Bangalore: Steep rise in prices of fruits and vegetables have forced over 55 percent of middle and low income groups to switch over to pre-cooked and ready-to-eat food items to keep the kitchen budget intact, says a survey by industry body Assocham.
Fear of bad monsoon has suddenly pushed up prices of vegetables and fruits by 300 percent "from the farm to your dining table," the survey on 'rising prices of fruits and vegetables' said.
Over 88 percent of middle income group and lower income group find difficult to manage the household budget and are squeezing families' finances to the lowest level due to uncertainty of rains, said the country-wide survey conducted under the aegis of Assocham Social Development Foundation covering over 5,000 people.
During the last three years, the salary of average common man has gone up by 10-15 percent but on the other side the prices of vegetables have also gone up by 250-300 percent, it added.
The survey was conducted in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Bengaluru and other places.
The maximum impact was felt in major cities like Delhi (first), Mumbai (second), Ahmedabad (third), Kolkata (fourth), Chennai (fifth), Hyderabad (sixth) and Pune (seventh). Around 82 percent of lower middle class families have been forced to skip or squeezed their budgets for vegetables.
The prices of most of the widely consumed vegetables have shot up during the last two weeks in most parts of the country with the early onset of monsoon rains, seriously hitting the common man mainly in the metro cities, D S Rawat, Secretary General, Assocham said releasing the survey.
The survey said 86 percent of the respondents said that rising food prices have made their life even tougher.
According to the survey, 75 percent of household's women said the soaring prices of fruits and vegetables have put their household budget in a state of disarray.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they forget the season's exotic fruits and vegetables, even the common potato, tomato and onion are now beyond the middle class family reach.