MSP Hike May Lead To Higher Inflation, Widen Fiscal Deficit: DBS Report

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The Government’s decision to hike MSP for kharif crops is expected to impact GDP by by 0.1-0.2 per cent besides adding to inflationary pressures. According to a DBS report, higher MSP carry inflation as well as fiscal costs.

“For the fiscal math, impact is likely to be in the tune of 0.1-0.2 per cent of GDP, which might necessitate higher revenue support or lower capex spending to limit any risk to the 2018-19 deficit targets,” DBS said in a research report.

Seeking to address the farmers’ distress ahead of general elections, the Centre had on July 4 hiked the price paid to farmers for paddy by a record Rs 200 per quintal and by up to 52 per cent for other summer-sown crops.

The move is expected to lead to higher inflation and widen fiscal deficit because of increase in food subsidy bill to over Rs 2 lakh crore from Rs 1.70 lakh crore provided in the Budget for 2018-19, experts said.

As per the report, for the rest of this financial year, the impact on inflation will be in the range of around 25-30 bps. Regarding RBI’s policy stance, the report said higher MSP will add to inflationary pressures, fiscal slippage and this might prompt the central bank to go for another rate hike.

“For RBI, MSP increase poses an additional risk to their inflation view, besides fiscal slippage worries and higher oil prices,” the report said adding “August rate hike risks remain on the table.’’

In June, the Reserve Bank had upped its retail inflation projection by 0.30 per cent and kept the policy stance in the neutral zone, even as it had hiked the key rate by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent.

SOURCEThe Hindu Business Line

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