India’s food inflation now at 17.58 percent

New Delhi, Feb 25 (Calcutta Tube) India’s annual food inflation based on wholesale prices fell to 17.58 percent for the week ended Feb 13 from 17.97 the week before, as per official data released Thursday.

Prices of essential items continued to move up, with vegetables dearer by 13.57 percent, potatoes by 30.4 percent, pulses by 35.74 percent and fruits by 12.08 percent over the 52-week period, official data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed.

The limited data on wholesale price index showed a fall in the index for primary articles by 15.84 percent, while that for Fuel,Power, Light & Lubricants remained at last week’s level of 9.89 percent.

India’s annual rate of inflation, based on the wholesale prices index, had risen to 8.56 percent in January from 7.31 percent in the previous month, primarily due to galloping food prices.

The Reserve Bank of India also raised its projected annual inflation rate at the end of this fiscal to 8.5 percent from 6.5 percent.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Feb 17 said that the measures taken by the government to tame inflation will take some time to have their effect and that the country would see a moderate rate of inflation in the next two months.

The pressure of the continuing upward movement of food prices has also forced the government to postpone a decision on a proposed fuel price hike.

The price rise of some essential food items over the 52-week period:

– Pulses: 35.74 percent

– Potatoes: 30.4 percent

– Vegetables: 13.57 percent

– Wheat: 14.93 percent

– Rice: 9.5 percent

– Onions: 12.46 percent

– Milk: 14.16 percent

– Fruits: 12.08 percent

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