Although tax relief on wheat, rice, pulses and essential commodities, including cooking gas, will keep your monthly food bills down, the state government, in its budget on Wednesday, increased taxes on electricity, liquor, soft drinks, oilseeds, coal and cotton, significantly increasing your monthly expenditure.
Further, all property transactions in the island city will cost more, as the government will charge stamp duty as per market rates.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who also heads the finance department, showed a revenue surplus of Rs 58 crore – an unprecedented, yet questionable recovery from last year’s Rs 7,500 crore revenue deficit. Pawar said the budget would not impact the aam admi. Yet, an overall review of the budget belied his statements.
Power will cost more as the general tax rate has been increased by 1% on all utilities. An additional 1% duty on coal, and electricity tax on thermal power generated in the state’s plants will add to your monthly bills as 70% per cent of our power comes from thermal projects. This duty will be used to better the lives of people living in the polluted vicinity of thermal power stations.
The increased cost of power is likely to impact the cost of industry production, which will be passed on to consumers. One per cent extra duty on cotton, crude oil, steel, oil seeds, air turbine fuel and thread will add to the cost of the final product.
Alcohol prices will rise because of extra excise duty. Carbonated drinks will now be taxed at 20% instead of 12.5%.