New Delhi: Encouraged by a dip in food inflation for the second week in a row, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today exuded confidence that headline inflation will come down to 6-6.5 per cent by March-end.
"Inflation will fall to 6-6.5 per cent by March," Ahluwalia said at a programme organised by CBNC-TV18 here.
Food inflation fell to 15.52 per cent for the week ended January 8. It had fallen to 16.91 per cent in the week ended January 1 from 18.32 per cent in the previous week.
However, overall inflation rose to 8.43 per cent in December, up from 7.48 per cent in the previous month, driven by rising food prices.
Ahluwalia further said he is not in favour of banning trade in commodity futures to bring down food prices.
Ahluwalia, however, said he was expecting a much bigger decline. "I had expected sharper decline...," he said.
Left parties and trade unions believe rising prices of food articles is mainly due to futures trading in agri-commodities and have asked the government to completely ban the practice.
With regard to the country's economic growth, he said GDP growth in the current fiscal will be 8.5 per cent or more.
India's GDP growth in the first half of 2010-11 was 8.9 per cent.