New Delhi: Costlier protein-based items and fruits pushed up the food inflation to a two-and-a-half month high of 9.13% for the week ended 11 June, prompting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to say that price rise needs to be contained as high inflationary regime was unacceptable.
As per the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data released by the government today, fruits became dearer by 28.66%, milk by 15.30%, onions by 11.89% and egg, meat and fish by 10.56%, adding to the woes of common man.
“... We are in region of high inflationary regime, which is not acceptable. It will have to be brought down,” Mukherjee told reporters here.
Food inflation was 8.96% in the previous week and 23% a year ago. The previous high at 9.18% was recorded for the week ended 26 March, 2011.
The headline inflation, which includes inflation of food and non-food primary items and manufactured products, stood at 9.06% in May.
According to experts, monsoon could play an important role in determining the prices of essential items.
“If monsoon rains are not normal, foodgrain production could plummet. However, even in case of a good monsoon it is necessary to have adequate infrastructure and supply chain in place to ensure that provisions reach the markets in time,” said Deloitte, Haskin & Sells director Anis Chakravarty.
The latest surge in food inflation comes close on the heels of the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast that monsoon rains are expected to be below normal at 95% of the Long Period Average (LPA), with margin for error of plus or minus 4%.