White collar executive, handles trade logistics in a leading shipping company, New Delhi
The Budget, just like the weather around Delhi, is gloomy, or rather, the mood of the UPA is reflected in it. Sitting glued to the T.V., I did not see any reasons in the speech to cheer me, as life for most remains unchanged. Mouth fresheners getting cheaper might help some of the ministers to clear their breath, but won’t enthuse the common man.
The good done by the railway minister seems to have been undone by the Union Budget, which was very high on expectations for all. Investments for long-term benefits are welcome, but need of the hour is short-term as, we, the salaried class, need to have higher disposable incomes to plough back into the economy if the growth pace is to be sustained.
I am proud to pay tax, but would have liked a few tangible benefits. A 3 to 5 % reduction in direct taxes would have helped. Besides, if the service tax has been cut to 10%, its scope has been increased! And why is the salaried class in private sector forced to contribute for the pension fund under the PF scheme? Let it decide retirement benefits through the private sector or social infrastructure bonds, which yield a better return. Giving tax holidays to 4-star and 5-star hotels will neither help the Commonwealth games, nor the common man. Instead, the FM should have given interest-free loans or excise-free taxis with meters that work to the ageing taxi fleet in Delhi for the Commonwealth games as these form the first impression when a visitor walks out of the airport.
Last but not the least, the minister forgot to tax the daily incomes of religious places in the country—surely, a few thousand crores got away!