The recently released report gives a break-up of spending on 14 consumer services between July 2014 and June 2015. These ranged from barber and beauty shops to domestic services, as well as TV and radio services, laundry and dry cleaning.
The study found that religious services accounted for almost 9% of the total monthly per capita spending (on consumer services) in rural areas, compared to 0.22% spent on sewage disposal and sanitation. The figures for urban India were 5.7% on religious services and 0.45% on sanitation.
Expenses on sewage and sanitation include any amount paid to toilet cleaners, sewerage cleaners and waste water treatment plants. Religious services, on the other hand, include priest charges, religious donations and subscriptions and other religious expenditure.
Poorer Indians and rural Indians spent proportionally more on religious services. The poorest 20% of people in rural areas spent 7% of their consumer expenditure on religious activities, compared to the almost 10% for the richest 20%.
And while more than one in three households in both rural and urban India reported consuming religious services, only one in 50 rural households and one in 10 urban households reported sewage disposal and sanitation services.
For more information, see this article on the NSSO report in LiveMint E-Paper.