The annual rate of inflation in India which was below 4 per cent in the first week of January soared to a staggering 7.41 per cent by the last week of march and is expected to move up even further.
With prices of essential commodities almost doubling in less than 3 months, the household budget has gone for a toss. Now with the Reserve Bank of India hinting at a rise in interest rates, the common man is in for tougher times ahead.
Rising prices have forced India's United Progressive Alliance government to take urgent measures -- like banning export of non-basmati rice, pulses, edible oil and cement -- to rein in runaway inflation. High inflation rate has taken a political colour in the country with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Left allies accusing the government of its failure to address the aam aadmi's woes.
According to India Inc, however, the highest point in inflation is yet to hit India. A new survey says that nearly two-thirds of the executives in India expect prices to flare up in the next six months. The report -- Economic and Hiring Outlook, First Quarter 2008: A McKinsey Global Survey -- states that as many as 64 per cent of Indian executives expect the rate of inflation to rise in the next six month, while only 20 per cent expect a decline in the rate of price rise.
Among the products primarily responsible for the current inflation are food products of different kinds, including cereals, intermediates like metals and the universal intermediate, oil.
So why are prices rising and how do these affect people like you and me? Read on. . .
Image: Activists from Trinamool Congress and its new ally Socialist Unity Centre of India shout slogans as they take part in a protest against inflation in Kolkata. | Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images
Also read: What you must know about inflation