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Delhiites slog on for an hr to buy Mcburger

One needs to sweat it out for 59 minutes to earn Rs 59 to buy a large-sized 'Big Mac' burger from the McDonalds outlet in Delhi, a latest study says.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2006 03:11 IST

One needs to sweat it out for 59 minutes to earn Rs 59 to buy a large-sized 'Big Mac' burger from the McDonalds outlet in Delhi, a latest study says.

To afford the same burger, those living in African city of Nairobi need to put about half an hour extra, while those in the US cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Miami would have to put a maximum of 13 minutes.

According to a study of earnings and wages across the 71 cities worldwide, Delhiites need to slog 59 minutes to buy a Big Mac and people in Mumbai needs to work 70 minutes, as against a global average of 35 minutes of the world.

Swiss banking giant and the world's largest wealth manager UBS said in its Price and Earnings, 2006 report published on Wednesday that wages of people living in the two Indian cities of Mumbai and Delhi were among the lowest in the world, although the living expenses were among the least.

UBS said wages only become meaningful in relation to prices and a globally available product like a Big Mac makes the relationship between wages and prices much clearer.

Similarly, people in Delhi need to work for 22 minutes to buy 1 kilogram of bread and 36 minutes for buying 1 kg of rice. In Mumbai, one needs to work 14 minutes for 1 kg of bread and 32 minutes for 1 kg of rice.

In contrast, people in Auckland, London, Sydney and Zurich need to work for just five minutes for 1 kg of rice, while in Dublin, Frankfurt, London and Nicosia work of less than 10 minutes is required to purchase 1 kg of bread.

Delhi has been ranked at 68th position and Mumbai at 64th position in terms of domestic purchasing power, which equals the net hourly pay divided by the cost of the total basket excluding rent.

However, the people living in Delhi and Mumbai could take some consolation from the fact that the food costs are lowest in Mumbai and is significantly lower in Delhi as well.

A standard basket of goods with 39 foodstuffs cost $174 in Mumbai, $195 in Delhi, compared to as high as $723 in the Japanese capital of Tokyo.

The gross wages in Mumbai and Delhi amount to less than 10 per cent of the wages in the top-ranked cities like Geneva, Oslo, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Copenhagen and Zurich.

The net hourly pay in Delhi stands at $1.2 and $1.4 in Mumbai, as against $19.5 in Zurich and more than $15 in London and New York.

Delhiites' average gross hourly pay is $1.4 while that of people in Mumbai is $1.6, as against more than $25 in Zurich, Oslo, Geneva and Copenhagen.

The sharply lower wages in India comes despite the surging job scenario in the country, particularly in the cities, on the back of the ongoing outsourcing boom.

UBS said in the countries benefiting from the outsourcing trend, there might be more employment opportunities, but there is little evidence of rising wages.

A constant influx of job seekers into the big cities, coupled with often rudimentary labour laws in emerging countries are keeping wage growth low, it added.

However, Indians seem to be partially compensating for low purchasing power through longer working hours as they are among the people working the longest hours in the world, which is almost 50 days more per year than Western Europeans.

People in Delhi work 2121 hours and are entitled to 15 paid vacations per year; in Mumbai people work 2205 hours and take holidays on 17 days a year, as against a global average of 1,844 working hours and 20 vacations.

Seoul tops the list with 2,317 hours per year or 50.2 hours a week.