The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kerala ranks high on spenders’ list

New Delhi, Jan. 30: The biggest-spending consumer in the country is in Delhi — that’s a no-brainer. The urban consumer in the capital spends Rs 1309 on an average on a wide range of consumer goods.

But the biggest surprise is the pecking order after that: it’s Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, not Maharashtra, Andhra or Karnataka.

The latest National Sample Survey (NSS) shows that the biggest consumer in rural India stakes lives in Kerala — and he splurges Rs 841 every month.

The study shows that the lowest monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) is in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. Bengal lies in the middle of the pack.

The study, which is divided in terms of rural and urban perspective, shows the all-India rural average of MPCE to be Rs 495. The lowest average MPCE was Rs 385 for the state of Bihar. West Bengal has an MPCE of Rs 473. The all-India average MPCE in the urban sector was Rs 914. State-level average MPCE exceeded Rs 725 for all states and Union territories except in Bihar and Jharkhand.

In Bihar, in the urban sector, MPCE was Rs 595 and Rs 691 for Jharkhand. Average urban MPCE was more than Rs 1200 in Kerala and Delhi.

The latest study of NSS, covering the July 2000-June 2001 period, also shows that average urban MPCE exceeded average rural MPCE by about 85 per cent at the all-India level.

Said R.S. Khanna, head of Gujarat Milk Marketing Federation, the brand owners of Amul, “It is always the urban sector, which has been the prime targets for FMCG products. Amul, though a product of the rural co-operative setup, makes products essentially for an urban market.”

Deepak Jolly, Bharti’s director corporate communications who has handled the Pepsi brand for several years, added, “Disposal income in Delhi and Kerala have been traditionally high and have remained priority areas for the marketers for long.”

Of the 23 states and Union territories for which results have been published in the NSS survey, the average MPCE was found to be below Rs 400 in five states, between Rs 400 and Rs 600 in 10 states and above Rs 600 in eight states. Rural-urban disparity was relatively small for Punjab where the disparity was only 26 per cent and Haryana, which had a 32 per cent disparity. Compared with this, the difference in Maharashtra was as high as 104 per cent. It was 97 per cent in Orissa and 90 per cent for West Bengal.

For rural India , the average MPCE was Rs 682 for Haryana. It was followed by Jammu and Kashmir (Rs 680), Tripura (Rs 643), Gujarat (Rs 591), Arunachal (Rs 569), Karnataka (Rs 531) and Tamil Nadu (Rs 526).

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