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Jump in WPI inflation in August modest, well below target: Arun Jaitley

We have brought down prices of essential commodities, said Arun Jaitley

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Arun Jaitley at the Conclave on Financial Inclusion by United Nations in New Delhi. Photo: Dalip Kumar
Arun Jaitley at the Conclave on Financial Inclusion by United Nations in New Delhi. Photo: Dalip Kumar

Defending the jump in India's wholesale price-indexed (WPI) inflation in August to 3.24 per cent, nearly double that of July, Union Finance Minister on Thursday said it was well below the target of 4 per cent.

"During monsoon, there is a spike in It is usually the highest level of inflation in the entire year. We have touched only 3.24 per cent. It is very reasonable and modest against the double digit inflation seen during the earlier rule. In the last one year, consistently inflation is under 4 per cent target of the Reserve Bank of India's committee," Jaitley told Times Now in an interview.

"We have brought down prices of essential commodities as a result of which the last three years have been the best phase of inflation management. A statutory committee has set a target of inflation management at 4 per cent," he said.

The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 3.24 per cent for August 2017 (over August 2016) compared with 1.88 per cent (provisional) for the previous month and 1.09 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year, according to data released by the Commerce Ministry.

Fuel and power were the major contributors to the rise in

The Finance Minister added that prior to2014, during the regime, the county was used to double digit inflation between 9-11 per cent.

The Indian basket of imported crude oils gained nearly $3.50 a barrel during last week even as in the country touched their highest levels.

"It is because the global environment of the slow down is impacting India. Despite we have maintained reasonable growth rate. There is the absence of private because of the attributable to the mindless loans given during regime. Growth is based on large foreign direct investment, India needs large

"Whatever revenue comes from fuel goes towards a large amount of Do we not want rural roads to be built, highways to be built? Money collected as taxes from fuel doesn't go to government's pocket, but towards creation," he said.

Jaitley said that the government was concerned over growth in the sector.

"Certainly we are concerned. While service sector grew in the last quarter, sector came down. If it was only because of demonetisation, it should have been across. It was in anticipation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll-out from July 1. People instead of adding to the were destocking," he said.

"I am hopeful with series of steps, environment is improved. Manufacturing in India should pick up," he added.

First Published: Fri, September 15 2017. 04:43 IST