Although the government is taking steps to bring down inflation in the country, the prices of vegetables are still on the higher side. Tomatoes in Delhi are selling at Rs 60-80 per kg, while their prices are reaching up to Rs 100 in some parts of the country. The price of lemon is hovering at Rs 200-Rs 250 per kg in the national capital.
The prices of tomatoes and other vegetables are higher right now due to shortfall in supply. Traders at Ghazipur mandi said that during rains, the vegetable prices generally increase. Currently, the supply of tomatoes has fallen, that’s why the prices are going up, they said.
Apart from tomatoes and lemon, other vegetables are also selling at higher prices. Cauliflower is at Rs 120, potato at Rs 40, onion also at Rs 35-40, brinjal at up to 80 per kg, capsicum at Rs 100-Rs 130, spinach at Rs 60 per kg, and carrot at Rs 80.
The prevailing high inflation is hitting the pockets of the common man and the poor are seeing fall in their spendings. Several poor people are saying their incomes have remained the same whereas the prices of food items and other essential things have increased substantially. They said they are now buying less commodities than they used to do earlier.
Retail Inflation At 8-Year High
The retail inflation in April soared to an eight-year high of 7.79 per cent, against 4.23 per cent in April 2021 and 6.97 per cent in March 2022. Food inflation also increased to 8.38 per cent in April, compared with 1.96 per cent in the year-ago month and 7.68 per cent in the preceding month.
India Ratings and Research in its note said, “Retail inflation after averaging 4.1 per cent during FY16-FY19 had crossed the RBI’s upper tolerance band of 6 per cent for the first time in December 2019. Immediately after the economy fell in the grip of the first covid wave, resulting in the countrywide lockdown starting late March 2020 until May 2020. However, despite the collapse of demand, the monthly retail inflation mostly remained in excess of 6 per cent till November 2020 because of supply-side disruption.”
What is Expected Ahead?
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das in an interview with CNBC-TV18 said the central bank and the government have taken a number of steps in the past few months to control price rise in the country and the actions will have a sobering impact on inflation going forward.
India Ratings expects the retail inflation to increase till September 2022 and start declining gradually thereafter. “The inflation is expected to remain in excess of 6 per cent for four consecutive quarters starting 4QFY22 till 3QFY23. Under the assumption of a normal monsoon in 2022 and average crude oil price (Indian basket) at USD100/bbl, the RBI in its April 2022 monetary policy has projected the retail inflation to be 5.7 per cent in FY23 and 1Q, 2Q, 3Q and 4Q inflation to be 6.3 per cent, 5.8 per cent, 5.4 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively.”
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