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Jan data to reflect new consumer price series

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Central Government on Monday announced that beginning with the month of January, a new consumer price series for rural, urban and combined (rural and urban), reflecting the impact of price rise on common man, will be released on February 18.

These consumer indices will be available for five major groups — food, beverages and tobacco; fuel and light; housing; clothing, bedding and footwear; and miscellaneous. The indices will be released for States/Union Territories and all India.

The government will continue to release four CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation series — CPI for industrial workers, CPI for agricultural labourers, CPI for rural labourers and CPI for urban non-manual employees.

However, the present four CPI numbers do not encompass all the segments of the population and as such they do not reflect the true picture of the price behaviour in the country, Chief Statistician T. C. A. Anant told reporters here.

“It is therefore, necessary to compile a CPI which takes into account the consumption patterns of all segments of the population,” he said on the sidelines of the 15th conference of Commonwealth Statisticians here.

The base for the new series will be January-December 2010. CPI for urban and rural is compiled at State, UT and all-India level. For regular price collection for CPI (urban) 310 towns have been selected, while for the rural data, 1,181 villages spread across India have been selected.

“The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) will also compile a national CPI by merging CPI (rural) and CPI (urban) with appropriate weights,” Mr. Anant said. The government proposes to release provisional indices for one year

The share (weights) of food, beverage and tobacco group in the new rural index will be 59.31 per cent, whereas it will be 37.15 per cent in the urban index.

Similarly, fuel and light group will have a weight of 10.42 per cent (rural) and 8.4 per cent (urban). The miscellaneous group consisting of education, medical care, transportation and communication will be having a 24.19 per cent weight in the rural index and 8.28 per cent in the urban index.

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