Monitoring and predictive analysis of prices of essential commodities has taken a giant step forward in India Mobile App for price monitoring for 22 essential commodities launched by Department of Consumer Affairs starts providing effective real time information about retail and whole sale prices from 127 locations across the country.
To improve the quality of prices data for reporting daily prices by the price reporting centres, the Department of Consumer Affairs launched a Mobile App on 1st January, 2021.
The Department has also proposed to DEA for Technical Assistance Fund under CARES Progamme of Asian Development Bank (ADB) for improving price monitoring and analysis. The activity components under the technical assistance are upgradation of price monitoring portal, capacity building for price reporting centres and price monitoring cell, identification of long-term improvements for food commodity supply chain & market efficiency. DEA has approved the proposal.
The Department of Consumer Affairs monitors the price of 22 essential commodities viz., rice, wheat, Atta (wheat), Gram Dal, Tur/Arhar Dal, Urad Dal, Moong Dal, Masoor Dal, Sugar, Milk, Groundnut oil, Mustard oil, Vanaspati, Soya oil, Sunflower oil, Palm oil, Gur, Tea, Salt, Potato, Onion and Tomato.
Daily report of retail and wholesale prices are obtained from 127 price reporting centres located in State Food & Civil Supplies Departments across the country. The daily report of prices and indicative price trends are analysed for taking appropriate decisions such as release of stocks from the buffer, export-import policy etc.
Price reporting through Mobile App ensures reporting from the market location as data are geo-tagged thereby displaying the location from where price data are reported.
Reporting of static data from office desktop is ruled out through the application of Mobile App. Therefore, the condition to operationalise Mobile App is that each Price Reporting Centre has to furnish market details such as names and addresses of the shops and markets from where prices are being collected daily.
As per the guidelines for retail price reporting, prices of the same variety of a commodity are to be collected from three markets, viz., High Income Market, Middle Income Market and Low Income Market, and the average of the three prices is to be reported. The Mobile App has inbuilt feature to calculate and report the average price. This helps in avoiding human errors in calculation.
Market information from Agmarknet, Agriwatch, NAFED and trade associations also constitute inputs for price analyses. The department is utilising the services of Agriwatch for providing market intelligence, predictive analysis of prices and to develop price forecasting model.