The Finance Ministry on Monday said inflation would come down to around 6.5 per cent by March-end from the present 8.43 per cent last month.
“It should be around 6.5 per cent by March end,'' Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters here. Mr. Chawla's remarks came even as expensive food items jacked up overall inflation, measured on the basis of wholesale prices, to 8.43 per cent in December from 7.48 per cent in November.
The latest move of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) to raise petrol prices is expected to fuel inflation. “Six months ago we may have said inflation will be 5.5-6 per cent by March end. Since it is always a dynamic process, today nobody is saying because the trend has not really gone down,'' Mr. Chawla said.
However, he said inflation was coming down. The wholesale price rise in December has also prompted the Prime Minister's Economic Panel to further revise upward the March-end inflation forecast to up to 7 per cent from 6.5 per cent estimated earlier. Food inflation has also remained high through December, touching the year high level of 18.32 per cent. It finally eased somewhat to 16.91 per cent for the week ended January 1.