New Delhi: Expecting inflation to decline in coming months, Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu feels it may reach a ‘comfortable level’ of below 5 per cent in next fiscal.

"I feel we will reach the comfortable level of below 5 per cent sometime during the next fiscal," Basu said.

He further said that inflation for March is likely to be a little over 7 per cent. There would be a sharp reduction in March though there would not be much relief in February, he added.

Marginal decline in inflation was recorded when it had fell to 8.23 per cent in January from 8.43 per cent in the previous month, as prices of certain commodities like wheat, pulses and sugar eased, although essential items like onion and other vegetables continue to remain dearer.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had termed the current level of inflation as "uncomfortable".

On a positive front, food inflation after a gap of three months fell to single digit at 9.52 per cent in February-end on account of declining prices of potato and pulses.

This high inflation could induce monetary tightening measures by the RBI in its mid-quarterly on March 17.

According to Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman C Rangarajan, the RBI is expected to continue with its monetary tightening policy to fight inflation.

Last year, RBI raised the key rates six times to tame the high prices.

(Agencies)