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India’s food inflation rises marginally

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) India’s annual food inflation rose slightly to 17.87 percent for the week ended Feb 20 from 17.58 percent the week before, though the government had said that prices had started easing and would fall further following a good winter crop.

According to official data released Thursday, prices of essential items continued to move up, with pulses dearer by 35.23 percent, potatoes by 27.69 percent, vegetables by 15.45 percent and wheat by 14 percent.

The limited data on wholesale price index released by the commerce and industry ministry

also showed a rise in the index for primary articles by 15 percent and that for fuel, power, light and lubricants going up 9.59 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.

After the government hiked auto fuel prices, it is feared that food prices would rise further in the coming months.

Both houses of parliament Wednesday witnessed stormy scenes as opposition members demanded a rollback of petrol and diesel price hikes, saying they would have a cascading effect on the already high prices of essential commodities.

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

– Pulses: 35.23 percent

– Potatoes: 27.69 percent

– Vegetables: 15.45 percent

– Milk: 15.28 percent

– Wheat: 14 percent

– Cereals: 11.58 percent

– Onions: 11.14 percent

– Fruits: 10.41 percent

– Rice: 9.62 percent

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