Why Siliguri is the preferred place for living??

Siliguri is a true blend of pure air and care & is one of the best tourist places in West Bengal. Here you don’t ‘stay’ rather you ‘live’. Life is so easy and calm here that you don’t wanna go anywhere out of here. Located at the foothills of Himalayas,  Siliguri has its own legacy.

You will always find localities boasting of this town. Let us check the reasons that make this place such a favorite, here is a list of best things about Siliguri which makes it a heaven on earth.

1.The Salubrious Weather :

People living in big cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmadabad always complain of a very hot weather. But the siliguri weather is a true bliss. No one can complain about it here.  People, there are actually obsessed by its weather. Actually, the maximum temperature here goes up to 35 degree Celsius. Even after a sunny day, Siliguri has the rain coming to its rescue. Rainy season wins heart here as it is so beautiful and serene. Nevertheless, winters here are chilly and Siliguri witnesses a very cheerful Christmas.

2.  Eye Catching Surroundings :

Siliguri is the junction to three of our neighboring countries namely Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. It is also the Gateway to North East. Surrounded by Darjeeling, kersheong, Mirik, Kalimpong etc., its strategic location makes it an ideal spot for the tourists. Here most of the crowd comprises of the foreigners, migrants, and tourists. The scenic beauty, the rain spills, the sunbathed mountains are a true candy to the eye. The outskirts of the city are so beautiful that you would want to explore it every morning on your bikes.

3. Tea

One you have had a cup of tea in Siliguri, you wouldn’t like the tea of any other place. Tea from Darjeeling is processed in Siliguri and carried over all of India and even exported. The tea has a pure aroma and one can  relish its taste forever.

4. Yummy Momos

Who doesn’t love momos. You can get the tastiest momos ever here in Siliguri at an affordable price? Not only Momos but many more varieties in it. If you are crazy for momos then Siliguri is definitely not the place you can miss.

5. Toy trains

We have seen toy trains in movies like Parineeta or Barfi. So do the people of Siliguri, every day. The joy of the ride in a toy train from Siliguri to Darjeeling is marvelous, especially if you are with your friends. The sight of those mountains and greenery are like God’s blessings.

6. Festivals

Siliguri celebrates almost all festivals of all possible communities. Be it Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Id, Christmas, Chhat Puja or Guru Parv. The whole population here comes together when it comes to any festival.

7. A Meeting point for the Silk Route

There is nothing you won’t get in this small town. Siliguri has emerged as an important economic center of West Bengal. Its strategic location makes it a base camp through which it supplies essentials to Bhutan, Nepal Bangladesh and also to the North-east.

The Silk Route of India i.e. trade route between India and China can be ventured only after crossing Siliguri. The Hong kong Market is a hub of cheap imported Chinese products and is actually very lucrative. The coming of malls and shopping complexes have paved the way for many new  brands here.

8. Economic expansion :

Siliguri has witnessed rapid globalization and economic expansion in the last decade. Township projects like Uttarayon, Vastu Vihar, Shantiniketan and many countless ones have fostered huge economic inflow in this small town. It also owes a huge part of its revenues to the tourists who visit in large numbers.

Cost of living in Siliguri, India

Cost of living in Siliguri, India

List of prices in Siliguri, India. Current as of Dec 2018.

Change the currency:
Food [Edit]
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₨432
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) ₨650
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₨85
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₨54
12 eggs, large ₨83
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₨48
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₨293
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₨139
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₨25
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₨89
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₨613
2 liters of Coca-Cola ₨74
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₨95
Housing [Edit]
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area ₨17,789
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area ₨5,304
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₨1,649
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area ₨19,000
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area ₨5,917
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio ₨1,500
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month) ₨1,000
40” flat screen TV ₨35,000
Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands) ₨6,000
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₨350
Hourly rate for cleaning help
Clothes [Edit]
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) ₨1,800
1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) ₨800
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) ₨1,900
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₨999
Transportation [Edit]
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₨90
Monthly ticket public transport
Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 km. (5 miles)
Personal Care [Edit]
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands)
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses)
Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes)
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, …)
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₨250
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.)
4 rolls of toilet paper ₨130
Tube of toothpaste
Standard men’s haircut in expat area of the city
Entertainment [Edit]
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₨1,000
2 tickets to the movies ₨500
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₨300
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₨2,500
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₨200
Cappuccino in expat area of the city
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₨90
iPad Wi-Fi 128GB ₨25,000
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans)
1 month of gym membership in business district ₨500
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes ₨135

WARNING!  These prices are based on only a few data points. At this point they are mostly a guess. They are based on 33 prices entered by 18 different people.

