New Delhi: Rising prices of potatoes, onions
and pulses pushed food inflation to a high of 19.05 percent
in the fourth week of November, mounting pressure on the
government to rein in rates of essential items.
Food inflation was 17.47 percent for the week ended
However, the overall wholesale price index-based
inflation for the month ended October stood at 1.34 percent.
The Reserve Bank will review its current easy monetary
policy stance on January 29, although RBI Governor D Subbarao
has said WPI is "quite modest" compared to consumer prices.
A worried Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said during
the week that "price rise of essential commodities continues
to be a matter of highest concern to us."
As per the data released today, potatoes cost more than
double on an annual basis, while onions 23 percent more.
Rates of other essential commodities like rice rose by 11.75
percent, wheat 12.60 percent and pulses rose by 42 percent.
At the same time, fruits were costlier by 13 percent
while milk was 11.36 percent more expensive.
Gandhi had said she has personally spoken to the Prime
Minister and the Finance Minister on the issue and they have
assured her that the government will take "every possible
step" to address the issue.
"If inflationary pressure persists for a long time it can
fuel inflationary expectations and monetary policy will have
to take a nuanced view on this," RBI governor said yesterday.
During the week, food articles group rose by 0.7 percent
as the prices of moong, spices and arhar increased by 3 percent.
At the same time fish-inland and masur rose by 2 per cent
each, while prices of gram, wheat, rice, tea, fruit and
vegetables moved up 1 per cent.
However, prices of maize and bajra declined by 1 per cent
each during the week. Fuel, power, light and lubricant group