New Delhi Feb 14 (ANI): Expressing concern over the marginal decline in rate of price rise in January, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said he hopes that the overall inflation will come down to seven percent by the end of March.
"I am hoping that it (inflation) would be roughly around seven percent (by March end). I hope so. But I cannot firmly commit it," said Mukherjee.
Attributing the decline in January inflation to monthly variations, Mukherjee added: "Don't go by the weekly fluctuation or monthly fluctuations. This was expected. It is nothing unusual."
Inflation declined marginally to 8.23 per cent in January from 8.43 per cent in the previous month, as prices of certain commodities like wheat, pulses and sugar eased, although essential items like onion and other vegetables continue to remain dearer.
However, vegetable and fruits continued to remain expensive. On an annual basis, vegetable prices rose by 65 per cent, and onion prices nearly doubled. Also, fruits became costly by 15.01 per cent and egg, meat and fish by 15.09 percent.
Overall, primary articles became costly by 17.28 per cent with food articles rising 15.65 per cent. In the non-food articles category, fibre prices rose by 48 per cent on an annual basis.
Prices of fuel and power shot up by 11.41 per cent, with petrol rising 27.37 per cent on an year-on-year basis. However, among manufactured items, sugar prices fell by 15 per cent, while edible oils turned costlier by 7.16 per cent. (ANI)