Food inflation still high: Ahluwalia

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia Thursday termed food inflation, which fell nearly by a percentage point to 15.53 percent as of October 9, as ‘still high’ and hoped it would come down sharply in November.

‘I think it (food inflation) is still high. I am glad that it has come down. But when the (overall inflation) data for November will become available then… in the case of food, you will see a much bigger decline,’ Ahluwalia said.

Food inflation in the previous week was 16.37 per cent.

Speaking to reporters on sidelines of a book release event, Ahluwalia attributed the current high level of food inflation largely to high milk, fruits and vegetable prices. He said prices of food grains were moderate.

Ahluwalia also partly attributed the high food inflation to rise in rural income which, he said, was leading to high consumption level. This, in turn, was further jacking food prices up, he said.

‘If rural income would go up, more people will be buying vegetables, then their prices would go up. (Food) inflation is not up because of grain prices, they are moderate. It is up because of milk, fruit and vegetables.’

‘I don’t think prices of wheat and rice are high.’

Milk prices were up by 21.65 per cent during the week ending October 9 while fruits and vegetables turned expensive by 15.65 per cent and 12.26 per cent, respectively. However, cereal prices were up by just 5.88 per cent.

The plan panel deputy chairperson hoped the food inflation to come down to single-digit level soon, but refused to specify the exact time-frame for it.

‘I expect that food inflation would come down to single-digit level,’ he said.

–Indo-Asian news Service


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