How did GST change your shopping bill? Here’s a tracker

What impact has the goods and services tax (GST), the new system of taxation that consolidates a multitude of Central and state taxes in one place, had on the urban household shopping budget?

In order to answer this question, we collated prices of goods that make up an average middle-class shopping cart.

The exercise was carried out thrice: once on 30th June before GST came into effect, on 2nd July after GST came into effect and lastly on 13th July, a week since the new GST regime.

We sourced prices from the Big Basket website for 71 items covering 18 categories of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), of which GST was applicable on 47 items, for the five main metros.

While the early net impact post-GST was a mixed bag, with some gains and losses, a week into the new GST regime, your household bill is set to get dearer by around 2%.

On the actual selling price, which factors in the discounts given by a retailer, the total cost of our basket of 47 items increased in all five cities, with Bengaluru recording the maximum increase (of 2.67%).

Find our story on Livemint.

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The vulnerability endemic in Mumbai’s healthcare landscape

At a time when Indians are choosing, or being forced to choose, private healthcare over public healthcare, and when healthcare costs are shooting up, this statistic becomes all the more alarming: in 71% of Mumbai households, not a single member of the family has medical insurance.

This is one of the findings of a report released last week titled ‘The State of Health of Mumbai’ by Praja Foundation, an organisation that uses data and information to inform citizens and enable accountable governance. The vulnerability increases as one goes down the socio-economic pyramid in Mumbai. For this report, Praja surveyed 20,317 households across all 227 wards in Mumbai, and divided Mumbai households into five Socio-economic categories: Sec A (the most well-off) to Sec E (the worst off).

In Sec A, 59% of households had no medical insurance, which is high by itself. For Sec E households, it increases to 77%. Lower SEC profiles, on the one hand, lower medical insurance coverage. On the other, they have lower incomes and yet spend a greater percentage of this on medical/hospital expenses, making them more vulnerable.

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Cyrus Mistry’s tenure shortest in Tata Sons’ history

Tata Sons’ decision on Monday to replace Cyrus Mistry as Chairman has surprised many. Former chief Ratan Tata will now take over for a period of four months until a selection committee finds a successor. At this moment, though speculations are rife, the reason behind this surprise move is unclear. The committee comprises Ratan N Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Amit Chandra, Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya.

Here’s a look at the number of years the group’s chairmen have held their positions:


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Americans tend to dominate in Nobel Economics

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will announce the Nobel Prize winner in economics – technically, the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – today. The Guardian has a list of probable winners – Olivier Blanchard of MIT, Edward Lazear of Stanford’s Hoover Institution, Marc Melitz of Harvard and Paul Romer of NYU Stern. It’s tough to say if one or more of these economists will win. But, it should come as no surprise that each one of them is associated with an American university. American economists tend to dominate the list (see chart below). There might even be a bias towards free market economics, according to a book The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn by economic historians Avner Offer and Gabriel Söderberg.

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