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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley worried over rising food prices

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has called for a high-level meeting at noon on Wednesday to discuss rising food prices in the country it is learnt.

Jaitley will meet top ministers in New Delhi to discuss food items inflation which saw a steep rise in May. Food prices have been inflated atleast for the last few months on the back of a dismal monsoon last year, which hampered farm produce and has led to a drought-like situation in many regions across the country which has led to the price rise.

In May, both consumer and wholesale inflation inched up to multi-month highs mostly on the back of a rise in food prices.

Consumer inflation hit a two-year high and wholesale inflation was at a 19-month high in May.

Consumer inflation or consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed to 5.76% in May compared to 5.47% in April this year and 5.01% in the year-ago period.

Food prices, which account for nearly 50% weightage in retail inflation, jumped 7.55% from 6.40% compared to in April.

In wholesale prices, food inflation rose to 7.88% compared 4.23% in the month.

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

Experts say that the surge in food prices is temporary, given the circumstances that have pushed up prices. This year, the Indian Meteorological Department expects a normal monsoon as does Skymet, which will help rein in vegetable and other food items’ prices but that is only likely to happen in the later part of the year ie during the next harvesting season.

 

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