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Food inflation in double digits

business Updated: Sep 02, 2011 02:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
New Delhi

India's food inflation has raced into the double digit level to 10.05% for the week ended August 20, fuelled by a sharp spike in the prices of onions and potatoes.

What's more, eggs, fish, meat and milk have become costlier, pushing up the food inflation figure to double digits, the data released on Thursday showed.

Worse, costlier food and commodities are jacking up the prices of manufactured products. India's overall inflation stood at 9.22% in July.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee termed the inflation rate as disturbing. "Inflation is always a matter of concern, and we shall have to ensure and improve the supply of food items," he said.

But global food prices are nearing record highs, implying that the government will have to cough up precious foreign exchange to import essential commodities to control prices.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index — which keeps track of prices of a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar — was 39% higher in June than it was in the same month last year.

Experts said the Reserve Bank, which will present its mid-quarter monetary policy review in September, might have to go for a fresh rate hike despite strong signs of a slowdown in the domestic economy.