WPI revision: Govt extends tenure of committee by 6 mths

NEW DELHI, Dec 23: The government has extended the tenure of the Saumitra Chaudhuri committee on the revision of the Wholesale Price Index – used for calculating inflation – by six months to June 30.
Chaudhuri is a Planning Commission Member.
“The government has extended the tenure of the committee for six months. Originally, the committee was to submit its final report by December 31,” an official said.
Faced with criticism over its WPI series, which was released about two years ago, the government had in April set up the committee to revise the index to take into account structural changes in the economy since 2004-05 to present a better picture of price situation.
There were reports of error in the updated series. Economists as well as RBI have been critical of the WPI data.
The 31-member group will suggest improvements for enhancing the reliability of the official series of WPI/PPI/ BSPI.
It will also suggest ways to ensure smooth flow of data and also to look into the possibility of having a single agency for collecting data for WPI and index of industrial production (IIP).
Besides, it will look into issues such as selecting the most appropriate base year for the preparation of a new official series of index numbers of WPI, producers price index (PPI) and business service price index (BSPI) in India.
The working group will review commodity basket of the current series of WPI, PPI and BSPI, the official said, adding that it would evolve a suitable system for allocation weight to the various commodities to be included in the index basket.
The new series of the WPI, the government’s main tool for monitoring the priceline, was launched in September 2010 to give a more accurate picture of inflation.
The new WPI, with 2004-05 base, comprised 676 items as against 435 items in the old index. The number of price quotations for the new series was 5,482 as against 1,918 in the old series. (PTI)


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