NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indias government said on Tuesday it hoped normal monsoon rains this year would help rein in high and unpopular inflation which has surged into double figures, partly because of soaring food prices. Food inflation has started coming down a little bit, (but) not fully, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in Delhi. But with the expectation of good monsoon and crop, I think moderating influence will be there from the middle of July onwards, he said. The monsoon, which covers most of agriculture-dependent India from June to Sept, has advanced half way up the country and is expected to be robust in the current year following a crippling drought in 2009. The drought led to a sharp fall in food production and has led to pressure on the govt to slow the galloping prices of Indian household basics, such as pulses, rice and vegetables. Mukherjee said the central bank would help check inflation with monetary policy raising interest rates to increase the cost of borrowing and slow the economy down while food shortages would be met with imports. As and when the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) feels appropriate steps are required to be taken to control the inflation, it will do so, he added. The double-digit inflation, the first time since October 2008, has hardened expectations that the RBI will hike interest rates by another 25 basis points, even ahead of its next scheduled policy meeting on July 27. Inflation hit 11.04 percent in March and 10.16 percent last month, according to the latest figures released on Monday. The bank has already raised its two key short-term lending rates twice this year, by 25 basis points in both March and April.