New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Rising inflation may have burnt a hole in common man's pocket but Finance Ministry's chief economic advisor believes otherwise as he brought a novel 'thali' concept to otherwise heavy-duty data crunching to drive home the point that affordability of a plate of the meal has improved.

Calling it 'Thalinomics', Krishnamurthy V Subramanian compared to the price of standard veg and non-veg meal plates across the country to say that affordability as a factor of daily wage has improved over time, indicating improved welfare of the common person.

The affordability of vegetarian 'thalis' improved by 29 per cent while that of non-vegetarian by 18 per cent between 2006-07 and 2019-20, the Economic Survey said in its chapter 'Thalinomics -- The Economics of a Plate of Food in India".

The conclusion has been drawn after analysing the data from the Consumer Price Index for industrial workers for around 80 centres in 25 states/Union Territories from April 2006 to October 2019.

As per the survey, a vegetarian thali comprises a serving of cereals, 'sabzi and dal' and the non-vegetarian thali comprises of cereals, sabzi and a non-vegetarian component.

"Both across India and the four regions - north, south, east and west - we find that the absolute prices of a vegetarian thali have decreased since 2015-16 though it increased during 2019. This is owing to significant moderation in the prices of vegetables and dal from 2015-16 when compared to the previous trend of increasing prices," the survey said.

In fact, the increase in prices of pulses and vegetables contributed to the increase in the thali price during 2019-20 (April-October).

"If the prices of a vegetarian thali had followed the trend obtained till 2015-16, an average household comprising of five individuals would have had to spend Rs 10,887 more on average per year for eating minimum two healthy thalis a day. In other words, after 2015-16, the average household gained Rs 10,887 per year on average from the moderation in thali prices," the survey said.

Similarly, an average household that eats a minimum of two healthy non-vegetarian thalis per day gained around Rs 11,787 on average during the same period. "As another benchmark, we examine an industrial worker's ability to pay for two Thalis a day for his/her household of five individuals. Using this measure, we find that affordability of vegetarian thalis has improved over the time period from 2006-07 to 2019-20 by 29 per cent and that for non-vegetarian thalis by 18 per cent," it said.


(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan