With inflation near the double-digit mark, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday it has entered the “worrying area” but hoped that the soaring prices will calm down in the next two months.

“Six months ago we were saying that inflation is going up but is not in a worrying zone. (But) clearly inflation has become much more (entering) into the worrying area (now),” said Mr. Ahluwalia.

On the possibility of inflation crossing the double-digit mark, Mr. Ahlwualia said, “it is so close to 10 per cent that it is not very important if goes a little above.

“Nobody can predict what would happen one month later, but one thing, I am sure about, is that over the next two months I expect to see inflation coming down. And I don’t think that it would remain in the double-digit area for any extended period of time.”

The effort Mr. Ahluwalia said should be to “bring it down.”

I don’t think we should focus too much on whether at any given point it goes from being just below 10 per cent to just above 10 per cent.”

The wholesale price-based inflation soared to a 16-month high of 9.89 per cent in February, driven mainly by rising prices of food, fuel and manufactured items.

Inflation, analysts feel, may go up even further on account of some of the budgetary measures. The minister raised excise by 2 percentage points on all goods and hiked excise and custom duties on crude, petrol and diesel.

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