What pinched you and me

Dear Power & gas

Nine lakh BEST consumers received a shock of an average 27.6 per cent increase in electricity tariff in June. In September, the price of cooking gas was hiked. While the cost of a subsidised domestic cylinder was increased from Rs 423 to Rs 434 in Mumbai and a cap of six a year was put on such cylinders, the rate of a non-subsidised cylinder went up by Rs 26 to Rs 922. However, following political opposition and public pressure, the number of subsidised cylinders was increased to nine.

Petrol that burned a hole

For a city that guzzles most, 15 lakh kilolitres, petrol and diesel in the country, 2012 brought bad news. Petrol price zoomed from Rs 70.65 in December 2011 to Rs 78.57 in May. A subsequent cut of Rs 2 and a fall in global crude prices brought down the price to Rs 73.53 per litre. Diesel prices increased by Rs 6.20, from Rs 46.25 to Rs 52.45, in September.

Unfair Travel fare?

Taxi and auto tariffs were increased on two occasions. BEST too effected a fare hike. The minimum auto fare now is Rs 15 or 36 per cent more than it was last year, while the minimum taxi fare is Rs 19 or about 19 per cent more than last year. BEST bus fare, on the other hand, rose between 25 and 42 per cent.

Toll that couldn't be belled

Toll for Bandra-Worli Sea Link went up 6-10 per cent on April 1. Post the first increase since the link was opened to traffic in 2009, toll for cars and jeeps rose by Rs 5 to Rs 55 and that for heavy vehicles went up by Rs 10 to Rs 110.

Property tax

BMC implemented a new property tax system based on capital value instead of rent. The new rates will affect 6.62 lakh of the 14 lakh residential units in the city. Of the 6.6 lakh units, 3.87 lakh will see 40-50 per cent reductions, especially those that came up after 2005. Another 2.75 lakh units will see rates double. While suburbs will see a drop in property tax, central Mumbai areas are expected to see an increase.

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