Delhi Food Vendors Bear The Brunt Of Rising Oil Prices; Face Financial Struggles

by Sanjana Shenoy
Delhi Food Vendors Bear The Brunt Of Rising Oil Prices; Face Financial Struggles

Street food vendors in Delhi are struggling to stay afloat. The reason behind this is not just the coronavirus induced lockdown, but the rising prices of a core ingredient of their dishes- oil. The urban retail rate of inflation in India measured at 5.8 per cent as of July 2021. This was due to a sharp increase in edible oil and fuel. The rise in oil prices drastically drove up food costs in Delhi. The direct effect of this can be noticed at food stalls set up by street food vendors in Delhi. As the street food vendors in the capital face financial struggles, here’s what you need to know.

Delhi Street Food Vendors Struggle To Bear Rising Costs Of Oil

According to Scroll. in, fats and oils used for cooking witnessed an urban inflation rate at 27.9 per cent. Overall food and beverages had an inflation rate of 5 per cent in urban areas. With fuel prices rising in urban India by 14.1 per cent between July 2020-July 2021, this has increased food costs over a period of time in Delhi. Unfortunately, street food vendors in Delhi are struggling to stay afloat amid this. Bhagwan Das, a street food vendor at Bhogal market in Delhi, tried to sell a plate of paratha for ₹50 instead of the earlier  ₹40 to keep up with the rising oil prices. But his customers weren’t happy with the new rate so he had to change back to the old one instead. 

Also Read: 5 Ways To Help Street Vendors Recover From The Massive Losses Of The Pandemic

street food vendors in delhi struggle
Picture Credits: AFP

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They Earn Less Than Pre-Pandemic Times

Street food vendors in Delhi, already struggle to make earn a living due to the coronavirus induced lockdown. With daily costs have risen and the slightest increase in price driving away sceptical customers, there is uncertainty in the air. Bhagwan Das said to the Scroll. in that he also started using slightly cheaper palm oil instead of soybean oil, to cut costs. He revealed that he used to serve over 100 plates daily but today he barely sells 40. His regular customers are daily wage workers, who themselves struggle to get work. With less spending power, they look to get the cheapest meal every day. Many of them resort to visiting langars. Here’s a video to help you understand the plight of street food vendors in Delhi amid the pandemic.