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Here's what is costlier now! Will Budget provide relief?

Last updated on: February 3, 2011 19:04 IST

Here's what is costlier now! Will Budget provide relief?

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The Budget is just round the corner. And people are looking to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to put some more money into their hands in the form of tax breaks to get some relief from bone-crushing inflation.

But will the finance minister's Budget proposals soothe the frayed nerves of the Indian populace? With prices of almost every commodity going through the roof, the burden on the beleaguered common man is unbearable. So can the finance minister wave his magic wand and provide much-needed relief to the aam aadmi or will we again be doomed to fend for ourselves and hope for the best?

There is no end to rising food prices in India. Food inflation rose to 15.57 per cent for the period ended January 15, on account of spiraling vegetable prices. Vegetable prices rose by 67.07 per cent on an annual basis.

Onions have turned out to be the costliest vegetable. It rose by a whopping 111.58 per cent year-on-year, thus, showing that government initiatives like export ban were not effective.

On an annual basis, prices of fruits went up by 16.40 per cent while milk became expensive by 12.44 per cent. Prices of egg, meat and fish went up by 13.58 per cent year-on-year.

But vegetables and cereals are not the only products that are pinching people.

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Image: Vegetable prices soar.

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Airfares

With crude oil prices rising again, airlines in India are set to hike fares. Air turbine fuel prices have already risen by 3.5 per cent. A 5-10 per cent rise in airfares is likely.

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Image: Airfares to rise.

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Petrol

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said the burden of oil price rise will have to be borne at least partly by the people as oil marketing companies were unable to sell at earlier rates.

After freeing petrol prices in 2010, prices were hiked for the fifth time in 2010 by Rs 2.95 per litre.

The biggest hike in six months, however, is said to be still short of the desired Rs 4.17 a litre increase that would have made domestic prices on par with market rates.

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Refrigerators

Samsung plans to hike refrigerator prices by 1.5-3 per cent. There will be a 1.5-2 per cent hike in the prices of semi-automatic washing machines.

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Image: Samsung to hike prices.

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Air-conditioners

Samsung is considering a price rise in air conditioners. Air-conditioning major Voltas will also raise prices by 5 per cent.

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Image: Air-conditioners to cost more.

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Cars

Volkswagen has already increased the prices of its Polo hatchback by a minimum of 2.9 per cent. Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors have also hiked car prices.

Tata Motors raised prices of some of its passenger vehicles, including the Indica, Indigo, Sumo Grande Safari and Xenon, in the range of Rs 3,000-15,000. The company also raised commercial vehicles prices by Rs 1,500-30,000 from January 1.

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Image: Volkswagen Polo.

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Packaged food

ITC plans to raise packaged food prices by 7-8 percent as prices of commodities have risen. High freight and packaging rates have also pushed up costs further.

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Gold

Gold prices in 2011 are expected to be 19 per cent higher than last year. According to experts, surveyed by the London Bullion Metals Association (LBMA), the average gold price forecast was $1,457 per ounce.

Looking back at last year's survey, the average gold price prediction of $1,199 per ounce, which was 23.4 per cent higher than the 2009 price, was just $26 lower than the actual average price of $1,225 per ounce.

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Steel

Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has raised prices by Rs1,000 per tonne on flat steel (used in white goods and auto) and Rs 1,200 per tonne on long steel (used in infrastructure and construction).

JSW Steel has raised prices by 4-5 per cent across its range of steel products.

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Silver

As an investment option, silver performed better than gold in the last one year. While gold offered returns of 20 per cent, silver scored by over 50 per cent.

Gold prices rose by 22 per cent from Rs 16,435 to Rs 20,260 per 10 grams, a rise of 22 per cent. Silver rose to Rs 43,435 from Rs 27,770, a rise of 56.41 per cent.

The London Bullion Metals Association (LBMA) predicted that silver prices will average $29.88 per ounce, which would represent a 48 per cent increase on the average price in 2010.


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