Rising prices of fuel and essential commodities amidst the Covid-19 pandemic have hit the finances of the people, with a majority of consumers surveyed foreseeing a decline in their income as well as savings during the fiscal, according to a survey.
The survey participants also want the government to reduce duty on petrol and diesel by as much as 20 per cent. As many as 70,500 responses were received from participants across 382 districts for this survey.
Consumers in most parts of the country are paying more for the same list of essentials and grocery items they spent in the last three months from what they paid before during the year and 2020. The prices of items like edible oil, soap, shampoo have risen by 4-20 per cent, according to a survey conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles.
The 'Mood of the Consumer' survey was aimed at understanding how many more people paid to purchase vegetables in comparison to December 2020 to February 2021 or before the second wave of the pandemic as well as change in people's monthly household expenses in the last three months.
According to the survey, 65 per cent of the households said they paid 25-100 per cent higher prices this year for vegetables in comparison to December to February.
Vegetable prices witnessed an increase as many vegetable mandis across the states were hit by lockdown and restrictions till May, followed by increase in petrol and diesel prices.
As many as 79 per cent households said their monthly grocery expenses are fetching less quantity for the same or more money they spent during December to February.
In June, India's consumer price index based retail inflation hovered above RBI's comfort level at 6.26 per cent. While, the wholesale price index based inflation stood over 12 per cent.
While, 47 per cent of the consumers expect that the uncertainty related to Covid may last 6-12 months in their household budget planning. As many as 49 per cent felt their average household savings will reduce in 2021-22 in comparison to 2019-20, the survey said.
"A similar question LocalCircles asked consumers in May 2020 survey, 46 per cent of consumers were expecting their savings to decline. This percentage has increased marginally to 49 per cent of consumers now expecting their savings to decline in the financial year 2021-22 given the intensity of the 2nd wave of COVID-19."
On fuel price hike, 76 per cent of the consumers said they want the government to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel, with the majority of them the duty to be cut by as much as 20 per cent.
In April-May when several states observed lockdown-like restrictions, the fuel price increased 15 times. In Delhi, petrol is priced over Rs 101 while in Mumbai, the price has crossed Rs 107 a litre. Among others, states like Rajasthan now have petrol and diesel priced at Rs 112 and Rs 102 a litre, respectively.
"76 per cent of Indian households want the government to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel as immediate relief. Of whom, the majority want it to be reduced by 20 per cent," said the survey.