Tissue paper, cucumber, gas among 199 new items in WPI basket

The government on Friday released the new series of the WPI with change in base year to 2011-12 from 2004-05 and after rejigging the items in the basket for making the index more reflective.

PTI| Last Updated: May 12, 2017, 20:20 PM IST

New Delhi: As many as 199 new items, including natural gas, tissue paper, conveyer belt, rubber tread, steel cables, pointed gourd, cucumber, bitter gourd and jack fruit, are included in the new series of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) to make the inflation data more broad-based.

While 146 items, including Coke (Coal), papad, video CD player, khandsari and light diesel oil, were dropped under the new series.

The government on Friday released the new series of the WPI with change in base year to 2011-12 from 2004-05 and after rejigging the items in the basket for making the index more reflective.

There is an increase in the number of items in WPI basket from 676 to 697. In all, 199 new items have been added and 146 old items have been dropped, the Commerce Ministry statement said.

It said the new series is more representative with increase in number of quotations from 5,482 to 8,331, an increase by 2,849 quotations (52 percent).

The ministry said that in the new series of WPI, prices used for compilation do not include indirect taxes in order to remove impact of fiscal policy as this is in consonance with international practices and will make the new index conceptually closer to 'Producer Price Index'.

Under the new series, the seasonality of fruits and vegetables has been updated to account for more months as these are now available for longer duration.

It said that a high-level Technical Review Committee has been set up for the first time to carry out dynamic review process in order to keep pace with the changing structure of the economy.

According to statement, in the primary articles, new vegetables and fruits such as radish, carrot, cucumber, bitter gourd, mosambi, pomegranate, jack fruit, pear etc have been added.

In the mineral group items like copper concentrate, lead concentrate and garnet have been added whereas copper ore, gypsum, kaolin, dolomite, magnesite have been removed.

Natural gas has been added as a new item.

In the revised series, the WPI will continue to constitute three major groups namely -- primary articles, fuel and power and manufactured products.

In the fuel and power major group, the index for non- coking coal will also be available at a disaggregated level based on Gross Calorific Value (GCV) to cater to the requirements of diverse user groups. The item coke has been dropped.

The index for electricity in the new series will be compiled as a single item in comparison to the separate indices according to usage in agriculture, industry, domestic, commercial and railways in 2004-05 series.

In the new series, monthly average rate of sale of power of 49 selected generating stations covering Hydro and Thermal sectors is being used to compile the index for electricity.

In the mineral oil sub-group, light diesel oil has been deleted in view of its decreasing importance while petroleum coke has been added as a new item owing to its growing importance.

There have been some changes in weights of the retained mineral fuels. The number of quotations has been increased significantly to give wider geographical coverage.

The ministry said in manufactured products category, the number of 2 digit groups has been increased from 12 to 22 in the new series in keeping with National Industrial Classification (NIC) 2008.

Around 173 new items like conveyer belt, rubber tread, steel cables, tissue paper, wooden splint, XLPE compound have been added while 135 items like khandsari, papad and video CD-Players have been dropped.