Inflation in India at 13-month high

Saturday, 29 March 2008, 05:13 Hrs
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New Delhi: India's annual rate of inflation, based on wholesale prices, rose sharply to a 13-month high of 6.68 percent for the week ended March 15, exerting pressure on the central bank that has targeted to keep it below 5 percent.

This is the highest level since the 6.69 percent rate Jan 27 last year. The inflation, computed from the Wholesale Price Index, was ruling at 5.92 percent for the week ended March 8, official data showed Friday.

The higher inflation rate was on account of higher prices of both commodities like metals but also food articles like vegetables and edible oils.

The rising inflation immediately prompted the government to take some remedial action, with the commerce ministry saying it will end a tax refund incentive on some 50 items, including steel, cement and non-basmati rice.

"When there is a shortage in the country and prices are high, why give export incentives?" Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai queried while speaking to reporters on the margins of an event at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

He said an empowered group of ministers would meet here April 2 to ensure steady supply of food items in the backdrop of soaring inflation, especially the prices of rice, wheat and procurement of edible oil.
Source: IANS
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