Inflation soars to 8.24%, battle now on streets

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New Delhi, Jun 6 (UNI) As the battle of inflation took to the streets, there was more bad news for the government and the common man as the headline inflation rate for the week ended May 24 soared to 8.24 per cent-- the highest in the last 46 months.

The inflation rate of 8.24 per cent has to be seen in comparison to the inflation rate of 8.10 per cent in the previous week.

Data put out by the government today, showed that increase in prices of primary articles was the main reason for inflation crossing all earlier thresholds. The Group has a weight of 22.02 per cent in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).

The index of manufactured products, which has a weight of 63.75 per cent, rose by 0.1 per cent.

This means that the common man's basket has shrunk the most as both food articles and manufactures are its largest components.

Protests over spiralling prices all over the country have spread since yesterday, even as a 1,000 crowd marching to Parliament met with water canons being thrown back by the police.

This is now more a battle between the two main political parties-- the BJP and Congress -- with the Opposition accusing the government of mishandling the situation and Finance Minister P Chidambaram putting the blame of rising prices at the doors of the international energy scene.

The WPI for 'All Commodities' for the week ended May 24 rose by 0.1 per cent to 229.8 (Provisional) from 229.6 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The annual inflation rate was 5.15 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year, a statement said.

Inflation for the week ended March 29 was revised to 7.75 per cent from 7.41 per cent.

The index for 'Primary Articles' group rose by 0.2 per cent to 241.3 (Provisional) from 240.9 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group rose by 0.5 per cent to 231.5 (Provisional) from 230.3 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of raw rubber (four per cent), raw cotton (two per cent) and groundnut seed (one per cent).

However, the prices of coir fibre (15 per cent) and raw silk (one per cent) declined.

The index for 'Fuel, Power, Light and Lubricants' group remained unchanged at its previous week's level of 347.2 (Provisional).

Editors here picking up from opening para of DC 6, economy-lead inflation-two last.

UNI SG MP AS1815

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