September Rains, Inflation Control, and Govt Measures in India
September Rains, Inflation Control, and Govt Measures in India

In September, the significance of rainfall becomes evident as it plays a pivotal role in taming the rampaging beast of inflation. The dearth of rainfall during the months of July and August had an unwelcome consequence: food prices soared to new heights, subjecting the entire nation to an onerous burden. The humble tomato, once an affordable staple, ascended to unattainable price ranges, and other vegetable commodities like ginger and okra followed suit, spiraling into the stratosphere of costs.

This predicament wasn't limited to vegetables alone; essential items such as wheat, rice, and pulses also witnessed an uptick in their prices over recent months. Nevertheless, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon as retail food grain inflation has recently taken a step back. According to government data, retail food inflation plummeted from a daunting 11.51 percent in July to a relatively more manageable 9.94 percent in August. The government now pins its hopes on the forthcoming September showers, anticipating that they will serve as a cooling balm for the nation's inflationary fever.

The promise of adequate rainfall in September brings with it the prospect of bolstered Kharif crop production. The evidence lies in the significant surge in crop sowing within the country's major crop-producing states, a direct result of favorable September rains. The acreage dedicated to paddy and soybean cultivation has experienced noteworthy expansion. As government figures reveal, paddy cultivation has surged by 2.7 percent, amounting to a substantial 4.03 crore hectares as of September 8, while soybean cultivation has also witnessed a commendable rise of approximately 1.3 percent, tallying up to 1.25 crore hectares.

It is noteworthy that the states of Punjab and Haryana, known for their substantial paddy production, have already been blessed with ample rainfall. In contrast, eastern India is also expected to witness an upswing in paddy cultivation due to the copious downpour received in September.

In an effort to curb the escalating food prices, the government initiated several measures. On July 20, 2023, an immediate ban on non-basmati white rice exports was implemented to ensure sufficient availability in the Indian market and mitigate price hikes. The central government also imposed stock limits on Tur and Urad dal, extending their applicability to wholesalers, retailers, large retail chains, millers, and importers, with the aim of quelling hoarding and speculative activities. State governments were also urged to diligently monitor Tur and Urad prices, validate stock levels, and take stringent action against violators of the stock limits order.

In a bid to rein in the prices of onions, wheat, and tomatoes, the government bolstered its onion buffer stock from 3 lakh metric tonnes to 5 lakh metric tonnes. Additionally, stocks from the onion buffer were released to stymie price surges. To alleviate the tomato crisis, tomatoes were imported from Nepal and made available at significantly lower prices through government outlets. Moreover, stock limits on wheat were imposed, affecting wholesalers, traders, retailers, large retail chains, and processors, ensuring an adequate supply while keeping a vigilant eye on prices.

How much inflation is there in which state of India?

India's Retail Inflation Drops to 6.83% in August, Beating Expectations"


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