Rising Inflation from Widening Gap Between Wholesale and Retail Prices and the Growing Demand due to Rise in Income Levels; Asks State Governments to Ensure that all Bottlenecks in the Supply Chain are Removed at the Earliest : FM

Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee has asked State Governments to urgently look into the supply management of items that are driving the current round of food inflation in the economy, in particular looking at the local factors that are widening the gap between the wholesale and retail prices. Mr. Mukherjee said that the State Governments need to ensure that all bottlenecks in the supply chain are removed so that food prices can be brought down quickly.

The Finance Minister was reacting to the recent figures of food inflation which has shown a rising trend in the last few weeks and was at 18.32 per cent for the week ending December 25, 2010. He said that food inflation for the week ending on December 25, 2010 is more than doubled from its level of 8.6 per cent on November 20, 2010. Shri Mukherjee said that much of this inflation has been due to significant increase in the prices of a few primary items like fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, poultry, eggs and fish. He said that in fact, in the week for which the data has been released today, three-fourths of food inflation is explained by inflation in vegetables, and nearly one-fourth is explained by inflation in milk. While there are some weather induced supply constraints on some of these items, which go against the seasonal decline normally seen at this time of the year, a large part of price rise is due to widening gap between the wholesale and retail prices and the growing demand for these products due to rising income levels.

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