India’s annual food inflation rises to 14.55 percent

New Delhi, Nov 19 ( India’s annual food inflation, based on wholesale prices, moved up to 14.55 percent for the week ended Nov 7 from 13.68 percent the week before, official data released Thursday showed.

The 52-week average prices of onions were higher by 35 percent and potatoes became costlier by 30.7 percent, according to the data on wholesale price index released by the commerce ministry.

Statistics also showed average prices of vegetables had gone up 18 percent, pulses 17 percent, rice 16 percent, wheat 5 percent, fruits 7 percent and milk 8 percent.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday said here that the government may have to import rice if the kharif crop output was inadequate. Floods and the worst dry spell in nearly four decades in the country have hurt farm output causing rise in food prices.

This was the third week for which data on wholesale price index was issued as per the new guidelines approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs that restricts the disclosure of index numbers to primary articles and fuels.

The full data is now made available on a monthly basis as opposed to the weekly release earlier.

The Reserve Bank of India and the government have warned India’s annual inflation rate based on wholesale price index for all commodities will rise to 6-6.5 percent by March, while the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council has pegged the rate at 6 percent.