Mehta also suggested that the government could use the “huge amount of reserves” to prevent the rupee from depreciating rapidly.
“Inflation is still a big concern, the market is still a concern. These factors have not gone away. Market volume growth (FMCG) still remains at minus 5% over the past three months. It hasn’t turned positive at all and the value growth is of course 7%. The growth is mainly due to price growth,” he said.
Retail price inflation in India was 7.01% in June.
From a macro perspective, Mehta said, “For us, it’s very important that we manage inflation.”
While an interest rate hike is inevitable to get inflation under control, he said “you have to do it in a way that doesn’t constrain the economy.”
He further said, “The imperative for the country is not just to ensure that inflation is contained but, very importantly, that the economy continues to grow.”
If the economy continues to grow at a level of 7% predicted by the IMF, that should bode very well for the country, Mehta said, adding: “We should then be able to get through this huge crisis quite a lot better. than most major economies.
When asked if the government had taken these steps to ensure growth while controlling inflation, he answered in the affirmative, pointing to measures such as the extension of the free food grain program and the increased spending on fertilizer subsidies, which would help boost rural demand.
In addition, he said the reduction of fuel excise duties by the Center and many states “would clearly have a dampening effect on inflation.”
On the fall of the Rupee he said: “You don’t want the currency to depreciate at a very high rate and you would like a very moderate approach…it has to be done in a contained way and today, we have a huge amount of reserves that can help us do that.”
Mehta also said a “glimmer of hope and optimism” is a good monsoon, which bodes well for the economy.
“There are still pockets of India, especially the central belt, where the monsoons have not been good yet, although forecasts indicate that the monsoon may cover up. So if the monsoon covers up, then she should definitely be good, definitely be a good postman,” he said.