The Economic Survey 2019-20 has made an attempt to quantify what a common person pays for a thali.
According to the Survey, during April-October period in 2019, the most affordable thali was available in Jharkhand.
Two vegetarian thalis for a household of five in Jharkhand required about 25 percent of a worker's daily wage. A vegetarian thali cost a little over Rs 20 in 2019 in Jharkhand.
Non-vegetarian thali was also most affordable in Jharkhand with a meal being available for Rs 35 in 2019.
Going by the Survey's analysis, Kerala is most expensive when it comes to buying a veg thali. A veg thali during 2016-16 and 2019-20 cost the common man as much as Rs 30.
During the same period, those buying a non-veg thali in Puducherry had to spend around Rs 50. Even Maharashtra came close with a thali being available for Rs 50 in 2019.
A vegetarian thali comprises a serving of cereals, sabzi and dal and the non-vegetarian thali comprises of cereals, sabzi and a non-vegetarian component.
Comparing between 2006-07 and 2019-20 during April-October period, vegetarian thali has become more affordable in all regions --- east, west, north and south.
In the case of non-vegetarian thali, affordability has increased during the same period in all states, except Bihar and Maharashtra.
The affordability of vegetarian thalis has improved over the time period from 2006-07 to 2019-20 by 29 percent and that for non-vegetarian thalis by 18 percent, the Survey said.
The Survey has analysed data from the Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers for around 80 centres in 25 States/UTs from April 2006 to October 2019.
In terms of vegetarian thali, it is found that an individual who would have spent around 70 per cent of his/her daily wage on two thalis for a household of five in 2006-07 is able to afford same number of thalis from around 50 percent of his daily wage in 2019-20 during the period under consideration.
Similarly, the affordability of non-vegetarian thalis has also increased with the share of wages required decreasing from around 93 percent to around 79 percent between 2006-07 and 2019-20 during the same period.
The Survey has found that at the all-India level as well as regional levels, moderation in prices of vegetarian thalis has been witnessed since 2015-16.
In terms of the inflation in thali prices, the Survey found a distinct declining trend during the period under review.
Affordability of thalis in relation to a day's pay of a worker has improved over time indicating improved welfare of the common person, the Survey added.