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Chidambaram terms 4.91% retail inflation, 8.53% jobless rate as Govt gifts

Chidambaram terms 4.91% retail inflation, 8.53% jobless rate as Govt gifts

New Delhi: Congress leader P Chidambaram, who spares not any chance to taunt Prime Minister Narendra Modi led BJP government at the Centre, particularly when it comes to the economic stability of the country, found new tools in the latest data on retail inflation and unemployability rate to slam the union government.

In his new tweet, Chidambaram took a dig at the Modi government, terming 4.91% retail inflation and 8.53% unemployment rate as yearend gifts from the Union government.

"Let's enjoy the year-end gifts of the Modi government: 1. Retail inflation is 4.91%, of which fuel & light is 13.4% 2. The unemployment rate is 8.53%, of which urban unemployment rate is 10.09%," Chidambaram's tweet read.

According to the National Statistical Office released data, the retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (Combined) increased to a three-month high of 4.91 per cent in November. The retail inflation rate hike is mainly linked to the food price rise which has seen no respite despite the reports of excise duty cut by the Centre and reduction of levies by the states.

Food inflation increased to 1.87 per cent in November from 0.85 per cent a month ago, the data showed.

Meanwhile, the country's jobless rate surged to 10.09 per cent for the week ended December 12, with the urban unemployment rate rising to a double-digit rate for the first time in 17 weeks, according to the data provided by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The data also showed the rural joblessness rate falling to 7.42 per cent during the week at a nine-week high.

Chidambaram's tweet further noted the financial status of the public sector banks which is said to be witnessed a loss of Rs 2,84,980 crore.

"3. Banks have written off bad loans of Rs 2, 02,783 crore in 2020-21. 4. Sector banks have settled loans of Rs 4, 86,800 crore due from 13 corporates for Rs 1, 61,820 crore. The loss to PSBs is only Rs 2, 84,980 crore," Chidambaram tweeted.

Meanwhile, the wholesale price-based inflation surged to more than a decade high of 14.23% in November, mainly due to the hardening of prices of mineral oils, basic metals, crude petroleum and natural gas. WPI inflation has remained in double digits for eight consecutive months beginning April.

Inflation in October this year was at 12.54%, while in November 2020 it was at 2.29%. The 12-year high inflation print in November is due to the low base effect and spike in the fuel index.

"The high rate of inflation in November 2021, is primarily due to rise in prices of mineral oils, basic metals, crude petroleum & natural gas, chemicals and chemical products, food products etc as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year," the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Inflation in the fuel and power basket was higher at 39.81% in November, as against 37.18% in October. The food index more than doubled to 6.70% as compared to 3.06% in the previous month.

Crude petroleum inflation was at 91.74% during the month under review, as against 80.57% in October. However, manufactured items saw moderation at 11.92%, from 12.04% in October.

According to a senior Commerce and Industry ministry official, fuel and power have been the biggest contributors to the higher inflation rate as it is almost 40% higher than November 2020.

The international commodity prices and fuel prices have also been very high.

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