Bangalore: Union finance minister P. Chidambaram on 15 April said the immediate goal of the government is to “moderate” inflation to about 5% “or so” and asserted that it was taking every step in this regard.
Chidambaram, who was asked about the steep hike in bank interest rates, said it had been done to moderate inflation. “Once inflation is moderated, interest rates will also decline.” He, however, declined to set any time-frame for this.
“You can’t complain about inflation and then when you take anti-inflation measures, complain also,” he told reporters when asked about the high interest rates affecting self-help groups at a Canara Bank conclave here.
Chidambaram said in 2000-01, inflation was more than 6% in 48 out of the 52 weeks. But in the last week, it had come down to below 6%.
Asked if the rupee was still competitive vis-a-vis other currencies, he said, “At the current level, the rupee is still competitive”.
The currency has advanced 10% from a three-year low in July, making it the fourth-best performer in the period in Asia after the New Zealand dollar, Thai baht and the Australian dollar.