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Updated: April 16, 2012 16:35 IST

Rising food inflation disturbing, says Pranab

PTI
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Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Terming the trend of rising prices of food items as “disturbing”, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said the government will take steps to clear the supply-side bottlenecks to ease the price situation.

“Food inflation in the month of March has increased which is a disturbing factor,” he said while commenting on the overall inflation data for the last month.

Inflation declined marginally to 6.89 per cent in March, from 6.95 per cent a month ago. It was 9.68 per cent in March last year.

Pointing out that the government would have been more comfortable had the inflation been closer to 6.5 per cent, he said, “We shall have to be alert on it... Of course the supply side constraint substantially effect food inflation. We will be addressing that.”

Inflation in food items rose sharply to 9.94 per cent in March, as against 6.07 per cent in February. Food articles have 14.3 per cent share in the WPI basket.

Mr. Mukherjee said, however, he hoped that in course of time inflation will moderate.

During the month, vegetables inflation was as high as 30.57 per cent, as against 1.57 per cent in February.

Also, milk became expensive by 15.29 per cent, while rice and cereals turned costlier by 4.73 per cent and 4.41 per cent respectively.

Potatoes too became costlier by 11.60 per cent, and the price of pulses was up 10.05 per cent in March.

Prices of eggs, meat and fish prices rose 17.71 per cent.

The rate of price rise was lower than 20 per cent in February.

Meanwhile, there is widespread expectation that RBI may lower lending rate by 0.25 per cent at its annual credit policy announcement tomorrow, although the inflation rate is still higher than the central bank’s comfort level of 5-6 per cent.

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It is a complete sense of irony that the country's finance minister has to wonder about a sudden bout of increased inflation. It was the same scenario last year and the same minister promised to get to the bottom of the issue. No new reforms were undertaken that could have tackled the problem after a complete year and a complete circle the things are as they were before. The government needs to be taught a lesson in the coming elections.

from:  Jaiganesh
Posted on: Apr 17, 2012 at 17:42 IST

It is same that people in high office talk and never work. For the last
few years the food prices are going up where as the farmers are
committing suicide with debts. This clearly shows that the beneficiaries
are middlemen only.
Talk talk talk...no action, please resign and stay at home.

People are better off in old barter system and lived happily.

from:  Ravi Ramireddy
Posted on: Apr 16, 2012 at 20:37 IST

The central government definitely by now knows the relationsip between the export of a food item and the price. Over the last five years, from 2007 onwards food items prices have been sky rocketing with a very strong corelation with quantity of exports of food items.This government understands the issue well but hesitates or is unable to take the proper decision of stopping exports of all food items. The damage being done by allowing exports of food items and the way food prices are rising will be irreversable. The high fly retail stores are also going on predictable course of actions to raise the food prices by spreading a concept " the consumers have no choice but to pay for a food item because they have to eat." But the poverty which is being spread, the malnourishment which is being spread is definitely anti national. In summer the season for ladies fingers, ladies fingers is being sold at Rs. 80/- per Kg, drumsticks at Rs. 80/- per Kg., milk at rs. 40/- litre. No choice.

from:  Usha Srivastava
Posted on: Apr 16, 2012 at 19:00 IST

Well this was what the goverment said last year ,now we are seeing the same
inflationary trends , same bottle necks , same speculators,food prices high while
food rots in the storaage sites
This is why mutiretail cold chains should be allowed(Indian and forgein) players with
an independent ombudsman, to act as a fair regulator
food security means cutting out the middlemen who drive up the prices so that both
the farmer and the consumer get a good deal

from:  raj
Posted on: Apr 16, 2012 at 18:55 IST

You do not have to worry Mr. Mukherjee as I am sure UPA 2 MPs have lots
of money and they can buy food. For poor people since when you started
worrying?

from:  Raju
Posted on: Apr 16, 2012 at 18:33 IST

we all know that...but what are you doing about it Sir?

from:  rohit
Posted on: Apr 16, 2012 at 17:30 IST

Whenever Congress comes in power, it comes on the backbone of middlemen and then benefit them by one or the other way. These middlemen who are earning too much by eating from the supply chain, are creating all this.

Mr. Mukherjee first stop all these middlemen which Congress and NCP flourish on.

from:  Ashish Jain
Posted on: Apr 16, 2012 at 16:29 IST
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