New Delhi: Buoyed by the sharp fall in food inflation to a near four-year low, Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu on Thursday said the rate of price rise of food items will fall to below 3 percent within a month.

"In India, we have been fighting a long battle against inflation. It is beginning to wind down. I expect by first week of January food inflation will go down below 3 percent," Basu said while speaking at the Delhi Economic Conclave.

Basu said the government has taken various policy steps to tame price rise and they are beginning to show the effect.

"Food inflation... we have just got news today that it is below 5 percent. Over the last year and half there have been a slew of measures..."We were expecting by November-December we will begin to see full impact of these policies. We do expect this problem to ease off," he said.

His comments followed release of latest data showing food inflation at nearly four-year low of 4.35 percent during the week ended December 3, reflecting a decline in prices of essential items like vegetables, onions, potatoes and wheat.

This is the lowest rate of food inflation since the week ended February 23, 2008, when it stood at 4.28 percent.

Basu is the head of a high-level panel appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to suggest ways to rein in inflation.

Food inflation, which touched a high of 12.21 percent for the week ended October 22, has shown a consistent downward trend in last few weeks.

Asked about the dismal industrial production numbers in October, when it recorded a negative growth of 5.1 percent, Basu termed it as a short-term problem.

"Growth, especially industrial sector growth has been stalling. I think it is a short term problem. We will get over it," he said.

Basu said the current period is one of difficulty both globally and for India and the industrialised world is facing a number of problems.

(Agencies)