Describing food inflation as a “temporary phenomenon”, the Planning Commission has said that the prices of various food items will decline towards the month-end and that the economic growth during the year would exceed 7 per cent.

“The food price inflation is a worrying problem, but in my view it is a temporary phenomenon... they (prices) will come down,” Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said in an interview to Karan Thapar for the India Tonight programme telecast on CNBC TV-18.

With the coming of the rabi (winter) crop, he added, “you will see a drop in cereal inflation compared to what it is now ... wait for the end of January... on the foodgrain front there will be ample available.”

Driven by rising prices of pulses, potato, onion and other vegetables, food inflation soared to a decade’s high of about 20 per cent in December before sliding marginally.

About the country’s economic growth prospects in the current fiscal, Mr. Ahluwalia said it “would definitely be 7 per cent or a little more.”

The Commission, which had projected a growth rate of 6.5 per cent for 2009-10, he said, would revise it upwards, especially in view of the robust 7.9 per cent GDP recorded in the second quarter (July-September).

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