A fall in purchasing power has been the talk of town amid rising inflation, which has been hovering above the tolerance level of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Historical data available with CMIE Prowess showed that prices of some essential commodities spiked over 400 per cent in the past two decades. Meanwhile, Business Today has compiled list of commodities, including cereals, pulses, petrol and petroleum products and other precious metals to understand how purchasing power of Indians have reduced with the rise in inflation. At present, retail inflation, which is at 7 per cent, is well above the RBI's upper margin of 6 per cent for the eighth consecutive month.
Cereals prices in domestic market: The average price of non-basmati rice witnessed a rise of 423 per cent in the past 21 years. Price of the commodity jumped to Rs 27.55 per kg today from Rs 5.27 per kg in the wholesale market in 2000-01. In simple terms, a consumer could buy 190 kg of rice at Rs 1,000 in the year 2001. Now, for the same amount one would stand to buy a meagre 36 kg. Similarly, price of basmati rice increased from Rs 629 per quintal in FY 2001 to Rs 6107 per quintal in FY 2022, an increase of a whopping 870 per cent. Wheat saw a rise of 166 per cent to Rs 1,906 per quintal in the past 21 years. Jowar and Bajra registered a price increase of 420 per cent and 242 per cent, respectively.
Price of Pulses: Arhar was priced at Rs 1800 per quintal in the year 2000-01, which costs Rs 5820 per quintal in FY 2022, registering a price escalation of 224 per cent in 21 years; similarly prices of Gram (Chana) have reached Rs 5090 per quintal in FY 22 from Rs 1400 per quintal in FY 01, measuring an increase of 263 per cent. While price of black gram (Urad), green gram (Moong) and lentil (Masoor) have increased 264 per cent, 253 per cent and 340 per cent, respectively. In other words, in 2001 one could buy 59 kg of urad pulse for Rs 1000, now one could only buy 16 kg from the same amount in 2022.
Prices of Petroleum Products: In Delhi, petrol was available at Rs 29.5 per litre in FY 2002-03 with an increase of 233 per cent, while petrol prices are at 98 rupee per litre in FY 22. Similarly diesel price was Rs 19 per litre in FY03 which reached to 87.5 per litre in FY 22, registering an increase of 360 per cent in 19 years. More precisely, a consumer could buy 52 litre diesel from Rs 1,000 in the year 2003. This now stands at 11 litre in 2022.
Gold and Silver: In FY 2004-05 price of 10 grams of gold was Rs 6000 in a Mumbai market, which has increased by 700 per cent to Rs 48,000 in FY 22. While silver was available at Rs 64,900 per kg in FY 22, registering a growth of 527 per cent in 17 years, from Rs 10,350 in FY 2004-05.
Per capita Income: Highlighting only the dark side will not serve the purpose, and we must also showcase the brighter side of this economic growth as income of the citizens has also increased in the last two decades. In the year 2000-01, the per capita net national income was Rs 18,667, which has now reached Rs. 1.5 lakh in FY 22, registering a growth of 700 per cent in 21 years.
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