From businessmen, bankers or vada pav sellers; how Puneites are bearing the brunt of inflation

Published on May 16, 2022 12:02 AM IST

People across income groups are bearing the brunt of the crisis as inflation reaches an eight-year high amid rising food and fuel prices

Ramchandra Pardeshi, 70, has been selling vada-pav at Fakhri hills for nearly 25 years. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
Ramchandra Pardeshi, 70, has been selling vada-pav at Fakhri hills for nearly 25 years. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
ByTapasya Iyer

PUNE People across income groups are bearing the brunt of the crisis as inflation reaches an eight-year high amid rising food and fuel prices due to various factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

One such is Ramchandra Pardeshi, 70, who has been selling vada-pav at Fakhri hills for nearly 25 years now. “My financial situation is currently the worst it has been in the last 25 years,” said Pardeshi who runs a vada-pav stall during the day and has now been forced to also start driving an auto-rickshaw to supplement his income.

The retail inflation in India rose to 7.79% on an annual basis last month, as per data from the ministry of statistics and programme implementation. “I shifted to selling vegetables during the pandemic. My livelihood was completely impacted. With inflation rising, we have to reduce the family budget and start working different jobs,” rued Pardeshi, who has a family of six to support.

Currently, he also drives an auto-rickshaw along with running the vada-pav stall. “Earlier, we used to buy one tin of oil at 1,400. From the last month, the cost has doubled to around 3,000. Since I cannot correspondingly increase the cost of my product, my family budget has shrunk again,” Pardeshi lamented. While he runs the stall along with his son, Santosh, he has had to decrease the quantity of food in his house. “Managing my family is becoming difficult day by day. It is getting impossible to make two ends’ meet,” he said.

Not only for people like Pardeshi, even manufacturers and those running bigger businesses are facing tough times. India’s automotive manufacturing industry has remained the fifth largest in the world for the past many years. However, the manufacturers of raw materials have had to further cut costs due to soaring prices.

Jaideep Baphna from Kalyaninagar, Pune, 50, who owns Mutha Foundries in Satara, said, “My profits have reduced to half. The supply chain woes have added to my misery. The scrap dealers have also increased prices.” Mutha Foundries has its main factory in Satara and manufactures metal castings and other inner parts for automotive production in India.

“We are not able to meet the targets set by the company. The loan borrowing has increased. To balance it out, the salaries of employees too have been cut,” Baphna said. “The inflation has changed the working environment too. It’s tough to balance one’s personal budget with the company’s profits,” he added.

Meanwhile, big manufacturers and technology firms are also facing the problem of attrition. With low employee satisfaction and in the absence of proper salary hikes, employees are frequently changing jobs.

Souvik Bandopadhyay, a banker with Tata AIG, Pune, said, “There have been no salary hikes, appraisals or high bonuses in companies since years now. I had to give up my start-up firm and shift to banking for the sake of some stability during this period.”

With India experiencing the highest headline inflation this month since it touched 8.33% in May 2014, there has been a hike in edible oil and fuel prices across the country. “I am fully dependent on private vehicles for my travel. The rise in petrol prices has made my daily commute that much more expensive. There are no subsidies too,” said Bandopadhyay. There is hardly any scope for personal saving and investment, he added.

Additionally, the savings and investments rates have also reduced by double percent in his personal capacity, says Bandopadhyay.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, October 01, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals