BHOPAL : The El Nino factor will be the biggest contributor to pushing food inflation up. In case there is 10 per cent rainfall deficit in non-irrigated areas, the inflation may even go beyond 15 per cent as had happened in 2010, apex industry body ASSOCHAM said here on Wednesday. “The most impacted states could be Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh that are significantly contributing to agricultural growth in India,” said DS Rawat, national secretary general of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) while interacting with the media on the sidelines of chamber’s conference on ‘MP-MICE Tourism Destination.’

 “While the national GDP (gross domestic product) may be impacted by about 1.75 per cent to two per cent, the states like Madhya Pradesh (MP) that are majorly dependent upon agricultural growth may feel an impact of between 2.5-3 per cent to their GSDP,” said Rawat.

 He said that while it was but natural that prices of fruits and vegetables will witness a jump but edible oil and pulses will register a shortfall in production and the country will have to import increased quantities at higher prices. “Already 60 per cent edible oil requirement is being imported at the cost of nearly $9.5 billion which may go up to $14 billion, similarly, India is importing pulses to the extent of 7-8 million tons (MT) to meet its current requirement of 23 MT as against production of about 14 MT.”

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