MUMBAI (AFP) - India hiked its main interest rates on Tuesday for a fourth time this year in a fresh bid to tame double-digit inflation that is souring the experience of economic growth for millions of poor citizens. The move was the second increase this month and designed to tackle surging consumer prices that are being driven by high food costs, rising wages and an expanding economy that is forecast to grow 8.5 percent this fiscal year. Indias inflation rate is now the highest among the Group of 20 economic powers and contrasts sharply with developed nations such as the United States or Japan, where deflation is more of a concern. The domestic economic recovery is firmly in place, strengthening, and steadily reverting to a pre-crisis growth trajectory, Reserve Bank of India governor D. Subbarao said. But inflationary expectations are elevated and persistent. The bank opted for a 25-basis-point increase in its repo rate, the rate at which it lends to commercial banks, and a 50-basis-point rise for the reverse repo, the rate the RBI pays to banks for deposits. The rates now stand at 5.75 percent and 4.50 percent respectively. We expect more rate hikes in coming months, Angel Broking economist Vaibhav Agrawal told AFP, noting the tightening had been widely forecast by analysts. We dont expect the rate hikes to impact growth as we are still well below peak interest rate levels. As the rate hike was announced, Indias parliament speaker was forced to adjourn the days session by opposition members raucously protesting against inflation. Opposition members rose to their feet and shouted: We have to change this incompetent government. The Congress-led government has been under relentless attack from opposition parties for its inability to protect the poorest from surging food prices. Indias annual wholesale price index, the main cost-of-living measure, stood at 10.55 percent in June, well above the central banks preferred 5.5-percent level, putting pressure on Subbarao to act. Rising prices are one of the biggest political issues in the country and a daily subject of conversation for millions, with even the Bollywood film industry taking up the issue in a recent production. A song titled Mehangayi Daayan (The Inflation Witch) in a recent film produced by film star Aamir Khan goes, my husbands earnings are good but his second wife inflation is eating them up. The cost of food has been rising since last year when the worst drought in 37 years hit farm output. Food inflation is now spilling into the general economy as activity accelerates. The bank raised its inflation projection for this fiscal year to March 2011 to 6.0 percent from 5.5 percent, and increased its growth projection to 8.5 percent from 8.0 percent previously. Where inflation goes from here will depend on how the monsoon fares, Subbarao told a press conference, referring to Indias vital rainy season that is underway. We are confident that farm output will improve further. Over the past seven months, annual food inflation has swung between 13 and 20 percent, causing huge hardship, especially among the 450 million people who struggle below the poverty line. The main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised a national general strike earlier in the month to pressure the government to roll back a contentious fuel price hike that has stoked inflation. We expect the the bank to hike rates (again) in its mid-quarter policy review in September, given core inflation and consolidating growth trends, said Ritika Mankar, India economist at global investment bank Execution Noble.