New Delhi– Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the rate of inflation in the country has come down compared to during the previous government, and added that two successive droughts have had an adverse impact on prices.

He also said that the states and Centre need to work together to tackle inflation.

“You can’t view inflation as an issue of perception. Price rise should be seen as a reality. We will have to accept reality,” Modi said in an interview to TimesNow news channel.

“The fast rate at which inflation was rising under the previous government, that speed has decelerated a lot. You can see the statistics, you will find it there,” he said.

Modi, however, pointed out that the country has gone through two consecutive years of severe drought.

“Drought has a direct impact on the prices of vegetables, food and pulses because all these things are produced from the soil. Now when there is such a big drought, it’s not in anybody’s hands,” he said.

The Prime Minister said import is an option, and pulses have been imported in a huge quantity.

He added that tackling inflation is a “joint responsibility of the state and central governments”.

“This should not be an issue of blame game that the state government did not do certain things and that the Centre did not do certain things. But it will have to be agreed that it is the joint responsibility of both,” he said.

“That is why the Centre has given rights to the states to make stringent laws. How much stocks to keep or not to keep are decisions which the states can take. All these rights have been given to the states. Some states have performed well, some states are trying,” the Prime Minister said.

“I believe that we have been successful to the extent that the rate at which prices were rising (under UPA), what would have happened if the prices were to rise at that rate? We have been successful in stopping that steep rise in prices,” he said.

Modi added that the price of pulses has been rising because production in India has been very low.

“Many farmers who were earlier sowing pulses have started cultivating sugar cane. That is also an area of concern. We gave special incentives for pulses. We have tried to set up a different MSP for pulses.”

“We are also focusing on building stocks of pulses by importing from abroad. An all-out effort is being made and I believe that nobody doubts the sincerity of this government,” he added.