labels: economy - general
Government considering new consumer price index news
14 August 2006

Mumbai: The government is considering an alternative consumer price index (CPI) to get a better picture of inflation. The new CPI would be based on retail prices of items used by the urban population, including personal services and would cover all segments of the population in more than 300 towns, labour minister Chandra Sekhar Sahu said in a written reply in Parliament.

The consumer price indices have been showing a decline amidst a surge in retail prices of essential commodities, including food items. The government has also been facing criticism on this score. The consumer price index has failed to reflect the ground situation with the annual rate of inflation based on the wholesale price index hovering below the five per cent mark for a long time now.

At present, the government releases wholesale price data every week and consumer price indices (CPI) for industrial workers, farm and rural labourers and urban non-manual employees every month.

"These indices do not encompass all the segments of the population in the country, and as such do not reflect true picture of the price behaviour in the country," the minister said.

"The proposed CPI (urban) would cover all segments of urban population, namely, affluent class, middle class and poor spread over to more than 300 towns of all types including metros," he added.

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Government considering new consumer price index