Inflation is considered to be a complex situation for an economy. If inflation goes beyond a moderate rate, it can create disastrous situations for an economy; therefore is should be under control.
It is not easy to control inflation by using a particular measure or instrument.
The main aim of every measure is to reduce the inflow of cash in the economy or reduce the liquidity in the market.
The different measures used for controlling inflation are shown in Figure-5:
The different measures (as shown in Figure-5) used for controlling inflation are explained below.
1. Monetary Measures:
The government of a country takes several measures and formulates policies to control economic activities. Monetary policy is one of the most commonly used measures taken by the government to control inflation.
In monetary policy, the central bank increases rate of interest on borrowings for commercial banks. As a result, commercial banks increase their rate of interests on credit for the public. In such a situation, individuals prefer to save money instead of investing in new ventures.
This would reduce money supply in the market, which, in turn, controls inflation. Apart from this, the central bank reduces the credit creation capacity of commercial banks to control inflation.
The monetary policy of a country involves the following:
(a) Rise in Bank Rate:
Refers to one of the most widely used measure taken by the central bank to control inflation.
The bank rate is the rate at which the commercial bank gets a rediscount on loans and advances by the central bank. The increase in the bank rate results in the rise of rate of interest on loans for the public. This leads to the reduction in total spending of individuals.
The main reasons for reduction in total expenditure of individuals are as follows;
(i) Making the borrowing of money costlier:
Refers to the fact that with the rise in the bank rate by the central bank increases the interest rate on loans and advances by commercial banks. This makes the borrowing of money expensive for general public.
Consequently, individuals postpone their investment plans and wait for fall in interest rates in future. The reduction in investments results in the decreases in the total spending and helps in controlling inflation.
(ii) Creating adverse situations for businesses:
Implies that increase in bank rate has a psychological impact on some of the businesspersons. They consider this situation adverse for carrying out their business activities. Therefore, they reduce their spending and investment.
(iii) Increasing the propensity to save:
Refers to one of the most important reason for reduction in total expenditure of individuals. It is a well-known fact that individuals generally prefer to save money in inflationary conditions. As a result, the total expenditure of individuals on consumption and investment decreases.
(b) Direct Control on Credit Creation:
Constitutes the major part of monetary policy.
The central bank directly reduces the credit control capacity of commercial banks by using the following methods:
(i) Performing Open Market Operations (OMO):
Refers to one of the important method used by the central bank to reduce the credit creation capacity of commercial banks. The central bank issues government securities to commercial banks and certain private businesses.
In this way, the cash with commercial banks would be spent on purchasing government securities. As a result, commercial bank would reduce credit supply for the general public.
(ii) Changing Reserve Ratios:
Involves increase or decrease in reserve ratios by the central bank to reduce the credit creation capacity of commercial banks. For example, when the central bank needs to reduce the credit creation capacity of commercial banks, it increases Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR). As a result, commercial banks need to keep a large amount of cash as reserve from their total deposits with the central bank. This would further reduce the lending capacity of commercial banks. Consequently, the investment by individuals in an economy would also reduce.
2. Fiscal Measures:
Apart from monetary policy, the government also uses fiscal measures to control inflation. The two main components of fiscal policy are government revenue and government expenditure. In fiscal policy, the government controls inflation either by reducing private spending or by decreasing government expenditure, or by using both.
It reduces private spending by increasing taxes on private businesses. When private spending is more, the government reduces its expenditure to control inflation. However, in present scenario, reducing government expenditure is not possible because there may be certain on-going projects for social welfare that cannot be postponed.
Besides this, the government expenditures are essential for other areas, such as defense, health, education, and law and order. In such a case, reducing private spending is more preferable rather than decreasing government expenditure. When the government reduces private spending by increasing taxes, individuals decrease their total expenditure.
For example, if direct taxes on profits increase, the total disposable income would reduce. As a result, the total spending of individuals decreases, which, in turn, reduces money supply in the market. Therefore, at the time of inflation, the government reduces its expenditure and increases taxes for dropping private spending.
3. Price Control:
Another method for ceasing inflation is preventing any further rise in the prices of goods and services. In this method, inflation is suppressed by price control, but cannot be controlled for the long term. In such a case, the basic inflationary pressure in the economy is not exhibited in the form of rise in prices for a short time. Such inflation is termed as suppressed inflation.
The historical evidences have shown that price control alone cannot control inflation, but only reduces the extent of inflation. For example, at the time of wars, the government of different countries imposed price controls to prevent any further rise in the prices. However, prices remain at peak in different economies. This was because of the reason that inflation was persistent in different economies, which caused sharp rise in prices. Therefore, it can be said inflation cannot be ceased unless its cause is determined.