Attributing the double-digit inflation to hike in petrol prices, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said prices would moderate by the end of the kharif season, and inflation would come down to 5-6 per cent by year-end.
“I do feel that the annual rate of inflation will be 5-6 per cent (by 2010-end),” Mr. Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a function relating to the setting up of an investment fund between India and Oman.
Wholesale price-based inflation inched higher to 10.55 per cent in June, owing to the pass-through effect of the hike in prices of petroleum products announced on June 25.
“It is 10.55 per cent. It is hovering around double digits. After the kharif season is over, there will be a moderating impact which is already being felt,” he said.
Inflation figures in June were expected to move up due to the impact of the petro price hike, he added.
The minister had earlier said that the fuel price hike would impact WPI inflation by less than a percentage point.
The government had, on June 25, hiked petrol prices by Rs. 3.5 a litre while deregulating them, and diesel by Rs. 2 a litre. Besides this, it raised the price of LPG (cooking gas) by Rs. 35 a cylinder and kerosene by Rs. 3 a litre.
The sowing of kharif crops began in June, with the onset of the South-West monsoon, and will continue till September. The crops will start arriving in October.