Inflation manageable; job creation, wealth distribution priority over inflation now: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday that inflation has reached a manageable level. At the same time, she emphasized that job creation and fair distribution of wealth are now a priority over inflation.

“Some (priorities), of course, are written in red letters. Some may not be. Of course, the jobs in red letters will be jobs, equitable distribution of wealth, making sure that India is on the path of growth. In that sense, inflation is not in red letters. I hope it will not surprise many of you. We have shown that in the last two months we have managed to bring it to a manageable level,” she said while addressing the Ideas India Summit organized here.

The remarks came as retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell to 6.7 percent in July after touching a record high of 7.8 percent in April. The number for August will be released next week and is expected to drop further.

However, it is still above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) comfort level of 6 percent. At the same time, wholesale inflation, based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), remains in the double digits, although this too has seen a downward trend over the past two months.

“define the priorities”

According to the Finance Minister, the two objectives (job creation and equitable distribution of wealth) have been identified as two priorities in order to increase the pace of development in India. “India does not have the luxury of a hierarchy of priorities and efforts to address them must take place simultaneously,” she added.

Sitharaman also spoke about the data privacy bill, which was previously withdrawn due to loopholes. She said, “The concerned minister has been working on a data privacy bill. Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has assured that very soon we will have a new data privacy law, which will be the product of consultations and addressing the concerns we had in the past.”

When asked about the G20 meeting to be held in November this year, Sitharaman said that India will assume the G20 presidency at a very difficult time. The main areas of discussion have yet to be disclosed by the Minister.

Touching on concerns about crude and climate change, she said times are uncertain and efforts are being made to overcome these concerns. She also discussed India’s keen interest in shifting to renewable energy and reducing dependence on coal. However, the main concern in this area of ​​development is the population. India’s huge population affects the energy transition.

She hoped that India and the United States together would contribute to global growth.

“I am confident that India’s key strengths – the size and diversity of the Indian economy; the availability of a skilled workforce; and progress in digital transformation – will enable the country’s economy to account for a percentage of global GDP in the next 20 years. In the process, India will become And the United States are two engines of global growth. Both countries have a lot in common and can cooperate for the global good in these difficult and challenging times,” Sitharaman added.