Concerned over high inflation, Union Home Minister P. Chidamabaram on Wednesday expressed doubt on whether the government had all instruments to check price rise.
“Inflation is high, food inflation is very high... we are not sure whether we have all the tools in hands to control food inflation,” Mr. Chidambaram said at a function organised by Skoch Consultancy.
Chidambaram, who served as Finance Minister before moving to the Home Ministry in the previous UPA regime, said while there is a duty to maintain price stability, some administrative prices have to be corrected.
His remark came in the backdrop of an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee postponing a meeting to hike fuel prices indefinitely on Oil Minister Murli Deora’s insistence.
Mr. Chidambaram said there is no tax worse than inflation.
“If you have high income that is eaten by inflation,” he added.
Food inflation rose to a 10-week high of 14.44 per cent for the week ended December 18 on the back of a rise in onion prices by almost 40 per cent on an annual basis, touching Rs. 75-80 per kg in the retail market.
Overall inflation was 7.48 per cent for the month of November 2010.
The price rise is also quite steep in the case of tomatoes and green vegetables, among other agri-commodities.