New Delhi, Oct 2 IANS | 2 years ago

Rising inflation, lower job opportunities and shrinking wages are set to take away the glitz from this Diwali. A chunk of families in the middle and lower earning groups will slash their festive budget by over 40 percent as they struggle to cope up with these three factors, a survey released here Wednesday said.

The survey showed that "over 72 percent respondents from middle and lower middle income families would be forced to slash their Diwali expenditure by 40 percent and on average spend nearly 25 percent of their monthly salary on Diwali for shopping, sweets, gifting and apparel. Delhi-NCR is on top of the chart projecting curtailment of festive budgets thanks to eroding purchasing power."

The survey was conducted by industry lobby Assochan during August-September in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh and Dehradun.

A little over 200 people were selected from each city on an average. Delhi ranked first in curtailing expenses during the festive season followed by Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai.

"A majority of respondents said that they plan to spend fewer amounts on this festive season as the prices on average of most of the gifts and traditional Indian sweets have gone up by 55 percent, while the value of savings has gone down by almost 15 percent. Revisions in interest rates by banks have also sent their EMIs soaring further eroding their monetary power," the study said.

Over 76 percent of the respondents said monthly grocery bills have jumped to about Rs.7,000, compared to Rs.4,000 in the last 12 months. The prices of vegetables and bakery products have also risen in the last few months. This will affect the Diwali celebrations.

(Posted on 02-10-2013)