Odisha top pricey state in country, inflation rate 9.41% vs 7.35% nationally!

Aam admi in rural Odisha hardest hit as the annual inflation rate in Odisha is country-highest of 9.73 per cent. The annual inflation rate of 8.5 per cent in urban Odisha is 4th highest

Bhubaneswar: Feeling the pinch of price rise in a hard way? Why not, when Odisha has emerged as the top pricey State in the country.

The annual inflation rate released on Monday by Central Statistics Office (CSO) makes the explosive revelation. As per CSO, the combined Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of December 2019 in Odisha has been estimated at 9.41 per cent vis-a-vis 7.35 per cent nationally.

The big worry is price rise has hit the common man harder in the rural Odisha. With an annual inflation rate of near-10 per cent (9.73%) for the month ended on December 2019, rural Odisha has topped the country. The national average inflation rate for rural India during December 2019 was 7.26 per cent.

However, the CPI annual inflation rate shows the rise in prices in urban Odisha is marginally lesser than rural Odisha. The annual inflation rate in December 2019 for urban Odisha has been estimated at 8.52 per cent, which is fourth highest rise in country. The All India average inflation rate for urban areas is estimated at 7.46 per cent.

In simple terms, the CSO annual inflation data shows that the price rise in Odisha is highest in country as the CPI in December 2019 had clocked a 9.41 per cent rise vis-a-vis the CPI in December 2018.

In contrast, the price rise at the national level has been around 7.35 per cent, which means commodities in Odisha have become costlier in 2019 faster than the national average.

The inflation rate based on combined Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of December 2019 in Odisha is highest after five-and-half years. The CPI for Odisha was at 8.06 per cent in January 2015. The high price rise in Odisha reminisces the double digit inflation rate of the 2009 era.

The headline inflation numbers ring the alarm bell for the State Government, because the phenomenon of steep rise in prices is not limited to urban Odisha. Rural consumers were the hardest hit.

A glance at the CSO data shows it’s vegetables that had jacked up the prices in Odisha.

Sample this. Wholesale prices of Potato in December 2019 in Odisha was up by 72 per cent, Onions up by 179.82 per cent, Brinjal up 37 per cent. Almost all category of vegetables have posted a price rise (at wholesale level) of over 30 per cent in State in December.

The good news, however, for the State is wholeasle prices of rice and arhar dals have dropped by around 1.28 and 2.7 per cent, respectively.  

Since the prices rise in vegetables are attirbuted to seasonal shocks, the observation is lack of high-level inflation monitoring group directly under the Chief Minister’s aegis is responsible for uneven spurt in prices of commodities in Odisha vis-a-vis other states nationally. It is significant to mention that the proposal to have Cabinet Committee on Pricerise is hanging fire since 2010.