New Delhi: Having returned to power on the ‘aam aadmi’ plank, the government is expected to keep its focus on that very ‘aam aadmi’ and provide a better deal to the youth, farmers and the urban and rural poor.
In the run up to the budget 2009-10, Mint spoke to different segments of the ‘aam aadmi’—daily wage workers, traders and retailers, salaried people, women, retired people—to find out what they expect from the budget this time.
In this part of the ‘aam aadmi’ series, Mint asked the Indian youth what they want from the budget.
Click here to watch video
Another important thing that came up is the allocation in the education sector. This has been a cause of concern for a large part India’s youth. Most of the people Mint spoke to felt that higher/professional education in India is still not accessible enough. “Professional education in India is very expensive and not within the reach of the common man”, said Anuraga, a management student in Delhi. To add to this, the high interest rate on education loans makes students nervous to take on a liability.
Hence, there is a need to increase the level of education and make if affordable. “Either the institutes should reduce the course fees or the government should allocate some resources”, added Anuraga.
Even at the primary level, the government needs to reconsider its policies. “The concept of ‘sarva shiksha abhiyan’ seems to be very good but unless it is implemented well, it is of little help,” he further said.
The youth feels that rather than concentrating on introducing new schemes, it is important to focus on the already existing ones and see that they are actually fulfilling their purpose. Clearly, implementation is the bigger issue rather than coming out with new schemes.
Also See More on Budget 2009
While the youth agrees to the fact that India is growing, they also feel that wealth is concentrated to a small group of people and so there is a need to reduce this gap between the rich and the poor. “We should have some scheme where it is mandatory to an extent, for a corporate house to participate in the development of the society. This will reduce the disparity of development between urban and rural areas”, said another student.
Employment generation also emerged as a cause of concern and not only in the urban areas but also the rural. Congress is also expected to impress on the need for early implementation of the nation-wide skill development programme.
“You have to have a greater allocation for creating substitute employment. There is a lot of disguised unemployment in India in the agricultural sector. There has to be mechanisms through which we strive towards creation of more employment. Maybe NREGS is just a stopgap arrangement. But if you look from a long-term perspective, you got to innovate schemes, like maybe technical education, things that would enable people in the rural areas to get employed in firms that do not require them to be very educated. That kind of schemes should be implemented”, said Bhaskar Parashar, a marketing student.
Other demands that came up were a reduction in the securities transaction tax or STT and certain tax concessions that allow entrepreneurs to pursue new businesses. FDI limit in certain sectors need to be increased so that India can attract foreign money and people can form join ventures, said a few.