Saturday, November 26, 2011

How my breakfast caused "food inflation"!!

This morning I had an egg for my breakfast along with my customary glass of milk…. And it suddenly dawned on me how this innocuous act must have added to the food inflation, as the "storyline" from the top brains and policy-makers in the government has been pointing out during recent months (guiltily, I also recalled having fish on last Tuesday :((

“What prices are going up are those of vegetables, eggs, fish that are secondary and tertiary food items. That is a reflection of the demand for these commodities exceeding supplies... That in turn, to some extent at least, is a sign of growing prosperity of our country.” - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Cannes (November 8)

“Food inflation is still going high. It’s dangerously above the double-digit figure. This is the effect of festive season demand. November onwards, the trend for the remaining four months (of the fiscal) would be available.” - Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (November 3)

"…food inflation (can be explained by) somewhat less known Bennett's Law which says that as incomes go up, people eat less of serials and eat more of protein and which is what we are seeing in India happening today. Protein food inflation was evident even earlier, but it has been much sharper in recent period reflecting among other things accelerated increase in nominal wages.” - Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, D Subbarao (Nov 22)

“High inflation number points towards people eating healthier food, better lifestyles.” - Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Jan 20, 2011)

“Food habits of people are changing. Their purchasing power is up. This is causing food inflation. They are consuming more milk and eggs, so why blame the government?” - Union Food Minister K V Thomas (Oct 29, 2011)

…meanwhile, I recall reading a in a report that during last 3 years, the retail price of sugar has risen by 100%, wheat by 150%, lentils by 300% and vegetables by 300% - and one of GOI’s own report mentions that per capita availability of grains has decreased from 163kg to 161kg per annum during the past decade or so.

…though that is another “story”…