in   sel in November last year on the eve   Ukraine conflict and said in addition   fertilizers globally and an additional
        April, 2022.                      of Diwali. It had reduced excise duty   of the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh   amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being
            In the manufactured products   on petrol by Rs 5 a litre and on diesel   crore announced in the budget, an ad-  provided besides Rs 1.05 lakh crore
        category, the increase in prices is   by Rs 10 a litre. “We are reducing the   ditional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore   already sanctioned in the Union Bud-
        mainly contributed by basic metals,   Central excise duty on Petrol by Rs 8   is being provided to help the farmers.  get 2022-23.
        chemicals and chemical products, tex-  per litre and on Diesel by Rs 6 per li-  “Despite rising fertilizer prices   “Despite the challenging inter-
        tiles, machinery and equipment, elec-  tre. This will reduce the price of petrol   globally, we have protected our farm-  national situation, we’ve ensured that
        trical equipment, and food products.  by Rs 9.5 per litre and of Diesel by Rs   ers from such price hikes. In addition   there are no shortages/scarcity of es-
            On Saturday, in a significant step   7 per litre. It will have revenue impli-  to the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh   sential goods. Even a few developed
        aimed at providing relief to people   cation of around Rs 1 lakh crore/year   crore in the budget, an additional   countries couldn’t escape some short-
        from high fuel prices, the Centre an-  for the government,” Sitharaman said.  amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being   ages/disruptions. We are committed
        nounced a reduction in excise duty    “I wish to exhort all state gov-  provided to further cushion our farm-  to ensure that prices of essential items
        on petrol by Rs 8 per litre and on die-  ernments, especially the states where   ers,” she added.     are kept under control,” she added.
        sel by Rs 6 per litre. Making the an-  reduction wasn’t done during the last   Sitharaman said the Narendra   “We’ve taken a number of steps
        nouncement in tweets, Finance Min-  round (November 2021), to also im-  Modi  government  is  devoted to  the   to help the poor and middle class. As a
        ister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the   plement a similar cut and give relief   welfare of the poor. “We’ve taken   result, the average inflation during our
        move will have a revenue implication   to the common man,” she added. The   a  number  of steps to help the  poor   tenure has remained lower than during
        of around Rs 1 lakh crore per year.   minister said that this year the gov-  and middle class. As a result, the av-  previous  governments,”  she  said.
        The minister, who made several oth-  ernment will give a subsidy of Rs 200   erage inflation during our tenure has   Continued at next page... >>

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