Retail inflation (CPI-C) records spike in last 5 years

Retail inflation rate based on Consumer Price Index-Combined (CPI-C) has increased substantially during the last five years, the Parliament was told on Monday.

The Retail Inflation Rate (percentage) in the year 2017-18 was 3.59 which jumped to 6.77 in October (provisional). The data showed that the inflation rate increased gradually over the years from 3.41 in the year 2018-19 to 4.77 in 2019-20, to 6.16 in 2020-21, but in the year 2021-22 it came down to 5.51, Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

However, the data of the last few months of this year showed a declining trend in the inflation rate. September ‘s inflation rate was at 7.41 which came down to 6.77 in October, he said.

The minister said that soaring commodity prices at the international level and pandemic-induced supply-demand imbalances have caused a rise in the inflation rate worldwide, including in India.

“The Russia-Ukraine conflict has exacerbated the inflationary pressures in crude oil, gas, metals and edible oils (sunflower). Further, the onset of heat waves and uneven rainfall in the later part of the monsoon season has led to crop damage and a rise in vegetable prices. Recently, the inflation rate has come down to 6.77 per cent in October 2022,” he said.

The minister also said that the price situation of major essential commodities is monitored by the government on a regular basis and corrective action is taken from time to time.

Several supply-side measures have been taken by the government to address inflation and to ensure that the poor do not have to bear the extra financial burden.

“These include inter alia, reduction in excise duty by Rs 8 per litre on petrol and Rs 6 per litre on diesel on May 21, 2022, prohibition of export of wheat products under HS Code 1101, imposition of export duty on rice, reduction in import duties and cess on pulses, rationalisation of tariffs and imposition of stock limits on edible oils and oil seeds, maintenance of buffer stock for onion and pulses, the inclusion of soya meal as an essential commodity in the schedule of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and imposition of a stock limit on soya meal,” said the reply.

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