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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Food prices jumped 13.32 pc in October

14 Nov 2009

NEW DELHI: India's annual rate of inflation, based on wholesale prices, rose sharply to 1.34 per cent in October from 0.5 per cent in the previous month, mainly on account of a 13.32 per cent jump in prices of food articles.

Data on the official wholesale price index released on Saturday showed that over the past year, prices of potatoes have nearly doubled while onions have become dearer by 37.6 per cent.

Similarly, pulses are costlier by 22.81 per cent, vegetables by 17.02 per cent, rice by 13.22 per cent, wheat by 6.88 per cent, milk by 10.03 per cent and fruits by 5.83 per cent, showed the statistics released by the industry ministry.

During the 12-month period under review, the index for manufactured products was up 1.36 per cent while that for fuels, the other major commodity group, declined by 6.55 per cent.

As per a decision taken by the cabinet, the data on official wholesale price index is now released only on a monthly basis, doing away with the practice of weekly updates, in a bid to curb "volatility" in the markets.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said food prices would come down "after a month or so" as a result of steps taken to import food and create a buffer stock.

The Reserve Bank of India and the government have warned India's annual inflation rate based on wholesale price index for all commodities will rise to 6-6.5 per cent by March, while the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council has pegged the rate at 6 per cent.

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