Arun Jaitley calls emergency meet as vegetable prices soar
Amid the soaring prices of essential commodities in the country, finance minister Arun Jaitley today called on a top level meeting of ministers of union cabinet and other senior officials to discuss steps to curb the growing food inflation.
According to reports, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are expected to attend the meeting.
Data released by the industry department this week showed that Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation was on the up for a second consecutive month, touching 0.79% in May.
As per the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data for May, vegetable inflation rose from 2.21 per cent in April to 12.94 per cent. In the same period, food inflation rose from 4.23 percent in April to 7.88 percent in May.
The price of vegetables is a major concern for the government due to sluggish supply due to crop damage caused by delayed monsoon last year. Tomato prices in most retail markets across the country have doubled in the last 15 days to Rs 80 per kg. Potato rates have also been on the rise. A sharp rise in prices has also been seen for fruits, meat, fish, eggs and fuel.
Retail prices of pulses have also jumped by 11.34 percent according to the new data. Pulses inflation has remained in double digits since January 2015 and stood at 35.56 per cent in May.
According to NDTV, the meeting will take stock of the progress made in pulse imports, discuss creation of buffer stock and lifting of the stock by state governments for retail distribution at subsidised rates.