FILE PHOTO: Vendors wait for customers at their respective shops at a retail market in Kolkata, India, December 12, 2018. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
February 18, 2021
By Sanjeev Miglani
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s inflation target band of 2%-6% is up for review as the five-year term for the current monetary policy framework draws to a close, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.
The band, on the basis of which monetary policy is decided by a six-member committee headed by the central bank governor, was established in 2016.
“Monetary policy committee’s term is coming to an end. Inflation targeting will also have to be reviewed. We shall do that,“ Sitharaman said.
Since coming to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been able to tame inflation to the given range in the framework. Before the monetary policy framework came into existence India’s inflation was high and volatile driven by fuel and food prices.
But during the coronavirus pandemic inflation rose significantly while the economy crashed, creating major challenges for the Modi government that was formulating policies to provide relief to its 1.4 billion population.
Inflation in Asia’s third largest economy returned toward the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) 2%-6% inflation target range in December after remaining stubbornly above the central bank’s comfort range for eight consecutive months.
(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)