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The claim and counterclaim over inflation come at a time when retail inflation rose to an eight-year high in April to 7.8 per cent
The government on Monday disputed reports that the finance ministry had claimed that inflation hurts the rich more than the poor.
“A Tweet with the picture of Union Finance Minister @nsitharaman is being circulated claiming that the Finance Ministry has stated-'Inflation will affect the rich more than the poor in 2022.' The Claim is fake. @FinMinIndia has not given such statement,” the Press Information Bureau (PIB)’s fact check division posted on its Twitter account.
The monthly economic review for April published by the finance ministry last week said: “Seen over a longer time horizon, inflation in India’s economy has not been as much a challenge as is sensed from month-to-month changes. CPI Inflation during FY 2021-22 averaged 5.5 per cent, 50 basis points below the upper limit of the RBI MPC’s inflation band, and lower than 6.2 per cent for FY 2020-21. While inflation is expected to be elevated in 2022-23, mitigating action taken by the Government and RBI may reduce its duration. Evidence on consumption patterns further suggests that inflation in India has a lesser impact on low-income strata than on high-income groups.”
A query sent to the finance ministry spokesperson didn't elicit any response till press time.
Under the current mechanism, the Reserve Bank of India has been mandated by the government to maintain retail inflation at 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on either side.
The claim and counterclaim over inflation come at a time when retail inflation rose to an eight-year high in April to 7.8 per cent, even as industrial growth continued to falter amid rising risks from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The data released by the National Statistical Office showed the food inflation rate in April spiralled to 8.38 per cent as prices of edible oil and vegetables shot up by 17.3 per cent and 15.4 per cent, respectively. Fuel inflation also breached the double-digit mark at 10.8 per cent in April over rising retail prices of petrol, diesel, and cooking gas even as crude oil prices softened compared to March.