GUWAHATI, May 5 � Even as politicians claim that Assam has made an �all-round progress� across diverse areas in recent years, it is worthwhile to note that people in the State still continue to spend a substantial chunk of their monthly per capita consumer expenditure on food products.
Latest data suggest that while families in rural areas spend over three-fifths of their MPCE on food, even urban households spend almost half of their expenditures on such items.
However, while food constitutes the major expenditure category for people in rural areas, in urban places conveyance and rent, among other items, also constitute a major segment of expenditure.
As per the 68th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS), which is the latest data available, the average MPCE was estimated at Rs 1,219 in rural Assam and Rs 2,189 in urban Assam.
Of that figure, as much as Rs 747.51 or 61.34 per cent in rural areas was spent on food items, while in urban areas it was Rs 1,043.63 or 47.67 per cent of the average MPCE.
In rural Assam, Rs 471.08 or 38.66 per cent was spent on non-food segment and in urban areas it was Rs 1,145.55, or 52.33 per cent.
People in rural Assam spent mostly on cereals (Rs 194.61 or 15.97 per cent), egg, fish and meat (Rs 156.33 or 12.85 per cent), vegetables (Rs 99.85 or 8.19 per cent) and beverages and refreshments (Rs 96.28 or 7.90 per cent) among food items.
In the broad category of consumption of non-food items in rural areas of the State, fuel and light (Rs 102.60 or 8.42 per cent), clothing and bedding (Rs 68.76 or 5.64 per cent) and pan, tobacco and intoxicants (Rs 54.79 or 4.50 per cent) accounted for the major segment of MPCE.
In urban Assam, among food items, cereals (Rs 218.62 or 9.99 per cent), egg, fish and meat (Rs 195.10 or 8.91 per cent), beverages and refreshments (Rs 183.36 or 8.38 per cent) and vegetables (Rs 121.27 or 5.54 per cent) contributed the major portion.
However, among non-food expenditure, people in urban areas of the State spent a substantial amount on consumer services, conveyance and rent, unlike in rural areas.
Fuel and light (Rs 153 or 7.01 per cent), consumer services (127.10 or 5.81 per cent), conveyance (Rs 121 or 5.53 per cent) and rent (Rs 111.26 or 5.08 per cent) constituted the major non-food segment expenditure or urban people in Assam.
The 68th round of NSS survey covered the period during July 2011-June 2012. The next survey covering the following period is expected in 2015.