Apropos ‘FinMin says rise in retail inflation ‘moderate’, food inflation in August still lower than April peak' ( September 13), the Finance Ministry’s optimism over the inflationary situation is interesting.
What else could explain its quick reaction to the National Statistics Office (NSO) having stated that the rate of retail inflation rose to 7 per cent in August as against 6.7 per cent in July even as food inflation, measured by Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) surged to 7.62 per cent last month against 6.69 per cent in July.
Despite its optimism, the government must also put itself into the shoes of the common folk, who are being battered by rising food inflation. . Mind you, high level of retail inflation always remains a major cause of concern for most households across the country.
RBI must stay the course
This refers to ‘Aug retail inflation jumps to 7% on pricier food items’, (September 13). The disaggregated data shows that the consumer food price index rose to 7.62 per cent in August with sharp increases seen in cereals, milk, fruits and vegetables.
Reports suggest, while wheat prices are elevated due to the heat wave which impacted output, the shortfall in rainfall across the Gangetic plain is expected to adversely impact rice prices.
This would suggest that cereal inflation is likely to remain elevated in the near term.
The government has been taking measures aimed at easing the price pressures through export ban of wheat and certain categories of rice.
In the last monetary policy meeting, the RBI had projected inflation to trend lower in the second half of the ongoing financial year, dipping further thereafter to around 5 per cent in the first quarter (April-June) of the next financial year.
However, the minutes of the last MPC meeting suggested that most members of the committee had favoured further policy rate hikes. The MPC should stay the course, continue to focus on bringing inflation in line with its target.
N Sadhasiva Reddy
Monetising UPI data
With reference to the news report ‘RBI mulls sharing UPI data with large corporates…’, the central bank is carefully evaluating the issue, and rightly so.
The proposal could possibly put citizens at risk of loss of privacy and other risks.
While talking about safeguards, one must keep in mind the failure of even DND in the telecom sector, though it has been around for years. Telemarketers representing top corporates do not care to comply and citizens are busy lodging complaints with authorities. Tracking of citizens’ online activity by large tech companies is an issue too.
Corporates may be looking to get a foot in the door assuring to comply with regulations, but just look at DND. Sharing data will only benefit such tech/fintech companies while possibly putting citizens to pain and burdening regulators.
Women and work
Apropos ‘Bring more women into workforce’, the writer has not taken cultural values into consideration. In a society which still places a high premium on the role of a woman as a home maker, there is going to be a natural reluctance to raise independent girls.
Economic necessities have forced many to join formal employment, otherwise Indian men would only be too happy to have women taking care of household chores.
A glance at the matrimonial columns will show that a non employed woman is preferred in rich families. Unless this attitude changes India will also be behind their peers in employment of women.