ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Industrial Pollution and Workers Health

against -4.7 per cent in the corresponding period of 1994-95), condiments and spices (fall of -2.9 per cent against a rise of 10.7 per cent), eggs, fish and meat (fall of-0.4 per cent against a rise of 12.5 per cent) and other non-food articles (fall of-0.4 percent against a rise of 0.5 per cent). Among manufactures, prices of chemicals and chemical products have declined because of duty reductions inorganic chemicals by 3.3 per cent (against a rise of 0.3 per cent in the corresponding period last year) and organic chemicals by 2.6 per cent (rise of 2.4 per cent). A few other manufactured items like cement and electrical equipment have shown negligible increases as compared with the previous year (Table 2) On the other hand, the WPI for basic items of mass consumption like pulses, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar and salt, among others, has registered sizeable increases. In the primary articles group, prices of pulses have shot up by 5.5 per cent compared to a fall of-0.4 per cent in the same period of 1994- 95. Prices of vegetables have risen by 38.3 per cent against 27.1 per cent last year. Though the increase in prices of fruits has been below that last year, the order of increase is still large (10,5 per cent against 27.1 per cent). Prices of 'other food articles' rose (although by only 7.3 per cent against 52.9 percent last year) essentially due to tea. Despite the record Output of 14.5 million tonnes predicted for 1994-95, sugar prices have risen by 5.1 per cent in this fiscal year so far (against 12.9 per cent). The price of sugar is expected to ease with larger releases for open sales along with 4 lakh tonnes of import. Price of salt, which had been declining or rising negligibly in earlier months, has risen sharply since May 6. The main reason cited is the lack of railway wagons to move stocks from the producing centres in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

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