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Retail inflation for farm, rural workers drops in July

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Retail inflation for farm and rural workers eased to 6.58 per cent and 6.53 per cent, respectively in July this year on account of lower prices of certain food items, the labour ministry said on Thursday.

Inflation based on CPI-AL (Consumer Price Index-Agricultural Labourers) and CPI-RL (Consumer Price Index-Rural Labourers) stood at 7.16 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively in June.

Inflation based on food index of CPI-AL and CPI-RL recorded at 7.83 per cent and 7.89 per cent, respectively in July 2020, according to a labour ministry statement.

Amongst states, the maximum increase in the consumer price index numbers for agricultural labourers was experienced by Meghalaya (15 points) and for rural labourers, it was experienced by Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya (14 points) mainly due to rise in the prices of milk, meat goat, fish dry, bidi, vegetables and fruits and bus fare etc, the statement said.

On the contrary, the maximum decrease in the CPI numbers for agricultural labourers and rural labourers was experienced by Tripura (-8 points) and (-5 points), respectively mainly due to fall in the prices of rice, meat goat, fish fresh/dry etc.

The all-India consumer price index numbers for agricultural labourers and rural labourers (base:1986-87=100) for the month of July 2020 increased by 3 and 4 points to stand at 1,021 and 1,028A points, respectively, the statement said.

The major contribution towards the rise in general index of agricultural labourers and rural labourers came from food, with 2.49 points and 2.64 points, respectively mainly due to rise in prices of arhar dal, masur dal, ground nut oil, meat goat, poultry, vegetables and fruits etc.

The rise/fall in index varied from state to state.

In case of agricultural labourers, it recorded an increase of 1 to 15 points in 17 states and a decrease of 3 to 8 points in 3 states.

Tamil Nadu with 1,216 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh with 786 points stood at the bottom.

In case of rural labourers, it recorded an increase of 1 to 14 points in 15 states and a decrease of 1 to 5 points in 4 states while it remained stationary in Rajasthan. Tamil Nadu with 1,202 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh with 838 points stood at the bottom.

Commenting on this, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said, “Despite the unfavorable situation in the country owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the measures taken by the government have been able to control the inflation during this period.”

Labour Bureau Director General D S Negi said, “The increase in the index will have a positive impact on the wages of millions of workers working in the unorganised sector in rural areas.

“Labour Bureau has been able to bring out the monthly indices as per the pre-defined schedule consistently even during the tough time of COVID-19,” Negi added.

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