Due to less sowing of paddy in Kharif season, the production of rice is expected to be less by about 60-70 lakh tonnes. In the midst of this huge drop in production, rice prices may remain elevated. That is, the rice served on our plate will already be sold at an expensive rate. In such a situation, the pressure of inflation on the already sluggish economy will increase further. Retail inflation has just reached 7 percent. If food items like rice-wheat become more expensive then the situation may worsen.
If we look at the data of recent months, the prices of all food items, including cereals, have increased, due to which the retail inflation, which has been showing a declining trend for three months, started rising again and it reached 7 percent in August. Along with this, there was pressure on the prices of other food items including food grains on wholesale inflation. Experts and analysts predict that inflation will remain at high levels in the coming times as well. At the same time, due to erratic rains in June-September and the south-west monsoon not taking off yet, concerns have increased regarding the paddy crop.
What is expert opinion
India’s rice production stood at 132.29 million tonnes in the crop year 2021-22, up from 1243.7 million tonnes a year earlier. The Food Ministry has estimated that rice production will be less by 60-70 lakh tonnes in this year’s Kharif season. The share of Kharif season in the total rice production of the country is about 85 percent. However, according to some experts, the reduction in rice production is not a cause for concern as India’s already existing stock is sufficient to meet the demand of the Public Distribution System (PDS). Apart from this, the government’s decision to ban the export of broken rice and impose a duty of 20 per cent on non-basmati exports will help in handling the situation.
Inflation became a cause for concern
An article published in the recent bulletin of the Reserve Bank of India said that despite the relief in the prices of oil and gas and basic components, food prices have increased due to increase in food prices. In a report of the Finance Ministry on Saturday, in view of the low crop sown area during the Kharif season, the need for proper management of the stock of agricultural commodities has been stressed. However, it has been said that one has to avoid being careless on the inflation front.
NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand told PTI-language, there is no immediate threat to domestic inflation due to rice. The increase in prices was due to increase in MSP and prices of other commodities like fertilizers and fuels. When the prices of which are increasing, there will definitely be some increase. How much this increase will be and to what extent it will trouble the common people, only time will tell. But the rates of rice in the open market have started increasing since many days. An increase of more than Rs.10 per kg of rice is seen as compared to earlier.(input/language)
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