“81 rupees?” asked an astonished TV anchor when an irate Bengaluru-based consumer called in after the recent 7.5-rupee hike in petrol prices. Perhaps cars that run on milk are now needed, the anchor suggested — when the caller said the dairy product costs around 30 rupees a litre.
What more does India's central bank have to do? Last week data showed March inflation rising to almost 9 percent on an annual basis. More importantly, core inflation is above 7 percent for the first time in 3 years meaning demand-side pressures are rising fast. And that's despite the Reserve Bank of India raising interest rates eight times since last March.
“Government Plan To Tackle Prices Is Just Hot Air” screamed the front page of Friday’s Mail Today, as India’s political media lined up to belittle what was billed as a list of anti-inflationary remedies but was robustly rejected as “already failed measures and oft-repeated homilies.”
Pictures of grain rotting in the rain in Punjab have shocked a country reeling under high food price inflation and where hundreds of thousands go to bed every night on an empty stomach.
It’s a laudable effort that often gets more brickbats than bouquets. This year, when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents the Union budget in parliament on February 26, he will walking a tightrope between managing ballooning fiscal deficit and supporting economic recovery in Asia’s third-biggest economy.
When is the National Statistics Day celebrated?
An average person may find it difficult to answer these questions.
Just as it is difficult to understand why the people are hurting even if the government inflation figures are near zero if not negative as they were a few weeks ago.
So it’s official. India has finally raised fuel prices, by more than most people expected. A hike in diesel prices in particular is sure to feed through into overall inflation. At the same the government removed the import duty on crude oil.
Is the sun setting on the Congress-led UPA government? India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is certainly riding high after victory in the southern state of Karnataka at the weekend , giving it a first chance to run a government in the south.And it’s the latest in a long losing streak for Congress in state elections. The question is whether the ruling party can turn things around.