Inflation rate keeps climbing, now at 42-month high

May 2nd, 2008 - 1:56 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) India’s annual rate of inflation shot up to a 42-month high of 7.57 percent for the week ended April 19 from 7.33 percent for the week before due to an overall increases in wholesale prices. The inflation rate had moved up to 7.33 percent for week ended April 12 from 7.14 percent for the week before, as per statistics on the official wholesale price index released by the commerce and industry ministry Friday.

The data comes in the backdrop of another set of administrative and monetary measures this week to rein in prices, including another 25 basis points hike in cash reserve ratio announced by the central bank to check the money supply in the system.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also appealed to the Indian industry to help the government in fighting inflation and called upon the corporate sector to tighten their belts to help check price rise and inflationary expectations.

“A measure of sobriety in corporate lifestyles and compensation can also help cut costs and maintain the price level. This is what I mean by the tightening of belts. It helps your firms, it helps the consumer,” he had told industry leaders at a conference Tuesday.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had Tuesday imposed export duties on steel, cement and basmati rice and lowered tariffs on some raw materials. Export of Non-basmati rice had already been barred earlier.

In the concluding speech on the Finance Bill, 2008 - which was later passed by the Lok Sabha - the finance minister also made import of pig iron, mild steel products and semi finished products duty free against the current tariff of five percent.

He also imposed an export duty of Rs.8,000 per tonne on basmati rice, scrapped import duties on zinc and metallurgical coal and levied a 12 percent duty on cement costing Rs.250 per bag and higher.

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