Soaring prices hurt India's festival season

For Suman Milind, rising prices in India are casting a shadow over the upcoming Diwali festival of lights.

The 33-year-old is changing her spending habits, amid soaring costs for fuel, transport and manufactured items.

Incomes in India have also stagnated as a result of the global health crisis:

"We used to buy four to five boxes of dry fruits during festivals, but now we will hardly buy one or two boxes, which is again because of high prices."

Millions of Indian households are facing similar strains on their budgets ahead of Diwali.

Falling in early November this year, it marks the country's busiest shopping season for consumer goods.

But according to data, many are foregoing big-ticket purchases such as television sets and jewellery this festive season.

Pump prices of petrol and diesel are up nearly 35% from a year ago.

And cooking gas is up more than 50%.

Overall inflation has been above 6% for much of the year, though it eased slightly in September.

Bindisha Ganguly is Chief Economist at the Confederation of Indian Industry:

"Many people have lost their jobs, incomes have been cut back. So, people will be spending cautiously and in that situation, any small increase in prices will hurt them."

Some feel there's little the government can do to alleviate the pain as global crude prices hit three-year highs.

India imports 80% of its oil.

Ganguly says federal and state governments should cut fuel taxes to help ease some of the pressure.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting