Food Inflation: Get ready to shell out more for pulses and sugar in Bangalore
Despite assurances from the government that food prices would soon start coming down, food inflation has risen to 16.74 percent for the second consecutive week. This means Bangaloreans will now have to shell out more for vegetables, pulses and sugar
Rice, pulses and edible oil have contributed in a big way to urban inflation since September 2009. Their price rise was way above overall consumer price inflation in urban India.
According to data released by the commerce & industry ministry, food inflation rose to 16.55% for the week ended May 22, mainly because of higher prices of pulses, milk and fruit. With this, food inflation has remained above 16% for the sixth consecutive week. Food inflation stood at 16.23% in the previous week.
According to latest data, potatoes and onions became cheaper by 34.09% and 11.55%, respectively. Prices of pulses, on the other hand, increased by 30.84%, that of milk by 21.12%, fruit by 13.7% and vegetables by 1.34%
Among other food items, rice and wheat turned costlier by 7.30% and 3.07%, respectively. Notwithstanding Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s repeatedly comforting assurances since he presented the budget in the last week of February, the inflation rate surged to 10.16 per cent in May.
Soon after presenting his budget in February, Mukherjee had promised that the inflation rate would moderate soon after the rabi harvest, which was expected to be good, hit the market. That has, however, not happened. The minister had expected the high price of pulses to ease after the arrival of rabi harvest in the market. But the situation is that pulses, fruits and vegetables have remained beyond the reach of common man. Furthermore, the prices of metal, textiles and plywood prices have also gone up this showing that inflation has spread to non-food items.
Although food inflation has been rising, analysts feel that inflation would come down in the next few months after the onset of the monsoon.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen have already expressed confidence that food inflation would come down because of a good rabi harvest and will stand at single digit by October. According to an FE analysis, food prices in major cities across the country during the week which ended on Monday, remained stable.
However, prices of pulses, mainly tur dal, have increased marginally in a few cities because of low stocks with traders and rise in global prices.
The analysis showed that rice prices, wheat prices went up in Mumbai, and Chennai during the week while Tur dal, sugar and potato prices went up in Bangalore. Mustard oil prices declined in Chennai and remained unchanged in the rest of the country.