First challenge for next govt: Food inflation set to return -Parthasarathi Biswas & Harish Damodaran

-The Indian Express

The past couple of months have seen prices of a host of farm commodities surge, mainly on the back of drought in large parts of western and southern India, coupled with an early and harsher-than-usual summer.

New Delhi, Pune:
THE BJP-LED NDA government’s tenure has been marked by benign food prices. Consumer food inflation has ruled below general retail inflation for 31 months running, from September 2016 to March 2019, while averaging a mere 1.3 per cent year-on-year during this period, as against 3.6 per cent for the latter.

But food inflation could well be the next government’s first challenge, regardless of who heads it. The past couple of months have seen prices of a host of farm commodities surge, mainly on the back of drought in large parts of western and southern India, coupled with an early and harsher-than-usual summer.

On Friday, the average traded price of maize at Davangere (Karnataka) was Rs 2,010 per quintal, compared to Rs 1,120 a year ago. Jowar and bajra were, likewise, selling for Rs 2,750 per quintal (Rs 1,600) at Jalgaon (Maharashtra) and Rs 1,900 per quintal (Rs 1,100) at Chomu (Rajasthan), respectively.

A lower crop — 31.5 million bales in 2018-19, down from 36.5 million bales last year — has led to kapas (raw un-ginned cotton), too, quoting at Rs 5,800 per quintal in Rajkot (Gujarat), from Rs 5,250 at this time last year.

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The Indian Express, 13 May, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/first-challenge-for-next-govt-food-inflation-set-to-return-5724369/?pfrom=HP

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