Retail inflation for industrial workers marginally eased to 5.14 per cent in April compared to 5.64 per cent in March, mainly due to lower prices of certain food items.

“Year-on-year inflation for the month (April) stood at 5.14 per cent compared to 5.64 per cent for the previous month and 5.45 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year,” the labour ministry said in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, food inflation stood at 4.78 per cent in April against 5.36 per cent in the previous month. The same was at 6.56 per cent in April 2020.

The All-India CPI-IW (Consumer Price Index-Industrial Workers) for April 2021 increased by 0.5 points and stood at 120.1 points from 119.6 points in March.

In terms of one-month percentage change, it rose by 0.42 per cent in April compared to March this year while the increase was 0.92 per cent as against the same period a year ago.

The maximum upward pressure in current index came from Food & Beverages group contributing 0.43 percentage points to the total change.

At an item level, Arhar Dal, Masur Dal, Fish Fresh, Goat Meat, Poultry Chicken, Eggs-Hen, Edible Oils, Apple, Banana, Grapes, Leechi, Orange, Papaya, Tea Leaf, Tea Hot-drink, Barber/Beautician Charges, Flowers/Flower Garlands, Doctor’s Fee, Rail Fare, Servicing Charges of Motor Cycle and Cable Charges were among those that contributed to the rise in the index.

However, the increase was largely checked by items such as Rice, Onion, Bitter Gourd, Drum Stick, Lady Finger, Parval, Cooking Gas and Petrol.

At a centre level, Jabalpur recorded maximum rise of 3.6 points followed by Raipur and Bhavnagar with an increase of 3.2 and 3.1 points, respectively.

Six centres recorded an increase between 2 to 2.9 points while the rise was between 1 to 1.9 points at 11 centres. At 49 centres, the increase was in the range of 0 to 0.9 points.

Coonoor registered the maximum decrease of 2.3 points while three centres witnessed a decline between 1 to 1.9 points, and 15 centres saw a decrease between 0 to 0.9 points.

Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said the rise in the index will result into increased wages of working class population by way of an increase in dearness allowance payable to them.

“Decline in inflation during April 2021 is a sign of respite for consumers which is mainly due to lower retail prices of vegetables,” he noted.

CPI-IW is the single most important price statistics that have financial implications.

It is primarily used to regulate the dearness allowance of government employees and workers in industrial sectors. It is also used in the fixation and revision of minimum wages in scheduled employments besides measuring the inflation in retail prices.

Director General Labour Bureau D P S Negi said the rise in the index during April 2021 is in line with all other price indices compiled and released and decline in inflation during the month has been observed across all retail price indices released by other government agencies.

The Labour Bureau, an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, has been compiling Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers every month on the basis of retail prices collected from 317 markets spread over 88 industrially important centres in the country.

The data is released on the last working day of succeeding month.

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