Pranab Mukherjee expresses concern over food inflation

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New Delhi, Jan 6 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that food inflation, which stood at 18.32 per cent for the week ending December 25, 2010, remained an area of concern.

"It has moved further. It is an area of concern," said Mukherjee after the government's weekly data showed that food inflation kept climbing for the fifth straight week.

The weekly inflation figure is the highest during the past one year.

Food inflation shot up to nearly a year's high of 18.32 per cent on December 25, due to spurt in vegetables, onion and milk prices.

The wholesale food inflation jumped by 3.88 percentage points from 14.44 per cent recorded in the week ending December 18, 2010.

Mukherjee, however, said these were weekly variations and figure for the month of December was yet to come before a final assessment could be made.

"These are weekly (figures). Let us wait for monthly figures. These are weekly variations, but is a matter of concern," he added.

Mukherjee had earlier said that the year-end inflation might be around 6.5 percent even after the recent fluctuation in the prices of various commodities.

Earlier today, expressing concern over the skyrocketing prices of commodities, Dr. C Rangarajan, Chairman of Indian Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, said high inflation remained a cause of worry for the government.

Dr. Rangarajan asserted that inflation above five percent would be troublesome for the Indian economy.

"Well, if the overall inflation remains at a reasonably high level, that is a matter for concern. Whatever may be the factor that triggers inflation if the overall inflation remains at the level, which is well above five percent, then it is an uncomfortable level. I think that we have always thought the inflation level should remain close to about four percent," he added. (ANI)

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