Retail inflation for industrial workers rose to 4.48 per cent in February, due to higher prices of fuel and certain food items. It had stood at 3.15 per cent in the previous month of January.
"Year-on-year inflation for the month (February 2021) stood at 4.48 per cent compared to 3.15 per cent for the previous month (January 2021) and 6.84 per cent during the corresponding month ( February 2020) of the previous year," the labour ministry said in a statement. Similarly, it stated that food inflation stood at 4.64 per cent as against 2.38 per cent of the previous month and 8.33 per cent during the corresponding month (February 2020) a year ago.
India's inflation target for MPC till FY26 kept unchanged
The All-India CPI-IW (Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers) for February, 2021 increased by 0.8 points and stood at 119 points. On 1-month percentage change, it increased by 0.68 per cent with respect to the previous month (January 2021) as against a decline of 0.61 per cent between corresponding months (February 2020) a year ago.
The maximum upward pressure in current index came from 'fuel and light' group contributing 0.31 percentage points to the total change. It was further supplemented by 'miscellaneous' and 'food and beverages' groups contributing 0.23 and 0.21 percentage points respectively to total rise. At item level, milk, mustard oil, soyabean oil, sunflower oil, apple, mango, orange, lady finger, onion, parval, served and processed packaged food, cooking gas, barber charges and petrol are responsible for the rise in index.
However, this increase was checked by items like rice, potato, tomato, eggs, cabbage and ginger putting downward pressure on the index. At the central level, Madurai recorded the maximum increase of 4 points. Among others, three centres observed an increase between 3 and 3.9 points, seven centres between 2 and 2.9 points, 22 centres between 1 and 1.9 points, and 34 centres between 0 and 0.9 points. On the contrary, Labac-Silchar and Kolkata recorded a decrease of 2.4 and 2 points, respectively.
Among others, five centres observed a decline between 1 and 1.9 points and 14 centres between 0 and 0.9 points. Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said, "The rise in index will result into increase in wages of working class population by way of increase in dearness allowance payable to them."
The CPI-IW is primarily used to regulate the dearness allowance of government employees and workers in industrial sectors. It is also used in fixation and revision of minimum wages in scheduled employments besides measuring the inflation in retail prices. The minister also said, "The rise in inflation reported during February 2021 is mainly due to rise in prices of items like milk, mustard oil, soyabean oil, sunflower oil, apple, mango, orange…etc."
The Labour Bureau, an attached office of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, compiles CPI-IW every month on the basis of retail prices collected from 317 markets spread over 88 industrially important centres in the country. The index is compiled for 88 centres across India and is released on the last working day of succeeding month.