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Updated: December 20, 2009 01:16 IST

Food inflation sector-specific: Kaushik Basu

Staff Reporter
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Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic adviser to the Central government
The Hindu Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic adviser to the Central government

Food inflation is sector-specific and will be controlled in a few months with intervention in the particular sector, said Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic adviser to the Central government here on Saturday.

“The inflation currently being witnessed is limited to a specific sector. With sector specific interventions, the government will be able to tackle this specific problem,” Dr. Basu told journalists on the sidelines of the inaugural function of the Alumni reunion of the St. Xavier’s School in the year that the school celebrates 150 years.

“It is a problem that will pass in less than a few months,” he added.

Globally, inflation has reduced, Dr. Basu said, adding that with the large number of stimulus packages that were given out in various parts of the world to overcome the global economic crisis, there was always the risk of inflation.

Areas of concern

Outlining the successes the Indian economy has achieved in the past 15 years, Dr. Basu pointed out certain areas of concern during his formal address. The chronic poverty seen here was “unpardonable for a country growing at nine percent per annum,” he said adding that the problem called for “intelligent policy-intervention.”

“India has between 220 to 280 million people who are abysmally poor…as we celebrate the remarkable growth of the country, a huge section of the population is being left behind,” he said.

He called for building infrastructure, speeding up the bureaucratic processes and curtailing corruption.

Agonising delays

To illustrate his point, he explained that the time required for obtaining clearances to start a business here was six times that of Singapore and closing a business takes about 10 years in India as against 10 months in Singapore.

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