Why is it in the news?
- Cost of vegetarian thali increased by 24.26% to Rs 33.8 and Non-vegetarian thali cost rose by 12.54% to Rs 67.3.
- Additionally, monthly cost for a family of five: Rs 1,980 for vegetarian thali, Rs 2,250 for non-veg thali.
- Thalinomics” refers to the economics of a plate of food in India, which aims to quantify the cost of a common person’s meal (Thali) across the country.
- Thali meals consist of:
- Vegetarian thali: roti, vegetables (onion, tomato, potato), rice, dal, curd, salad.
- Non-vegetarian thali: same items, with chicken replacing dal.
Price rise driven by
- Tomato prices surged 176%, contributing to a 21% increase in vegetarian thali cost.
- Other factors include an 8% rise in onion prices, 20% in chilli prices, and 158% in cumin prices.
Food inflation remains a concern
- Expected retail inflation in August around 7%, well above the RBI’s 4% comfort level.
- Tomato, onion, and potato prices, while individually having low CPI inflation weights, collectively contribute significantly to inflation variability due to inelastic demand and susceptibility to supply shocks.
- Vegetable price fluctuations influenced by factors like rainfall, heatwaves, mandi strikes, speculation, and hoarding.
- Tomato price volatility impacts overall inflation but is typically short-lived, with considerable seasonal price variations.