Retail inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), was 8.83 per cent in February, as per the government data released here today.
According to the data, milk and its products prices went up by 15.22 per cent in March as compared the price level in the same month a year ago. Similarly, the price of edible oil rose by 14.2 per cent.
Fuel price increased by 11.8 per cent while clothing bedding and footwear rates rose by 12.50 per cent in the month under review as compared to year ago period. Prices of egg, fish and meat shot up 10.06 per cent, while vegetables became costlier by 10.20 per cent.
Worried over rising food prices, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said yesterday that high level of inflation would persist for time being and there was no escape from it.
RBI Governor D Subbarao, which reduced the benchmark rates by 0.5 per cent yesterday to boost growth, had termed inflation as “necessary evil”.
The inflation based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) has, however, eased to 6.89 per cent in March as compared to 9.68 per cent in the same month a year ago. It was 6.95 per cent in February.
According to the CPI data, retail inflation for rural and urban areas were 8.79 per cent and 10.30 per cent respectively in March this year, suggesting that prices rose faster in cities than in villages.
The All-India CPI is in addition to the three retail price indices—for agricultural labourers, rural labourers and industrial workers—prepared by the Ministry of Labour.