Retail inflation for farm labour and rural workers eased to 6 per cent and 5.86 per cent, respectively, in November, mainly due to lower prices of food items. “Point-to-point rate of inflation based on the CPI-AL (Consumer Price Index-Agricultural Labourers) and CPI-RL (Rural Labourers) decreased to 6 per cent and 5.86 per cent in November, 2020, from 6.59 per cent and 6.45 per cent, respectively, in October 2020,” the labour ministry said in a statement. The retail inflation for farm workers and rural labourers were at 9.41 per cent and 9.23 per cent, respectively, in November last year. Inflation based on food index of CPI-AL and CPI-RL stood at 6.88 per cent and 7.06 per cent, respectively, in November, compared with 12.03 per cent and 11.85 per cent in the corresponding month of the previous year.
The all-India CPI-AL and CPI-RL indices increased 8 points each to stand at 1,060 and 1,065, respectively, in November 2020. Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said, “The inflation based on CPI-AL and RL have dipped to 6 per cent and 5.86 per cent, respectively, which will have a positive impact on the income of labourers working in rural area.” Labour Bureau Director General D S Negi said, “The inflation based on CPI-AL and RL eased during November 2020, owing to a decline in the prices of wheat-atta, chillies-green, ginger, poultry, gur, bajra, fresh fish, kerosene oil and vegetables.” The major contribution towards the rise in general index of farm workers and rural labourers came from food with 5.54 points each, mainly due to rise in prices of arhar dal, mustard oil, onion, meat goat and potato. The rise in inflation varied from state to state. In the case of agricultural labourers, it recorded an increase of 1-18 points in 19 states and remained stationary for Kerala. Tamil Nadu with 1,260 points topped the index, whereas Himachal Pradesh with 831 points stood at the bottom.
In the case of rural labourers, it recorded an increase of 1-18 points in 19 states and remained stationary for Jammu and Kashmir. Tamil Nadu with 1,243 points topped the index, whereas Himachal Pradesh with 881 points stood at the bottom. Among states, the highest increase in the retail inflation for agricultural labourers and rural workers was experienced in Tamil Nadu and Tripura (18 points each), mainly due to a rise in the prices of pulses, meat goat, fish dry, onion, chillies-dry, vegetables and fruits. The Labour Bureau, a wing of labour ministry, compiles and releases CPI-AL and CPI-RL every month. This index is utilised for revision of minimum wages in scheduled employments under the Minimum Wages Act 1948, revision of MGNREGA wages, fixation of minimum support price, and revision of cooking cost under the Mid-May Meal Scheme, among others.