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Food inflation jumps to four-and-a-half-month high of 9.90%

This is the highest rate of price rise in food items since the week ended 12th March, when food inflation stood at 10.05%

New Delhi: Food inflation surged to a four-and-half month high of 9.90% during the week ended 30th July from 8.04% in the previous week, mainly on the back of costlier onions, fruits, vegetables and protein-based items, reports PTI.

The rate of price rise in food items was recorded at 16.45% in the last week of July 2010.

As per data released by the government today, prices of onions went up by 36.62% year-on-year, while fruits became 16.49% more expensive.

During the week under review, vegetables overall became dearer by 14.61% and prices of eggs, meat and fish were up by 13.44% on an annual basis.

In addition, cereal prices went up by 6.22%, potatoes by 10.85% and milk by 10.38%.

However, pulses became cheaper by almost 6% on an annual basis.

The latest numbers are likely to put further pressure on the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), who have been battling the high rate of price rise over a period of one-and-a-half years.

This is the highest rate of price rise in food items since the week ended 12th March, when food inflation stood at 10.05%.

Overall, primary articles recorded inflation of 12.22% for the week ended 30th July, up from 10.99% in the previous week. Primary articles have a share of over 20% in the WPI.

On the other hand, inflation in non-food articles, which include fibres, oil seeds and minerals, fell to 15.05% from 15.60% in the previous week.

Fuel and power inflation stood at 12.19% for the week ended 30th July, marginally up from 12.12% in the week ended 23rd July.

Food inflation was in double digits for most of 2010, but had started to moderate since March this year. It fell to a 20-month low of 7.33% in mid-July, but the rate of price rise of food items has been on the rise ever since.

Headline inflation stood at 9.44% in June. The RBI has already hiked interest rates 11 times since March 2010, to tame demand and curb inflation.

In its Economic Outlook for 2011-12 released earlier this month, the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council projected headline inflation to remain high at around 9% till October. The rate of price rise will ease from November, declining to around 6.5% by March 2012, it said.

The report also said that while pressure from food inflation has fallen in recent months, the rate of price rice still remains quite high, with the possibility of a further surge in coming months.

Earlier this week, the government informed the Parliament that demand-supply mismatches were responsible for the current inflationary situation in the country.

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W Bengal govt initiates process to sort out land issue for JSW project

"Vesting of land is part of the normal technical rectification and will be returned to us," JSW Bengal managing director and CEO Biswadip Gupta said

Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Wednesday began the process to sort out the land issue holding back the lease deed for Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Bengal for its ambitious Rs35,000 crore integrated steel plant at Salboni in West Midnapore district, reports PTI.

The government decided to vest 270 acre out of 294 acre acquired which would be returned to JSW.

Explaining why this had been done, land reforms commissioner RD Meena said "No one can buy more than 24 acre under single ownership and so the government has decided to vest 270 acre, which will be returned to the original owner (JSW Group).

"Vesting of land is part of the normal technical rectification and will be returned to us," JSW Bengal managing director and CEO Biswadip Gupta said.

"Once the process of vesting is done then the government can complete the lease deed with us for the entire land," he said.

Industry minister Partha Chatterjee said the government did not want to do anything that would send a wrong message to the industry, "but we will seek an explanation on holding the land without a lease deed. They have to apply to regularise."

Stating that JSW had requested another 49 acre for railway connectivity to the project, Mr Meena said "We have asked them to apply and the state government will consider it."

Yesterday's meeting was follow-up of the one on 5th August with Mr Chatterjee on the progress of the project.

JSW envisaged a 10 million tonne steel plant with captive power plant in phases. In the first phase, a three-million tonne steel plant would be setup.

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