Turkish gov’t ready to apply food measures to push down inflation to single-digits: Deputy PM
ANKARAThe Turkish government’s measures to ease skyrocketing prices are ready to be applied, amid aims to gradually bring down inflation rate to single digits again, a top official announced on May 22.
Turkey’s Food Committee held a series of meetings last week to develop feasible measures to prevent an ongoing hike in food prices and settled on a general framework which shows things-to-do, said Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, who also heads the committee, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
In this vein, the government aims to raise output in the medium and long terms and to resolve some structural problems in the food supply chain immediately, he noted, underlining some key risks which are resulting from steep increases in unprocessed food prices.
Şimşek noted that the agreed measures will go online very soon.
“According to the results of the technical works, these measures will restrict some key inflationary risks resulting from fluctuations in the unprocessed food prices, and they will push down the inflation rate to single-digits again. In the upcoming years, the food inflation will be in compliance with the inflation target,” he added.
Turkey’s annual inflation rate increased in April, reaching its highest level in around nine years, according to official data released on May 3. Consumer prices in Turkey rose 11.87 percent year-on-year in April from 11.29 percent in March, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed. Annual consumer price inflation was also at the highest level since October 2008.
April’s consumer price inflation was driven by food prices, which rose 1.23 percent from a month earlier.
Industry officials and economists say there are deeper structural problems, from the lack of a long-term agricultural policy to a supply chain hindered by middlemen and arcane bureaucracy across the country.
Şimşek noted that a comprehensive production plan was prepared in a bid to boost output especially in import-dependent products, including legumes.
“We will also introduce new incentives to support fresh fruit and vegetable production,” he added.
Şimşek noted that the government will take crucial measures in the short run to examine and monitor the competition conditions at certain points of the supply chain and to boost inspections to detect unlawful storage activities in preservable food products as well as increase logistics and storage quality.
“We will introduce incentives to support producers in offering much better storage and logistical services. This will also enable them to lower their dependence on middlemen,” he added.