INDIA: Inflation at 3-year high, hits 7 pc

NEW DELHI: Inflation galloped to 7 per cent for the week ended March 22, on higher prices of food, vegetables, minerals and manufactured items, even as measures to tame prices are expected to take effect only in 2-3 weeks.

Inflation growth in the previous week was 6.68 per cent and was 6.54 per cent in the corresponding week a year-ago.

On Monday, the government decided to abolish import duty on crude form of edible oils, cut rate on refined edible oils and ban non-basmati rice exports among other measures to ease the pressure off prices.

However, Manila-based Asian Development Bank expects these measures to influence prices only by the month end.

The high rate of inflation could also prompt RBI to take monetary measures, like hike in interest rate or tighten money supply through hike in CRR.

During the week, prices of fruits and vegetable, pulses, cereals, eggs, meat and fish went up, while condiments and spices were cheaper. The mineral category-index shot up by 38.2 per cent driven by 46 per cent rise in prices of iron ore.

In the manufactured items category, sunflower oil, vanaspati, butter, mustard oil, sugar and groundnut oil became expensive, while prices of ghee, coconut oil mellowed down by 1 per cent each.

At the same time, prices of steel ingots, alloy steel casting were higher. However, car chassis moved down by one per cent.

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