RBI may go for further monetary tightening measures: PMEAC

RBI may go for further monetary tightening measures: PMEAC

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may take further monetary tightening measures to tame inflation which stood at 8.23% in January, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council said on Monday.

“RBI will have to take a view looking at level of inflation. It is still at an uncomfortably high level. Some action, continued action, by the RBI (to tighten monetary policy) may be required," PMEAC chairman C. Rangarajan told the news agency.

His remarks came even as inflation, though down marginally from December, continued to be above 8%, a level where it has stood at since January 2010.

The RBI has already hiked its short-term lending and borrowing rates by 25 basis points at its third quarterly review last month to tame inflationary pressure.

The apex bank has also termed inflation control as its topmost priority.

Asked about the fall in inflation numbers in January, Rangarajan said: “In some ways, it was expected. We can see inflation falling to 7% by March."

At last month’s review, the RBI had revised its inflation estimate to 7% by March-end, from the earlier 5.5%.

Inflation declined marginally to 8.23% in January from 8.43% in the previous month, as prices of certain commodities like wheat, pulses and sugar eased, although essential items like onions and other vegetables continued to remain firm.

Besides, food items, many experts have also voiced concern over global crude prices which have crossed a 28-month high at $102 per barrel on account of political instability in the Middle-East, specially Egypt.