Food inflation falls to 16.91 pc; vegetable prices still high
Snapping the five week rising trend, food inflation softened to 16.91 pc for the week ended 1st January 2011, although vegetables, onions and protein-based items continued to remained costly.
Food inflation fell by 1.41 percentage points from 18.32 percent recorded in the previous reporting week.
Even as the index of food inflation showed a meagre decline, vegetable prices soared by 70.73 percent on an annual basis in the wholesale market, official data showed.
Also onions continued to pinch the pocket of the common man as the prices went up by 70.70 percent on a year on year basis.
Among the individual items in the food inflation index, egg, meat and fish became costly by 16.70 percent, milk by 13.20 percent and fruits by 17.71 percent annually.
However, prices of pulses declined by 14.84 percent, wheat by 4.87 percent, potatoes by 1.67 percent and cereals by 0.12 percent on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, in the non-food category, the prices of fibres and minerals have climbed up by 36.71 percent and 16.70 percent, respectively.
Food inflation has remained high for the entire month of December. The rising food prices will get reflected in the monthly inflation data for December, scheduled to be announced on Friday.
The headline inflation in November had come down to 7.48 percent from 8.58 percent a month ago.
Steps to combat inflation to be announced shortly, says Pranab
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that the government will announce more steps to contain inflation later in the day.
“Last evening, it (steps to check inflation) was finalised. I think it will be issued today”, he said answering questions on Wednesday’s meeting to check rising food prices.
“We have analysed the situation. We have indicated what further steps we are going to take. We have also indicated that there should not be any unnecessary panic”, he said.
Food inflation for the week ending 1st January slipped to 16.91 per cent from the year’s high of 18.32 per cent a year ago during the previous week.
When asked whether the government will be able to contain surging inflation, the Finance Minister said, “of course”.
Mukherjee further said that within the food basket, the prices of items like vegetables including onion, fruits, milk, egg and meat are becoming dearer.
Following Tuesday’s high-level meeting called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on price rise, Mukherjee met Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar.
The meeting deliberated on the steps to contain price rise, especially of the essential kitchen items like onion and other vegetables.
Source: DDI News