Out of 209 global cities, Hong Kong is the most expensive for expats.
Mumbai (82) is India’s most expensive city, followed by New Delhi (130) and Chennai (158), according to the 2016 Cost of Living Survey by Mercer, the New York-based human resource consultancy.
Kolkata (194) and Bengaluru (180) are the least expensive Indian cities ranked.
Globally, Hong Kong topped the list of most expensive cities for expatriates, pushing Luanda, Angola, to second position. Zurich and Singapore remained in third and fourth positions, respectively, whereas Tokyo is in fifth, up six places from last year.
New Delhi and Bengaluru have become more expensive, over last year, and their rankings have gone up.
The survey said the latter had the highest jump in ranking, on account of a surge in prices, especially on items pertaining to food and personal care.
Inflation, among the highest in Indian cities, moved there from 3.27 per cent to 6.08 per cent during this period.
“Despite volatile global markets and growing security issues, organisations continue to leverage global expansion strategies to remain competitive and to grow. With a large number of Indian multinational organisations progressively expanding their footprint abroad, 70 per cent of them are expecting expatriate assignments to increase over the next two years to address business needs, as well as build careers and leadership development,” said Ruchika Pal, India Practice Leader, Global Mobility, at Mercer.
It said 85 per cent of companies in India pay a cost of living allowance to their long-term assignees, either as a separately identified allowance or as part of a single expatriate allowance, covering other items in addition to goods and services in the remuneration package.
Across continents, countries with the highest current number of India assignees are America, Britain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Across continents, countries with the highest expected increase in the number of Indian international assignees are UAE, Britain and Kenya.