BHUBANESWAR: An Odia thali, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, costs highest among the eastern States. “Thalinomics: The economics of a plate of food in India,” a new concept introduced in the Economic Survey placed in Parliament on Friday, has made an attempt to quantify what the common person pays for Thali across India.
According to the Survey both across India and the four regions of-North, South, East and West, it is found that the absolute prices of a vegetarian thali have decreased since 2015-16 though it increased during 2019. This is owing to the significant moderation in the prices of vegetables and dal from 2015-16 compared to the previous trend of increasing prices. While the affordability of vegetarian thalis has improved over 2006-07 to 2019-20 by 29 per cent, for non-vegetarian thalis the affordability is 18 per cent.
As per the Economic Survey, the average price of a vegetarian thali in Odisha was around Rs 25 during the period April-October 2019 while in other Eastern States it ranged between Rs 20 and Rs 25. The Survey further reveals that a daily wager in Odisha has to shell out nearly 40 per cent of his daily income to arrange two thalis everyday.
For non-vegetarians, the amount spent for two thalis in Odisha is also high. The cost of non-veg thali during April-October period in Odisha stood at Rs 38, which is costlier than all States in the eastern region, except Assam. A daily wager in Odisha, therefore, spends nearly 70 pc of his/her daily wage to manage two non-vegeratian ‘thalis’ everyday for his family.
The survey said in 2019-20 (April-October, 2019), the most affordable thali was available in Jharkhand. Two vegetariat thalis for a household of five in Jharkhand required about 25 pc of a worker’s daily wage. Non-Vegetarian thali available between Rs 30 and Rs 35 was also most affordable in Jharkhand.
In the case of non-vegetarian Thali, affordability has increased during the corresponding period in all states except Bihar and Maharashtra it has shown a marginal decline.