The government has taken several supply-side measures to tame rising inflation, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.
“The price situation of major essential commodities is monitored by the government on a regular basis and corrective action is taken from time to time. Several supply-side measures have been taken by the government to address inflation and to ensure that the poor do not have to bear the extra financial burden,” he said in a written reply.
These include reduction in import duties and cess on pulses, rationalization of tariffs and imposition of stock limits on edible oils and oil seeds, maintenance of buffer stock for onion and pulses, the inclusion of soya meal as an essential commodity in the schedule of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 up to 30th June 2022 and imposition of stock limit on soya meal up to 30th June 2022, he said.
In addition, he said, measures especially directed towards the poor include the Targeted Public Distribution System, under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) which is the largest public food-security program in the world covering around 80 crore people in the country.
The food security response of the government through Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) combined with the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) serves as a lifeline for the people, he said.
The PMGKAY, under which five kg of additional food grains per person per month is provided free of cost to NFSA beneficiaries, is being implemented in various phases since its start in April 2020. Phase VI of the scheme is under implementation till September 2022.
In reply to another question, Chaudhary said growth of real gross Domestic Product (GDP) during 2021-22 is estimated at 8.7 per cent, which has more than recovered the pandemic-induced loss of GDP in 2020-21.
The growth momentum is expected to continue in 2022-23 as well as seen in several high-frequency indicators, he said, adding, though the geopolitical situation and the consequent elevated commodity prices have imparted considerable uncertainty to the global growth momentum, India’s real GDP growth is expected to be still above 7 per cent in 2022-23.
This is in contrast to many advanced and emerging market economies where considerable downward revision in GDP growth rate has been made by international agencies like IMF post-Russia-Ukraine crisis, he said.
The government has taken various initiatives to drive economic growth while managing inflation and mitigating its impact on weaker sections of the society, he added.
Replying to another question, Chaudhary said the government will continue undertaking important measures and introducing inclusive reforms which will sustain high growth during the Amrit Kaal (the next 25 years) based on evolving needs of the economy.
Since independence, India has been steadily building its economic strengths and is now prepared to launch the economy during the Amrit Kaal to become one of the most prosperous nations in the world by 2047, he said.
The blue print to steer the economy builds on the past strengths and this government has continued with its implementation through the undertaking of important broadbased measures whose positive impact on the economy is seen in the growth of income with inclusivity of the poorest section of the society, he said.
The positive impact of these futuristic measures on the economy will increase during the Amrit Kaal, he added.