Surging food prices: Finance minister Arun Jaitley to meet top ministers later today

A day after wholesale price-based (WPI) inflation numbers rose to 0.79 percent in May amid rising food prices, finance minister Arun Jaitley will be holding a meeting with top ministers later in the day today to discuss the issue.

According to a media report, Jaitley will discuss the acceleration in food and vegetable prices over the past two consecutive months, mainly on the back of a disappointing monsoon last year.

Arun jaitley

Finance minister Arun Jaitley. AFP

Both WPI and consumer price inflation witnessed an upward bias in two straight months.

Food inflation rose to 7.88 percent in May as against 4.23 percent in April, showed a government data.

Inflation in vegetables came in at 12.94 percent, a sharp rise from 2.21 percent, a month earlier. Pulses inflation remained stubborn at 35.56 percent.

Prices of egg, meat and fish paced up by 9.75 percent and in fruits the rise was 3.80 percent. However, kitchen staple onion continued to witness decline at (-) 21.70 percent in May.

On Monday, another government data showed retail inflation touching a 21-month high of 5.76 percent in May mainly due to rising prices of food items.

The hardening of inflation could further dent the chances of a interest rate cut by Reserve Bank of India in its policy review in the months ahead.

In its policy review earlier this month, RBI had retained January 2017 retail inflation target at 5 per cent, though with an upward bias on account of firming of oil prices and implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations.

Updated Date: Jun 15, 2016 10:55 AM

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