Latest price update: December 27, 2018.


Concept of Affordable Housing

Now a days everyone is talking about the concept of affordable housing. What is it actually?

…..take a brief view.

Definition of ‘Affordable Housing’


Definition: Affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is below the median household income.

Description: Though different countries have different definitions for affordable housing, but it is largely the same, i.e. affordable housing should address the housing needs of the lower or middle income households. Affordable housing becomes a key issue especially in developing nations where a majority of the population isn’t able to buy houses at the market price.

Disposable income of the people remains the primary factor in determining the affordability. As a result, it becomes the increased responsibility of the government to cater to the rising demand for affordable housing. The Government of India has taken various measures to meet the increased demand for affordable housing along with some developers and stressing on public-private partnerships (PPP) for development of these units.

Home loan & EMI

These days, many young people are buying a house or an apartment of their own (and it makes perfect sense – please read “Settle early in life – buy a home when young” for an in-depth analysis). Most of them also take a housing loan (Also called a home loan, or a mortgage) to fund this costly acquisition.

But a home loan doesn’t just provide you the finance needed for buying your house. It also results in income tax saving year after year, for the entire tenure of the loan! To understand the income tax benefit of a home loan better, let’s first understand the Equated Monthly Installment, or the EMI.


Equated Monthly Installment (EMI)

When your home loan is sanctioned and disbursed, you receive a cheque for the entire loan amount (This cheque is in the name of the seller of the house, or the builder if you are buying the property directly from the builder).

This home loan is repaid in equal monthly amounts, which are called Equated Monthly Installments or EMIs. The EMI consists of two portions – the principal amount, and the interest for the home loan.

Through the principal portion of the EMI, you repay the loan in small bits every month. Thus, the outstanding loan amount (or the remaining loan amount) reduces every month by this amount.

Through the interest portion of the EMI, you pay the bank the interest on the outstanding loan amount.

Thus, when the loan starts, the interest component is very large, and the principal component is very small. Every month, the interest component becomes smaller than the previous month, and the principal component becomes larger than the previous month.

Over time, the principal component becomes larger than the interest component, and towards the end of the tenure of the home loan, the interest component becomes negligible.

Tax benifit on home loans:

Income Tax (IT) Benefits of a Home Loan / Housing Loan / Mortgage

Many of us have taken home loans / mortgages to buy our house. And one of the most important motivators for going in for a housing loan is the Income Tax (IT) benefits that it entails. This article explains in detail how a home loan saves you Income Tax.

Income Tax treatment of Principal Repayment

The Income Tax Act treats principal repayment and interest payment differently.

Section 80C of the Income Tax Act says that an amount up to Rs. 1 Lakh can be deducted from your income if it is invested in qualified instruments. These instruments include Provident Fund (PF), Public Provident Fund (PPF), life insurance payments, Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), etc.

And guess what? Also included in this list is Principal Repayment for home loans! Yes, thats right – and this means that principal repayment up to Rs. 1 Lakh is totally deductible from your income if you have not made any other investments under section 80C. (The total cap for Sec 80C is Rs. 1 Lakh – so, the combined benefit of all the investments under sec 80c can’t exceed Rs. 1 Lakh)

There is only one condition here – principal repayment can be considered as a valid investment under section 80C only if it is made for a self occupied house. That is, you should be living in the house for which you are making the principal repayment.

The only exclusion is if the house is not in the city in which you are working – in which case you can claim the principal repayment as an investment under sec 80C even if the house is not self occupied.


If you work and stay in Mumbai, and have another house in Mumbai for which you are paying the EMI, you can’t claim the principal repayment under section 80c for this other house. But if you are working and staying in Pune, and have a house in Mumbai for which you are paying the EMI, you can claim the principal repayment under section 80c. This is true even if you have rented out the house.

Another important point is that there is no restriction on the number of houses for this benefit – the only restriction is that the house should be self occupied.

