New Delhi: Backing a new inflation target, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said his government has not allowed the rate of price rise to cross six percent as opposed to the double digit inflation during previous government.
Delivering his third Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort, Modi backed the four percent inflation target, within a range of two percentage points either way, set for the next five years under the monetary policy framework agreement with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
"It is true that during the time of previous government, inflation rate had crossed 10 percent. Our continuous efforts have ensured that inflation rate does not rise above 6 percent," he said.
He attributed the spike in vegetable prices to two consecutive droughts that impacted supplies but said efforts have been made to contain it.
"I will continue to make efforts to ensure that the food plate of poor is not affected (by inflation)," he said.
On the spike in prices of pulses this year, he said sowing of pulses this year has risen by 1.5 times and with good monsoon and efforts like Minimum Support Price and bonusto farmers as well as increasing availability will make things better.
While monsoon has been good this year, excess rainfall has caused problems at some places, he said, adding the government was fully committed to helping such states. Modi said unlike past governments, he has stayed away from populist measures and instead relied on empowerment.
The Prime Minister said efforts by his government have led to 99.5 percent of past dues of sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh being cleared and 95 percent of crop being sold this season being already paid for.
Also, record urea production has meant that blackmarketing of the crop nutrient is a thing of past, he said, adding that farmers are being given crop insurance cover on minimum premium. Godown capacity of 15 lakh tonnes has been constructed to store crops and emphasis is being laid on all food procesing and agro based industries to raise farm incomes.
Hundred percent FDI has been permitted in food processing. "These steps will help realise the target of doubling farmers' income by 2022," he said.