Inflation to decline to 7 pc by March: Pranab

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) With marginal decline in rate ofprice rise in January, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjeetoday expressed hope that the overall inflation will comedown to 7 per cent by March end.

"I am hoping that it (inflation) would be roughly around7 per cent (by March end). I hope so. But I cannot firmlycommit it," Mukherjee told reporters here.

The overall inflation has shown a marginal decline to8.23 per cent in January, from 8.43 per cent in the previousmonth.

The Finance Minister, however, said the inflation numbersin the coming months would depend on global developments andthe way the commodity prices move in the global markets.

When asked about the impact of likely wheat crop failurein China, he said the government was not aware of thesubstance of the reports although the wheat prices are alreadyfirming up in the global market.

"Already there is a firming up of wheat, food prices inglobal market", he said.

However, in India the wheat prices declined by 4.94 percent in January over the same month last year.

Mukherjee attributed the decline in January inflation tomonthly variations and said the fall was on expected lines.

"Don''t go by the weekly fluctuation or monthlyfluctuations. This was expected. It is nothing unusual," hesaid.

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