New Delhi: Attributing near double-digit inflation to the price rise in food items, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday expressed hope that agricultural commodity rates will calm down as result of the good monsoon.

A file photo of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The rise in inflation based on wholesale prices in October from 9.72% in September was mainly on account of higher prices of fruits and vegetables, manufactured goods and petrol.

“For seven months, from April to October, 2011... main reason for high inflation is food inflation... There has been a substantial increase," Mukherjee said, adding that the decline in the rate of price rise in primary articles was neutralized by rising food prices.

The government, he added, would have to address supply side constraints to deal with food inflation, which stood at 11.81% for the week ended 29 October.

Headline inflation, which takes into account the change in prices of food and manufactured goods, has remained stubbornly near the double-digit mark despite 13 hikes in key policy rates by the Reserve Bank since March, 2010.

High inflation will make it difficult for the RBI to reverse its tight monetary stance at its next policy review, due on 16 December.

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