New Delhi: The retail prices of essential food items like edible oils, pulses, vegetables and milk rose last month in metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, Parliament was informed on Monday.
    
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Food Minister K V Thomas said the retail prices of other essential food articles have been under control or have shown a marginal rise.
    
"During the month of April, 2012, the retail prices as observed from the 4 metro cities, namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, indicate an increase in the prices of edible oils, potato and masoor dal," the minister said.
     
The minister said the general price trend in the mandis across the country show increase in prices of edible oils, milk, etc.
    
"The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) brought out by the government, that indicates price trend in the country, shows an increase in prices of food articles in general during the last one year especially of edible oils, vegetables and milk, Thomas said.
    
There has, however, been a decline in prices of onion and pulses, except gram, he added.
     
To another query, Thomas said "the retail prices of some essential commodities like pulses, edible oils, vegetables and milk are remaining high".
    
The minister attributed the high prices to demand-supply mismatch, increase in cost of inputs, weather conditions, market expectations, changing dietary and consumption patterns as well as income levels, global conditions like stock levels and price volatilities and exchange rate fluctuations.

(Agencies)