New Delhi: Amid inflation hovering around nine percent levels in May, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Monday expressed hope that it would come down by December.

"Inflation remains a problem. I feel that towards the last quarter of this calender year, we will be seeing respite in inflation," Ahluwalia told reporters on the sidelines of a memorial lecture here.

Noting that inflationary pressure is not just in India, he said that it is a big news around the world and added that he would like it to "go down to 6 per cent".

He, however, refused to give a timeline for that.

The overall inflation in May stood at 9.06 per cent, higher than 8.66 per cent in April, and it is expected to rise further in June, following the increase in prices of diesel, kerosene and domestic LPG last month.

Asked about the speculations of his joining cabinet in the impending reshuffle, he said, "This is all newspaper's speculation. We should wait and see what happens. I don't have any such expectation. I am quite happy doing what I am doing."

There is a growing buzz that Ahluwalia may get the Commerce and Industry portfolio, replacing Anand Sharma who is being talked about as the next Minister for External Affairs.

He also said that the Planning Commission is examining the possibility of having a sovereign fund for acquiring assets abroad, particularly related to energy sector.

"There is some talk about it...We were asked to examine whether that's feasible but there is no decision on that matter...It is something that will be considered...we will look at it in next couple of months," Ahluwalia said.

Agencies