Food prices to come down from April: Pawar

The government on Wednesday said it is confident food prices will start easing from April when the rabi harvest hits the market.

“The situation will definitely change after March-end,” Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters on the sidelines of a Vice Chancellors’ conference of agricultural universities.

Food inflation has been hovering around 17-18 per cent over the last few weeks, driven by high prices of certain items such as potatoes, pulses and sugar.

Pawar, however, attributed the high level of inflation partly to low-base year.

He said the inflation is high because the current price is compared with the rates of the year-ago period.

“We have to admit that prices of important items like rice, wheat, pulses and sugar are showing declining trends,” he said.

When asked about the recent decision of the government to allow sugar exports to the European Union, Pawar said he was not aware of it.

Directorate General of Foreign Trade has recently allowed export of 10,000 tonnes of sugar to the EU.

Commenting on the sugar price, Pawar said sugar futures in international markets are showing declining trend.

The Minister also said that crop condition is good so far and the country may harvest more wheat than last year’s record production of 80.58 million tonnes.

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