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They feel the pinch too

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Executive Vineet Madhukar and his family in Purasawakkam.
Executive Vineet Madhukar and his family in Purasawakkam.

How cost of living has hit white collar employees

One might think professionals holding well-paying jobs would not have to worry about the price rise, but it turns out that several of them do. They say the hike in salaries has not really matched the growth in the cost of living.

The increase in petrol prices is a cause for concern. J.J. Thomas, an employee at a prominent IT solutions firm, says his “wallet felt lighter these days” because of the fuel price rise.

“Because of the recession in the U.S., the salary hikes, if any, are not that great.” There has also been talk of lay-offs in some firms, he said. Employees of financial services firms catering for foreign clients also say their pay packets have been affected by the U.S. recession and losses in the mortgage sector.

“The so-called salary hikes have not been reflected in the take-home package for many of the employees,” says an employee of a financial services firm.

She says she has not felt the pinch of increase in prices of essential commodities although she did find that vegetables had suddenly become costlier.

Some firms have taken inflation into account in deciding compensation. J. Sabita, a Human Resources head of Xansa outsourcing and technology, says the price rise would be factored in when the company announces annual increments in a couple of months. “During interactions, employees have expressed concern about inflation,” she says. Saradamani, an employee of a telecom firm, says hikes often don’t match the rate of inflation. “I was paying Rs. 22,000 as EMI for my home loan three years ago. To reduce the tenure of the loan, I increased the instalments to Rs. 32,000 but it looks like the tenure is going to remain the same due to increased interest rates.”

Vineet Madhukar, accounts director, Adfactors Public Relations, says housing and medical expenses are putting pressure on his family budget, although his industry segment is growing and the remuneration is good. “My younger child is only about a year and a half old and there are many visits to the doctor. Medical care has become really costly,” the father of two children added.

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