India’s inflation rate moves up to new high

May 9th, 2008 - 2:58 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) India’s annual rate of inflation rose to a new high of 7.61 percent for the week ended April 26 from 7.57 percent for the week before amid assurances from Finance Minister P. Chidambaram that more steps will be taken to rein in prices. The data on official wholesale price index (WPI) released Thursday revealed that there was an increase of 0.2 percent during the week on account of a 0.5 percent rise in the sub-group of food articles even as non-food items declined by 0.2 percent.

The inflation had shot up to a 42-month high during the week ended April 19.

Significantly, the statistics further revealed that the annual rate of inflation for week ended March 1 based on final data was 6.21 percent, against the 5.11 percent computed from provisional data.

Speaking to reporters later, Chidambaram maintained that the rise in inflation for the week under review was not significant statistically and that no country in the world was witnessing a downward trend in prices.

“It is a matter of relief,” the finance minister said, adding: “More administrative measures will be taken if needed. We are also persuading cement companies to roll back prices.”

He asked the people to be calm and assured that steps taken by the government will take effect, but with a time lag. In the past, the government has banned export of several commodities while lowering duties on imports of some essential items.

“Let me tell you no country is witnessing a downward trend in prices,” Chidambaram said, and attributed the present level of inflation to high crude prices ruling at over $120 per barrel, as also hardening food and commodity prices.

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