Thus, if you are working and staying in Pune in your own house for which you pay EMI, and have a house in Mumbai for which you are paying the EMI as well, you can claim the principal repayment under section 80c for both the houses as you are satisfying the “self-occupied” rule (with the allowed exception). This is true even if you have rented out the Mumbai house.


Income Tax treatment of Interest Payment

The interest you pay as the part of your EMI is considered an expense under the head “Income from House Property”, and is deductible up to a maximum of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs under Section 24 of the Income Tax Act.

The interest amount would appear as a negative amount under the head “Income from House Property”, and would thus be deductible from your total income under Sec 24.

Even if you have any other income from the house (like rent), that income would get reduced by the amount of interest paid.

The best part is that there is no restriction of “self occupied property” for claiming the tax break on interest paid under sec 24. In fact, if you have rented out the house, ALL interest paid (even if it is more than Rs. 1.5 Lakhs) is deductible from the rent received.

And remember, just like the principal repayment, there is no restriction on the number of houses for this benefit – the only restriction is the limit of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs. Thus, if you are paying the EMI for 3 houses, you can claim interest paid for all the 3 houses under Sec 24 as long as it doesn’t exceed Rs. 1.5 Lakhs.


Pre-EMI Interest

The bank may disburse a partial amount to you / builder depending on the stage of construction of the house. In this case, you do not pay an EMI, but instead, pay a pre-EMI interest.

You can not claim any income tax benefit on this pre-EMI interest in the year you pay it to the bank.

Pre-EMI interest can be claimed in 5 equal instalments after the construction of the house ends. That is, it can be claimed in 5 equal instalments starting from the FY in which the construction of the house ends and you get its possession.

This pre-EMI interest should be claimed along with the interest component of the EMI under section 24. The overall limit remains Rs. 1.5 Lakhs even in this case.


Let’s say you pay Rs. 20,000, Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 30,000 as pre-EMI interests in years 2003-04, 04-05 and 05-06 respectively.

Now, say you get possession in 2006-07. Then, you can claim Rs. 16,000 (A fifth – or 20% – of Rs. 80,000, which is the total pre-EMI interest paid by you) per year from 2006-07 to 2010-11.


Are you paying EMIs before getting possession of the house?

Many banks actually disburse the full loan amount even if the construction of the house is not complete. In this case, you start paying the EMIs straightaway. What happens in this case?

Here, you do not get any income tax benefit on the principal amount for the EMIs that you paid before getting possession of your house (as principal component can be claimed only after you get possession of the house).

As discussed earlier, you can start claiming the income tax benefit of the principal amount u/s 80C starting from the financial year in which you get the possession of the house.

The interest component of the EMIs that you paid before getting possession of your house should be treated similar to pre-EMI interest (as explained above).

Thus, you should add up all the interest that you paid through EMIs before you got the possession of the house, and start claiming 20% of it each year (for 5 years) starting from the financial year in which you got the possession of the house.


Home and Home Loan in Joint Name

If you have taken the home loan in joint name, the tax benefit (for both principal repayment and interest paid) would be available to both of you if the house is also in joint name.

The tax benefit is available in the ratio of EMIs paid – thus, if person 1 pays 40% of the EMIs, and person 2 pays 60% of the EMIs, the tax benefit would also be available in the proportion of 40% & 60%.


Apart from notifying the setting up of a regulatory authority, there are several features of RERA that will ensure a fair real estate deal to a buyer, the note mentioned.

RERA will ensure that developers park 70% of the construction project fund in a dedicated bank account. This will prevent developers from investing in numerous new projects with the proceeds of the booking money for one project — which delayed handover of units to consumers.


Another major change that will be seen is that the usual deduction of up to 42% in space of a property in the name of built-up and super built-up area is now “illegal”.


“The extra space that a builder usually lost was nothing more than 13% to 18%. But the developer used to deduct 42% in the name of super built-up and built-up areas. This will no more be possible,” said a senior urban development official. “The builder has to now charge on actual carpet area. This may even lead to a hike in prices by at least Rs 300 per square feet in new properties,” said the official. RERA also makes it mandatory for developers to post all information on project plan, layout, government approvals, land title status, sub contractors to the project, schedule for completion with the State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).


“Earlier the builder used to show a second lay out plan to the consumer and not what has been approved by the civic body. It is for this reason that many features that had been promised during marketing never made it on ground,” said the UDD official.

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