“Average Indian spends just Rs.440 on food per month” – bah, humbug!

Yeh main nahi kehta – yeh woh kehte hain! Funnily enough, when you click on the link that is supposed to be their external website…ha!

Here’s a link to the entire story.

First of all, the post itself: Average Indian spends just Rs 440 on food per month

Right – and I spend just 30 p on electricity. I mean, first of all – who is an ‘average Indian’…and secondly, what constitutes ‘food’? Who is considered to be an ‘urban’ citizen (is mumbai = jaipur)? Who is a rural inhabitant?

Let’s look at this in a different light. What is the average per capita income of an Indian? Ans. INR 29,642 (according to this article). That means the average Indian earns approx. INR 2500/month. That means they spend ~ 17% of their income on food. That sounds slightly believable, but if I were to take things into consideration via percentages, then either I am underspending like crazy or I am malnourished and keep my family that way as well. The percentage spend on food in my case stands at approx. 11% (and I have a family of 2 and I have discounted eating out – which I am sure even the calculations above must have taken into consideration).

The NSSO data showed a rural Indian spending just Rs.12 per month on fruit, while his urban counterpart Rs.28.

Please show me where the hell such a fruit-seller is, or are these people surviving on a diet of a bite of an apple a day? Further, I feel that this data is again misrepresented because they have taken into consideration the entire population who eats fruits and who don’t eat fruits as well. In a sense of the word, it’s not an oranges – oranges comparison (no pun intended).

Basically, this is a very open-ended article which leads to a lot of questions and leaves the reader with a lot going on in his/her mind, as to whether we are being conned in our daily lives with regard to food prices.

And as always, one Mr. Jaiswal says the following – blame it on the Government, no matter who it is.

“”It is an alarming situation, which will lead to severe malnutrition, and will subsequently weaken human resources. The government must reorient its policies.”

And for those of you who are wondering, here is a breakup of the sample size, once again, very very ambiguous:

NSSO survey results relate to July 2006 to June 2007, and findings are based on a randomly drawn sample, 63,729 households spread over 5,573 villages and 7,698 urban blocks countrywide.

And here’s some raw proof of what exactly is the situation of food prices in the country, which will not only give you a fair indication of what the per capita consumption for the rural male could be, but also how the Finance Ministry has fudged the inflation data. (Courtesy: http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2008/apr/09fm.htm)

Inflation in it's true sense

Inflation in it

Are these guys doing to the per capita consumption what the government is doing the inflation figures, and what women do most of the time….Faking it?

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