“Mehangai” – Is it real or just a stick to beat any government?

The hottest issue of the present day is Mehangai. Anyone and everyone is commenting on it day in and day out. “Bharat Bandh” and morchas are being organised all overIndia, causing loss of thousands of crores and suffering for lacs of citizens. The present government is being blackmailed and vested interests are demanding their pound of flesh and fishing in troubled waters.

The writer has complied some figures over a period of last fifty years just to see and evaluate the real picture of so called “Mehangai”. The data revels some very interesting figures.

I have classified the data in to three distinct categories, just to give an idea about (i) the increase in the rates of some common daily use items, (ii) increase in the earning power of different segments of society and appreciation in the value of assets as a feel good factor.

The comparisons have been done over a period of fifty years i.e. from 1962 to 2012. Here we go;

Item                                   Unit of            1962             2012                Increase

Measure                            (Rs)                                                              no. of times


(i) Increase in the rates:-

News paper                       one                  0.14              5.00                 36

LPG gas cyl. (1965)          14.2 kg            14.00            399.00             28.5

Wheat                                1 Kg                0.45              25.00               56

Ghee Desi                         1 Kg                6.00              330.00             55

Petrol                                 1 lit.                 0.90              68.00               75

Potato                                1 Kg                0.25              20.00               80

Onion                                1 Kg                0.20              25.00               75


(ii) Increase in earnings levels

Mason (Mistry)                 daily                5.00              500                  100

Bank clerk                         P.M                 200.00          25000/=           125

Grad. Engineer                  P.M                 250.00          30000/=           120

2nd Lt (Now Lt.)              P.M                 300.00          40000/=           133

(Incl. allowances)


(iii) Increase in the value of assets

Gold                                  10 gms.            110/=            32000/=           290

Silver                                 1Kg                 190/=            62000/=           326

Land G.K.1                       1 sq. Yd.         22/=              5.5 lacs            25000


Some more facts:

a) Items like a car, scooter, telephone, TV, a/c, fridge were rare & very very expensive. Now a day’s even JJ colonies have most of these items. For a tel. under OYT scheme, one had to deposit Rs. 3000/- , in 1965, which was equivalent  to 200gms of gold. Now a phone is for asking.

b) I. Tax started from an annual income of Rs. 2500/=@ 12% .Highest slab was at 90%.

Now it starts at 1.90 lacs. Max rate is 30%


So where is the “Mehangai”? Everyone seems to be having a car, two-wheeler;Mobile, fridge etc. (Leave the BPL cat.)

My family shifted to G.K. 1 in 1962.Till 1982, very few cars were there. Now each household has got 2-5 cars.

Foreign travel is almost like going to a local tourist spot. There are hundreds of other examples, which talk of affluence.

So let us be realistic & appreciate the progress made by our country.

There is no doubt that had our politicians and bureaucrats been honest, our country may have been on top of the world.

By: Mahesh K. Gupta