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    HomeLife StyleDisparity Between Rising Meal Costs and Stagnant Salaries Strains Household Budgets

    Disparity Between Rising Meal Costs and Stagnant Salaries Strains Household Budgets

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    Nagpur: A recent study has revealed a significant gap between the rising cost of meals and the stagnant growth of salaries in Maharashtra, exacerbating financial strain on households across the state. Over the past five years, the average cost of a home-cooked vegetarian thali has surged by a staggering 71%, while monthly salaries have seen a comparatively modest increase of just 37%.

    The analysis, which focused on household expenditure and income trends in Maharashtra, highlights the challenges faced by families in managing their budgets amidst escalating food prices and limited income growth. While casual laborers experienced a slight uptick in wages, their earnings were already heavily allocated towards food expenses, leaving little room for discretionary spending.

    The study considered a typical Indian family’s dietary needs, assuming consumption equivalent to two thalis per day. Using data on ingredient prices, it was found that the average cost of preparing two thalis daily rose from ₹1,386 in 2019 to ₹2,377 in 2024. Meanwhile, the daily average wage increased from ₹218 to ₹365 over the same period.

    Notably, the proportion of monthly earnings spent on food also saw a notable rise, particularly among salaried workers, from 8.1% to 10.1%. This disparity between salary growth and expenditure escalation suggests that households with regular income sources may be compelled to reduce spending on non-essential items to cope with the rising cost of meals.

    As families grapple with these financial challenges, policymakers and stakeholders are urged to address the root causes of income stagnation and inflation, ensuring greater economic resilience and well-being for households across Maharashtra.

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