Food articles contribute 5.58 percent to inflation

August 11th, 2008 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Food articles contributed only 5.58 percent to India’s inflation that hit a 13-year high of 12.01 percent for the week ended July 26, the agriculture ministry said Monday. The ministry, in an official press communiqué, said food articles had contributed 9.74 to the country’s inflation as of July 28 last year.

“Within 12.01 percent over all wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation for the week ending July 26, the contribution of food articles is 5.58 percent (last year this figure was 9.74 percent as of July 28),” said the ministry.

It said the point-to-point annual inflation was negative for several items including potato, onion and groundnut, while it was higher in the case of pulses (2.24 percent), gram (5.79 percent), masur (16.14 percent), tea (36.61 percent) and sugar group (2.32 percent).

About all-India price trends, the ministry said prices of wheat remained steady at all reporting centres except for an increase in Bangalore.

The ministry said prices of sugar remained steady except for an increase in Bhubaneshwar and Shillong, and prices of tur dal remained steady except in Bangalore, while actually decreasing in Lucknow, Agartala, Bhubaneshwar and Chennai.

The government attributed the high onion prices to the lean period when no fresh crop is available, besides scanty rain in onion-producing areas of Nashik in Maharashtra and Gujarat owing to which the sowing of kharif crop was “less and delayed”.

The government said it is procuring adequate amount of pulses to meet demand, particularly in view of the decision to distribute pulses at a subsidy of Rs.15 per kilogram to poor families through the public distribution outlets.

“The PSUs (public sector units) have contracted import of about 1.4 million tonnes of pulses in 2007-08 of which about 1.22 million tonnes has arrived and 1.10 million tonnes have been disposed of till July 31,” the agriculture ministry said.

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