Thalinomics: All’s well as both Veg and Non-Veg ‘ Thalis’ cost less, claims Economic Survey

The Economic Survey placed in Parliament on Friday, a day before Finance Minister presents the Union Budget, devoted an entire chapter to ‘Thalinomics’ in a bid to debunk reports on food inflation

Representative photo
Representative photo
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NH Web Desk

Perhaps conscious of the parallel people are bound to draw with ‘ ‘Modinomics’ following Demonetisation and ‘Pakodanomics’ after the Prime Minister claimed that self-employment like frying and selling Pakodas was also employment, the Economic Survey waxed on ‘ Thalinomics’ in a special chapter.

The most affordable Veg and Non-Veg Thali in 2019-20 , the survey informs, was found in Jharkhand. The affordability of non-Veg Thali, it claims, has increased across the country except in Bihar and Maharashtra.

The chapter somewhat flippantly starts off by stating, “Questions that can engage a dinner table conversation in Lutyens Delhi or at a road-side dhaba in the hinterland can now be answered and positions taken on either side of a healthy debate.”

Conscious that the statement may not have made much sense, the Survey goes on to claim that price data collected from 80 centres in 25 states and Union Territories had shown that the cost of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian ‘ Thali’ in the country have come down since 2015-16 !

“ It is found that absolute prices of a vegetarian Thali have decreased significantly since 2015-16 though the price has increased in 2019,” it contends.

“ An average family of five individuals that eats two vegetarian Thalis a day gained around ₹10887 on average per year while a non-vegetarian household gained even more, i.e. ₹11,787 on an average every year,” the survey concluded.

Not surprisingly, the survey concluded that the result was ‘ owing to significant moderation’ in the prices of vegetables and dal. If the prices had not come down since 2015, the survey declares blandly, the households would have had to pay on an average around 11 thousand Rupees every year for their Thalis.

The survey also claims that affordability of vegetarian Thalis has improved by 29 per cent over the time period 2006-07 to 2019-20 and non-vegetarian Thalis by 18 per cent.

Thalinomics: All’s well as both Veg and Non-Veg ‘ Thalis’ cost less, claims Economic Survey

Prices of vegetable, edible oil, dal and spices etc. came down during this period, says the survey, because of several schemes launched by the Government. It goes on to list, ironically, even schemes launched in 2018 like PM-AASHA (Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan) as well as the National Food Security Mission launched by the UPA Government in 2007-08.

It also credits the National Food Security Act enacted in July, 2013 and e-National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) , the Soil Health Card and the Soil Health Card scheme launched since 2014.

Thalinomics: All’s well as both Veg and Non-Veg ‘ Thalis’ cost less, claims Economic Survey

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Published: 31 Jan 2020, 6:30 PM