A high rate of inflation may be pinching hard on day-to-day life of the people in the country, but a global survey has named two Indian cities — the financial hub Mumbai and the national capital New Delhi — among the four least expensive places across the world.
According to the worldwide ‘cost of living’ survey by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Mumbai is the second least expensive city globally, while New Delhi is ranked fourth. Karachi in Pakistan has been named as the cheapest destination globally, while Zurich in Switzerland is the most expensive place across the world, as per the survey.
Inflationary pressures have figured among the key concerns facing the government as well as the public in India for many months now, although the rate of inflation has declined a bit in recent past.
The country's headline inflation fell to 6.55% in January 2012. It had stood at 7.47% in December 2011.
Despite the drop in inflation in January, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had said the rate of price rise is “still not at acceptable level” and hoped for further dip.
Headline inflation was near double digits for most of 2010 and 2011. The apex bank hiked key policy rates 13 times, totalling 350 basis points between March 2010 and October 2011, to tame inflation.
In the EIU survey, three of the four cheapest locations globally -- Karachi, Mumbai, Tehran and New Delhi -- are from the Indian subcontinent.
“India has been a target of labour outsourcing, relocation and FDI over the last decade,” EIU said.
“Cheap labour and land costs make India and Pakistan attractive to bargain hungry visitors or investors willing to brave some of the security risks that accompany such low prices, especially in Pakistan,” it added.