J&K’s August inflation 7.2%, highest in India

Jammu and Kashmir’s inflation rate as per consumer price index (CPI) for the month of August is 7.
J&K’s August inflation 7.2%, highest in India
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Jammu and Kashmir's inflation rate as per consumer price index (CPI) for the month of August is 7.22 percent, highest among all states and about twice of all-India average of 3.69 percent, making the Himalayan state most expensive place in India to live.

According to the CPI data for August released by Union ministry of statistics and program implementation, J&K tops list of states in the inflation rate. 

Year on year consumer inflation in India declined to 3.69 percent in August of 2018 from 4.17 percent in July and below market expectations of 3.86 percent. It is the lowest inflation rate since October of 2017, mainly due to a sharp slowdown in food cost. 

However in Jammu and Kashmir despite slowing national inflation rate, there is no breather for inhabitants of the state. Major factors attributing to the rising costs in the state is heavy dependence on imports from other places.

J&K on an average imports good and food items worth Rs 40,000 crore annually from other states.

The ever increasing petroleum prices have become major reason for the escalating inflation in the state, given the heavy transportation costs and tough terrain. With around 52 percent state and central taxes on fuel, the prices of petrol and diesel have shoot up.

"Our failure to stop unabated conversion of agriculture land coupled with failure to introduce latest agro-technology is leaving us badly dependent on outside supplies. Adding to it, soaring fuel prices have resulted in increase in rates of almost every commodity meaning that people have to shelve out extra bucks from their pockets," said chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan.

Interestingly, food and beverages inflation went down to 0.85 percent in August from 1.73 percent in July and the food index alone rose 0.29 percent, well below 1.37 percent in July. Inflation slowed for fruits (3.57 percent compared to 6.98 percent in July); prepared meals, snacks, sweets etc. (4.16 percent compared to 4.46 percent); milk and products (2.66 percent compared to 2.96 percent); and eggs (6.96 percent compared to 7.41 percent). Also, prices fell for vegetables (-7 percent compared to -2.19 percent); pulses and products (-7.76 percent compared to -8.91 percent); and sugar and confectionery (-5.45 percent compared to -5.81 percent). On the other hand, prices rose faster for non-alcoholic beverages (1.86 percent compared to 1.4 percent); oils and fats (3.47 percent compared to 2.79 percent); spices (2.88 percent compared to 2.66 percent); and meat and fish (3.21 percent compared to 2.26 percent). 

Among non-food products, prices rose at a softer pace for: housing (7.59 percent compared to 8.3 percent); clothing and footwear (4.88 percent compared to 5.28 percent); pan, tobacco and intoxicants (5.34 percent compared to 6.34 percent); and miscellaneous (5.52 percent compared to 5.8 percent). Inflation rose for fuel and light (8.47 percent compared to 7.96 percent).

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