Indian business leaders have called on the country’s government to relax import duties on food products to counter inflation and rising prices.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has also urged the Indian government to allow the rupee to appreciate to make imports cheaper.

“The problems of excess demand have been compounded by increasing per capita income, growing population with a higher purchasing power, international food price inflation, and the lack of a flexible and properly designed food management regime of the government,” Assocham said.

The gap between demand and supply in India is being met through imports, which are more expensive due to tax regulations.

“The government should continue with the import duty relaxation on various food items, so that the supply flow is maintained, and opt for a dual pricing policy by having a flexible procurement price, rather than procuring the essential commodities at [a] minimum support price,” Assocham added.