The second Covid wave, along with overall economic downturn brought about by the pandemic, seems to have hit the consumers and general public hard with as many as 79 per cent of them believing their household earnings will decline in the current financial year (FY22). 49 per cent expect a decline in their savings, a survey showed.
The survey, done by Localcirles, included 70,500 citizens across 382 districts of India. Around 63 per cent of the respondents were men, while 37 per cent were women. 43 per cent respondents were from tier-1 cities, 29 per cent from tier-2 cities and 28 per cent from tier-3, tier-4 cities and rural areas.
The survey also showed that 65 per cent households paid 25 per cent-100 per cent more this year for vegetables in comparison to December–February 2021 as many mandis were closed. 79 per cent of respondents said that on the monthly essentials/grocery costs, they are getting less value for same or more money spent in comparison to December-February 2021.
A report by Kotak Institutional Securities in June suggested that the prices of household essentials like soaps, shampoos have increased by 4 per cent-20 per cent, edible oil by 12 per cent-42 per cent, packaged tea by 4 per cent-8 per cent and coffee by 2 per cent-7 per cent, to name a few.
An overwhelming 76 per cent consumers wanted the government to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel as higher fuel prices
were hurting the already stretched households' budgets, while the maximum respondents said the duties need to be reduced by at least 20 per cent.
"India’s economy started to recover from the first Covid wave-led lockdowns and restrictions from September 2020 and many are yet to fully recover from the giant fall in their personal income facing job loss, salary cuts and delays. Amidst the deadlier second wave of Covid, the rise in prices of household necessities has only added a burden to household woes, especially for low and middle-income earning households," the survey said.
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