Ashok Dasgupta

Due to surge in prices of food items

“High inflation will linger for some more time”

UPA has ran out of ideas, says BJP

NEW DELHI: The inflation rate went up to a new 13-year high of 11.42 per cent for the week ended June 14 from 11.05 per cent the previous week.

This was mainly due to the continuing surge in prices of food items such as milk, tea, cereals and edible oils, as also petroleum goods and steel products.

At this level, while the wholesale price index-based inflation was way above 4.13 per cent pegged for the similar week a year ago and breached the earlier high of 11.11 per cent notched on May 6, 1995, it still remained much lower than the record 16.9 per cent in March the same year.

Government to explain to people

With the possibility of double digit inflation lingering for some more time, despite anti-inflationary measures, the government is planning to go all out to explain to the people why prices are rising and the steps being taken to hold the price line.

Echoing the views of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram earlier that inflation “will remain in double digit for some more weeks,” his adviser Subhasis Gangopadhyay said high inflation would be there for some more time even if prices started stabilising owing to the base effect.

Mr. Gangopadhyay told journalists: “Do not harp on double digit inflation because it will stay for some time even if prices completely stabilise, because of the way we calculate inflation on the basis of this week last year… So do not expect actions to be taken by the government because there is double digit inflation in the next few weeks.”

During the week ended June 14, prices of tea rose by 3 per cent, milk 1 per cent, sunflower oil 4 per cent, vanaspati 2 per cent and imported edible oil, salt mustard oil by 1 per cent each.

Manufactured items of daily use such as soap were costlier by 8 per cent, detergents 9 per cent and hair oil by 1 per cent.

As for petroleum products, lubricant prices went up by 19 per cent, while steel products such as wire ropes and steel wires were dearer by 36 and 25 per cent respectively.

Some of the other items that contributed to high inflation were texturised yarn. Its price shot up by 16 per cent. While benzene price went up by 22 per cent, that of PVC resins rose by 17 per cent, thinners 16 per cent, enamels 10 per cent and electric motors by 12 per cent.

“Government has no solution”

The rising inflation rate provided an opportunity for the BJP to launch yet another scathing attack on the United Progressive Alliance government for not finding any “solution” to curb the price rise.

“The UPA government has no solution left to control rising inflation... It has ran out of ideas… it is a tottering government headed by a sulking Prime Minister,” party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad told journalists here.

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