India’s wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation climbed to 17.05% for the week-ended January 22 — up from the previous week’s 15.57% — reflecting price shocks in essential commodities, data released on Thursday showed.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee termed the rise in food prices as a matter of “grave concern.”
“Price rise always, particularly, the commodity price and food items are matter of grave concern,” he told reporters.
He said efforts are being made both from the demand and supply side to moderate it.
Making matters worse, crude oil prices have inched up to a 28-week high amid mounting political tension in Egypt is impacting global crude oil prices. Oil firms see this as “a worrying trend” that could lead to another petrol price hike.
The under-recoveries — the difference between the cost and sale price of fuel —on petrol is R3 and for diesel, R8 per litre. On January 15, oil firms increased petrol prices by R2.50 per litre.
In India, which imports two-thirds of its crude oil requirements, government’s macroeconomic managers are groping for options to tame prices without upsetting the growth momentum.
Vegetables as a whole became dearer by 77.05% on an annual basis followed by fruits (15.47%), egg, meat and fish (15.05%) and milk (11.41%).