Officially, the Finance Ministry mandarins are busy as a bee firefighting inflation. But despite the public posturing, privately, officials are a worried lot. A senior bureaucrat, who is part of the government’s think tank on combating inflation, told BT: “This time inflation is a result of supply side pressures and not much can be done about it immediately.” All the big announcements, therefore, are nothing but officialese for helplessness.
— Rishi Joshi
The commodity exchanges are busy lobbying the government to scrap the commodities transaction tax (CTT) proposed in the Union Budget in 2008-09. They claim that volumes have already come off significantly since the announcement. The Forward Market Commission, too, has made a pitch to the Cabinet Committee on Prices on the issue. Though Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar (below), we hear, is backing the move to do away with CTT, the Finance Ministry has yet to oblige. Yet another example of interministerial turf wars?
— Shalini S. Dagar