Eco Survey’s Thalinomics finds veg meals became more affordable than non-veg
The Economic Survey presented in Parliament on Friday attempted to track how economics was affecting the food on the dinner table and concluded that prices of vegetarian ‘thalis’ had decreased significantly since 2015-16 though the price did increase in 2019.
The affordability of vegetarian ‘thalis’ improved by 29% between 2006-07 and 2019-2020 while that of non-vegetarian improved by 18, the survey tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The survey had analysed data from the consumer price index for around 80 centres across 25 states to arrive at the cost of a ‘thali’.
The exercise, the survey authored by chief economic adviser K Subramanian said, is an attempt to quantify what a common person pays for a plate of food to track changes.
“Though economics affects the common lives of people in tangible ways, this fact often remains unnoticed. What better way to make economics relate to the common person than something that s(he) encounters every day – a plate of food? Enter “Thalinomics: The economics of a plate of food in India” – an attempt to quantify what a common person pays for a Thali across India,” the survey said.
The improved affordability of food, it said, allowed a household of five people to gain Rs 10,887 on an average per year but a non-vegetarian household gained Rs 11787, on average, per year.
The survey, using the annual earnings of an average industrial worker, found that the affordability of vegetarian Thalis improved 29% between 2006-07 and 2019-20 while that for non-vegetarian Thalis improved by 18%.
This is the first time in recent years that the survey has tried to track the price of a meal.
“Questions that can engage a dinner-table conversation in Lutyens Delhi or in a road-side Dhaba in the hinterland can now be answered and positions taken on either side of a “healthy” debate,” the report said.