New 2018 budget could make India’s food prices skyrocket

On February 01, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented his new budget. The 2018 budget promised to increase the minimum support prices for farm products and to liberalise their export. “The government is committed to ensuring that farmers get at least 1.5 times their investment,” Jaitley said, presenting his budget to the parliament.

“India’s agricultural export potential is as high as $100 billion against the current $30 billion. Exports of agricultural products will be liberalised.” This effectively paves the way for a sharp rise in prices of agricultural commodities and could mean that Indians will face higher food bills.

Qz reports that hiking up the minimum support price - the price assured by the government to farmers - will have a direct impact on inflation, while boosting exports will shrink the supply within India, adding to the price rise.

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