Cit­i­zens want Bud­get to help bring down prices

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

As retail in­fla­tion and in­fla­tion­ary ex­pec­ta­tions re­main high, com­mon peo­ple want the fi­nance min­is­ter to fo­cus on bring­ing down prices of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties more than any­thing else when he presents the bud­get, a sur­vey showed on Satur­day.

The poll con­ducted by mar­ket re­searcher Ip­sos In­dia showed nearly 75% re­spon­dents wanted the bud­get to bring down prices of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties, fol­lowed by de­mands to raise the in­come tax ex­emp­tion limit to Rs3 lakh from Rs2.5 lakh and a higher levy on to­bacco prod­ucts.

Ip­sos sur­veyed 1,047 peo­ple across seven ma­jor In­dian cities.

Con­sumer price in­fla­tion — a mea­sure of rise in prices of a bas­ket of goods dom­i­nated by food items and fuel — is ex­pected to stay in the range of 4.5-5% in the com­ing fis­cal, the eco­nomic sur­vey re­leased on Thurs­day said. This is de­spite oil prices hav­ing de­clined 9.21% and man­u­fac­tur­ing goods go­ing 1.17% cheaper from a year ago, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased in the se­cond week of Fe­bru­ary.

Food in­fla­tion was pri­mar­ily driven by ris­ing prices of pulses, the main source of pro­tein for mil­lions of In­di­ans, which shot up 44.91% in Jan­uary reach­ing a fiveyear high in some parts of In­dia.

CON­TIN­UED ON P11

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