Retail inflation for farm workers and rural labourers cooled down to 6.32 per cent and 6.28 per cent, respectively, in August compared to the year ago period mainly due to the softening of prices of some food items. Point-to-point rate of inflation based on the CPI-AL (Consumer Price Index-Agricultural Labourers) and CPI-RL (Consumer Price Index-Rural Labourers) was 6.39 per cent and 6.23 per cent respectively in August 2019, the labour ministry said in a statement. Inflation based on food index of CPI-AL is at 7.76 per cent and of CPI-RL at 7.83 per cent in August 2020 compared to 7.27 per cent and 6.98 per cent, respectively, in the same month last year.
Among states, the maximum increase in the CPI-AL and CPI-RL was experienced by West Bengal State (27 points and 28 points respectively) mainly due to rise in the prices of wheat-atta, pulses, mustard-oil, milk, chillies-green, ginger, country liquor, firewood, bidi, meat goat, fish dry, bidi, bus fare, vegetables and fruits etc. The maximum decrease in CPI-AL and CPI-RL was experienced by Kerala (6 points and 8 points respectively) mainly due to fall in the prices of pulses, coconut oil, chillies-dry, onion, fish fresh etc.
Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said, “The continued softening of inflation in succession for seven months may be mainly attributed to the relief measures announced by the government to help poor people including labourers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The increase in the index will have a positive impact on the wages of millions of workers working in the unorganized sector in rural areas.” Director General Labour Bureau D S Negi said, “Labour Bureau has been able to bring out the monthly indices as per the pre-defined schedule consistently even during the tough time of COVID-19.”