The point-to-point wholesale price index (WPI) inflation rose from 4.20 per cent in the previous week even as prices of fuels remained unchanged despite violent gyrations in global markets and the general prices level was as high as 6.58 per cent in the same period during 2002-03.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA), in its common minimum programme, stressed that it would take "effective and strong measures" to control the price hike of essential items.
The WPI rose by 0.2 per cent to 181.5 points due to sharp rise in the prices of primary articles and marginal increase in heavy-weighted manufactured product prices and it was 173.4 points in the previous year period.
Government revised upwards inflation to 4.53 per cent for the week ended March 20 as against the provisional figure of 4.3 per cent. The final WPI stood corrected at 179.9 points during the third week of March as compared to provisional level of 179.5 points.
The index of primary articles group shot up 0.6 per cent to 184.9 points due to increasing prices of food, non-food and minerals and it was 180.8 points in the year-ago period.
Food articles group index was up by 0.7 per cent to 183.9 points due to costlier fish-marine (eight per cent), vegetables (four per cent), mutton and jowar (two per cent each) and maize, milk, grams, eggs and ragi (one per cent each).
However, prices declined in the case of barley and tea (three per cent), condiments and spices (two per cent) and bajra, poultry chicken, masur and wheat (one per cent each).
The index of non-food articles group moved up by 0.3 per cent to 190.4 points due to higher prices for soyabean (four per cent), niger seed and rape and mustard seed (three per cent each) and copra (two per cent) .
But prices came down for fodder (18 per cent), raw rubber (two per cent) and raw silk and gingelly seed (one per cent each). Minerals group index surged by over one per cent to 148.3 points due to costlier steatite (32 per cent), barytes (24 per cent), vermiculite (22 per cent), chromite (12 per cent) and gypsum (10 per cent), even as there was six per cent fall in the price of fluorite.
The index of fuel, power, light and lubricants group was firm for the second consecutive week at 264.2 points and it was 246.4 points in the previous year period. Market analysts said that oil PSUs were rather cautious to increase the prices since any hike could have "adverse externalities" owing to its backward and forward linkages in the economy.