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Mumbai, Delhi most expensive cities for expatriates in India: Mercer study

Among the cities, Kolkata has the lowest cost of daily necessities such as milk, breads, vegetables, etc., while Mumbai and New Delhi have the highest costs

The man on the street is being hit hard by surging prices of veggies such as lemons, beans, ladyfingers

The Cost of Living survey was conducted in March 2022.

BS Reporter Mumbai
Mumbai and Delhi rank among the top 40 most expensive cities in Asia for expatriates, and Kolkata is the least expensive city, says a report.

According to Mercer's 2022 Cost of Living survey, Mumbai (127) is the costliest city in India in terms of both living expenses and accommodation costs. This is followed by New Delhi (155), Chennai (177), Bengaluru (178), and Hyderabad (192), while Pune (201) and Kolkata (203) are the least expensive Indian cities in the ranking.

The survey also found that Mumbai, the financial hub of India, is a popular place for multinational corporations to establish operations. Organisations are, however, also considering other low cost areas like Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune due to the greater cost of living in Mumbai.

Rahul Sharma, India Mobility leader, Mercer, said, “Global supply chains for necessities have been disrupted as a result of COVID-19-related volatility, which has been exacerbated worse by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. As a result of this uncertainty, organizations have been forced to re-evaluate their global mobility initiatives with a focus on the well-being of their expatriate employees, balanced with economics, along with significantly growing inflation in the majority of countries around the world.”

The Cost of Living survey was conducted in March 2022. This year's ranking compares the prices of more than 200 commodities, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment in 227 cities spread across five continents. Mercer revamped its Cost of Living methodology this year with new items such as smartwatches, tablet computers and smartphones added to the basket and non-relevant items such as music CDs and video movie rentals removed.

The study highlights elements that contribute to daily costs: Among the assessed Indian cities, Kolkata has the lowest cost of daily necessities such as milk, breads, vegetables, etc., while Mumbai and New Delhi have the highest costs. In terms of energy, phone costs, etc., the cost of home utilities is highest in Mumbai and lowest in Chennai and Hyderabad. Watching a movie in Mumbai is most expensive whereas Hyderabad is the cheapest.

The survey found that Hyderabad had the cheapest housing of all the places examined in India when evaluating the country's housing market. However, Hyderabad is more expensive than Pune and Kolkata when both cost of living and housing are taken into account.

Among other Indian cities, Mumbai has some of the most costly rentals, followed by New Delhi and Bangalore. The other Indian cities in the ranking (Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Kolkata) have accommodation costs that are over 50% lesser than those of Mumbai.

“Additionally, we have seen that petrol costs have increased in all Indian cities. Also, the price of getting a new car and other maintenance costs have gone up in all Indian cities,” added Sharma.

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First Published: Jun 29 2022 | 9:20 PM IST

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