“Forward ever, backward never: onwards with Breaking Through”

In 2015, vegetable, milk and cereal inflation was higher than all-India average'
While food prices rose at a slower pace across India in 2015, the poor in the South and certain other parts of the country saw no respite and had to continue spending more for a decent meal. Manipur, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Jammu & Kashmir faced higher food inflation in 2015 compared with 2014, show data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The average all-India food inflation based on consumer prices came down to 5.3 per cent in 2015 from 7.2 per cent the previous year. A relatively slower rise in the prices of cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products in 2015 helped. But the price movement of the index components was uneven across the country, resulting in higher food inflation in many States. The difference in weights assigned to the constituents of the food inflation index of each State, based on the consumption pattern there, also contributed to the variance.
Hit on all fronts

For instance, in Karnataka, a sharp rise in the prices of cereals, vegetables and pulses pushed food inflation up to 8.3 per cent in 2015. Deficient rains during the kharif season stoked fears of a shortfall in the State’s rice produce. From ₹31 a kg in December 2014, the price of rice in Bengaluru went up to ₹36/kg in December 2015. Cereal price inflation hit 7 per cent in 2015, compared with the all-India average of around 2 per cent. Vegetables turned costlier, particularly after the heavy rains in November in the State, with the price rise averaging 14 per cent in 2015 against the all-India average of close to 4 per cent.
Reeling under heat

With soaring temperatures and water scarcity affecting vegetable production in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, vegetable inflation in the two States rose 15 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, last year. Sample this: tomato prices in Hyderabad almost doubled to ₹27 a kg in November 2015 and cauliflower prices more than doubled to ₹26 in December 2015 compared to a year earlier.
Milk on the boil

Unlike the softening in inflation for these commodities at the all-India level, milk and vegetable price inflation shot up 17 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, in Tamil Nadu in 2015. But this is hardly surprising given that milk prices were hiked by the state-run cooperative Aavin in November 2014. With prices of dals such as tur and urad (particularly consumed in the South) surging, pulses inflation in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu rose 26-32 per cent in 2015, higher than the 25 per cent at the all-India level.