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Share of conveyance spending witnesses sharpest increase: HCES data

Transportation costs have also gone up and people are on the move for all sorts of reasons

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Shiva Rajora New Delhi

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Spending on conveyance by Indians has increased the most in the past decade, thus reflecting an increased cost and frequency of mobility across the country.

According to the latest findings from the latest household consumption expenditure survey (HCES) released on Friday, the share of expenditure on conveyance in nominal terms has increased sharply in both the rural and urban areas between the years 2011-12 and 2022-23.

While the share of consumption expenditure on conveyance increased to 7.6 per cent from 4.2 per cent in rural areas, it increased to 8.6 per cent from 6.5 per cent in urban areas. In effect, a person on an average spent Rs 285 of Rs 3,773 monthly on conveyance in rural areas in nominal terms. Similarly, a person in urban areas spent an average of Rs 555 of Rs 6,459 in a month on conveyance in nominal terms.

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Among the other non- food items, the share of expenditure also increased on health, durable goods, consumer services, miscellaneous goods, and entertainment. Meanwhile, the share of spending declined on education, fuel and clothing & footwear.
Pronob Sen, chairperson, Standing Committee on Statistics says that travelling to work constitutes the biggest share of expenditure on conveyance today and it is a well observed phenomenon that more and more people are moving out of their homes to work.  

“Transportation costs have also gone up and people are on the move for all sorts of reasons. That is a natural way of progression in an economy, but it is time that public transportation is strengthened,” he added.  

Echoing similar sentiments, PC Mohanan, the former acting chairman, National Statistical Commission (NSC) says that mobility has increased many-fold in recent years, along with increased spending on entertainment and consumer services as evidenced by the rise of e-commerce economy. 

The survey released on Friday shows that the average spending on non-food items by rural India surpassed the 50 per cent mark for the first time in 2022-23, with a decrease in the proportion of total expenditure now allocated to food items. 

The survey results released after 11 years show that as a share of monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE), spending on food items in rural India decreased to 46.38 per cent in 2022-23 from 52.9 per cent in 2011-12. In urban India, this proportion declined further to 39.17 per cent in 2022-23 from 42.62 per cent in 2011-12.

Meanwhile, in the food items category, the survey shows an increase in the share of expenditure on processed foods, milk products, and fruits in both rural and urban areas. Whereas, spending on vegetables, cereals, and edible oil has gone down in the past decade. 

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First Published: Jun 09 2024 | 9:02 PM IST

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