By Devika Panse
Retail inflation for Industrial Workers rose to 3.97 percent in November 2017, mainly due to a surge in the prices of food items, kerosene and cooking gas.
“The year-on-year inflation measured by monthly CPI-IW (Consumer Price Index-Industrial Workers) stood at 3.97 percent for November 2017 as compared to 3.24 percent for the previous month (October 2017) and 2.59 percent during the corresponding month (November 2016) of the previous year,” the Labour Ministry said in a statement.
According to the Labour Bureau, The Consumer Price Index Numbers for Industrial Workers on base 1960=100 (old series) was compiled for workers in factories, mines and plantations. However, for the new series of Index Numbers on base 1982=100, the coverage of the industrial workers was increased to seven sectors: Factories, mines, plantations, railways, public motor transport undertakings, electricity generation and distribution establishments, along with ports and docks. A ‘working-class family’ is defined as one where one of the members worked as a manual Worker in one of the seven sectors as listed above, and which derived one half, or more, of its income through manual work.
The Consumer Price Index is compiled for industrial workers residing in 70 selected Centres in the country. The All-India Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers is based on these 70 centre indices. These centres have been selected on the basis of their industrial importance to the country in the first instance. They are then distributed among different states in proportion to the industrial employment in the state, subject to a maximum allotment of five centres in a state to a sector. In addition to these centres, the Labour Bureau, on the request of the state governments, is also compiling Consumer Price Index Numbers in respect of 6 additional centres. These are Kothagudem, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Chhindwara, Bhilwara and Tripura, by updating their different base years to that of 1982=100.
The current scenario
According to the statement from the Labour Ministry, the food inflation stood at 3.91 percent in November against 2.26 percent of the previous month (October 2017) and 1.66 percent during the corresponding month (November 2016) of the previous year. The All-India CPI-IW for November increased by a single point and was pegged at 288. On one-month percentage change, it increased by 0.35 percent between October and November, when compared with the decrease of 0.36 percent in the corresponding months of last year.
As for the items, wheat atta, eggs (hen), goat meat, milk (cow), onion, tamarind, bitter gourd, cabbage, carrot, coconut, potato, tomato, cooking gas, electricity charges, firewood, kerosene oil, private tuition fee, petrol, barber charges, among others, are responsible for the increase in the Index. However, this increase was kept at bay by arhar dal, gram dal, masur dal, urad dal, groundnut oil, fresh fish, poultry (chicken), chillies green, garlic, ginger, brinjal, cauliflower, french bean, green coriander leaves, methi, palak, radish, apple, banana, among others, which put a downward pressure on the Index.
At centre level, Giridih reported the maximum increase of (seven points) followed by Salem and Puducherry (six points each) and Rourkela, Sholapur, Mercara and Ghaziabad (five points each). Among others, four points increase was observed in five centres, three in 16 centres, two points in 13 and one in 12 centres. On the contrary, Kolkata recorded a maximum decrease of three points, followed by Munger-Jamalpur, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Doom Dooma Tinsukia (two points each). Among others, one point decrease was observed in seven centres. Rest of the 13 centres indices remained stationary. The indices of 34 centres are above the all-India Index and that of 42 centres are below the national average. The indices of Vishakhapatnam and Ghaziabad centres remained at par with the all-India index.
These developments mean that the workers will have to shell out more cash for their daily needs, with the commencement of the new year. This may mean a negative moral sentiment when it comes to consumer spending among the working class, with retail inflation on the rise.
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