7.24         ndian      onom
     Reforms Projects (WBAERPs). At present, efforts                           Regular review meeting on price and
     are being made to develop service price indices                           availability situation at the highest level.
     for selected services initially on an experimental                        States took strict action against hoarding
     basis (covering road transport, railways, airways,                        and black marketing (as advised by the
     business, trade, port, postal telecommunications,                         Government).
     banking and insurance services only).                                     Higher MSP (minimum support
          The basic studies of index construction are                          prices) were announced to incentivize
     complete. Before formal launching of the index,                           production and enhance availability of
                                                                               food items.
     the complete study is supposed to be discussed
     with academicians, practitioners and the users                            Price     Stabilization     Fund           (PSF)
                                                                               scheme is being implemented to
     of the services. The need to construct a service
                                                                               control price volatility of a g r i c u l t u r a l
     price index for the economy was felt more
                                                                               commodities like pulses, onions, etc.
     after the OECD-Eurosat Report of 2005 on the
                                                                               Aimed at effective market intervention
     subject.73
                                                                               the buffer stock of pulses was enhanced to
                                                                               2 million          tonnes (from 1.5 lakh
        goVernment steps to check                                              million tonnes).
        InflatIon                                                              Minimum export price imposed on edible
                                                                               oils (US $900 per tonne). To incentivize
     The typical socio-economic composition of
                                                                               domestic production this restriction has
     the consumer groups in India makes consumer
                                                                               been removed on oil (except for palm oil,
     inflation a highly sensitive issue. This is why                           mustard oil and sunflower oil).
     controlling inflation at consumer level has been
                                                                               Stock holding limits put on sugar till April,
     an area of priority, for the Government. The major                        2018 together with imposing 20 per cent
     steps74 taken by the Government in this regard in                         duty on its        export and allowed raw
     the year 2017-18 are as briefed below:                                    sugar import at zero custom duty (5 lakh
                                                                               tonnes).
       73.  ‘The number of National Statistical Agencies collecting
            service producer prices data, though growing, is still             Onion put under minimum export price
            small , points out the OECD-Eurosat, 2005 Inquiry                  (of US $850 per tonne) till December
            on National Collection of Services Producer Prices
                                                                               2017. States were           advised to put
            Preliminary Report, giving information on 45 such
            countries. The report further adds that while some                 stock limit on it and inform the Centre
            such agencies have focused exclusively on the price of             about their future needs (so that import
            services provided to enterprises, others have approached           can be done in time).
            the subject more broadly through the development of
            services producer price indices with varying approaches       The impact of these measures has been quite
            and coverage. As per the report, at present, 30 countries positive. The headline inflation (CPI-C) declined
            collect services producer prices while preliminary        to 3.3 per cent during 2017-18 (upto December,
            works have started in other countries, particularly the
            European countries under the auspices of the Eurosat.
                                                                      2017) with broad based decline in inflation across
            Other than the developed Euro-American economies          major commodity groups (except Housing and,
            some other countries which worked as inspiration for      Fuel and Light). The index has been below 4 per
            India which have such an index are China, Hong Kong,      cent for 12 straight months, from November,
            Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland, Lithuania,
            Israel and Vietnam.                                       2016 to October, 2017 and consumer food price
       74.  Economic Survey 2017-18, Vol. 2, p. 67, Ministry of       index (CFPI) averaged around 1 per cent during
            Finance, GoI, N. Delhi.                                   the year (upto December 2017).