Retail inflation for farm workers and rural labourers in April eased marginally to 2.66 per cent and 2.94 per cent, respectively, mainly due to lower prices of certain food items.
"Point-to-point rate of inflation based on the CPI-AL (Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labourers) and CPI-RL (Consumer Price Index for Rural Labourers) decreased to 2.66 per cent and 2.94 per cent in April 2021, from 2.78 percent and 2.96 per cent, respectively, in March, 2021," the labour ministry said in a statement.
Food inflation based on CPI-AL and CPI-RL stood at 1.24 per cent and 1.54 per cent in April 2021, respectively, it added.
The change in the index varied from state to state.
In the case of agricultural labourers, it recorded an increase in the range of 1-17 points in 16 states and a decrease of 1-4 points in four states. Tamil Nadu, with 1,249 points, topped the index; whereas Himachal Pradesh, with 813 points, stood at the bottom.
In the case of rural labourers, it recorded a rise in the range of 1-18 points in 17 states and a decrease of 1-4 points in three states. Tamil Nadu, with 1,233 points, topped the index table; whereas Bihar, with 851 points, stood at the bottom.
Among the states, the highest increase in CPI-AL and CPI-RL was experienced by West Bengal with 17 points and 18 points, respectively. It was mainly due to a rise in the prices of rice, mustard oil, firewood, kerosene oil, vegetables and fruits.
On the contrary, the highest decrease in the CPI-AL was experienced by Andhra Pradesh. In the CPI-RL, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura (-4 points each) saw the most decrease. It was mainly due to fall in the prices of rice, onion, tamarind, saree cotton mill, vegetables and fruits, it said.
The All-India CPI-AL and CPI-RL for April 2021 rose 6 points each to stand at 1,041 and 1,049 points, respectively. The two indices were at 1,035 points (CPI-AL) and 1,043 (CPI-RL) in March 2021.
The major contribution towards the rise in the general index of agricultural labourers and rural labourers came from food, with an increase of 3.97 points and 3.74 points, respectively. It was mainly due to rise in prices of rice, jowar, fish fresh, vegetables and fruits.
Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said in the statement, "The increase in CPI-AL and RL will have a positive impact on the wages of millions of workers in the rural sector." Labour Bureau Director General D P S Negi said said, "The increase in the general index of agricultural labourers and rural labourers is mainly on account of an increase in the prices of rice, wheat-atta, maize, jowar, ragi, mustard oil, meat (goat), vegetables and fruits, firewood and kerosene." He added that the increase in the index numbers is in line with the price indices being compiled by other government agencies.