The INDIAN BUDGET TALK
The other day while going for my daily class I saw some students watching Television, with a creased forehead as if trying so hard to soak up something in their already heavily ”loaded with traffic” brains. The occasion of sudden creasing and gathering of students was the announcement of “INDIAN BUDGET 2013”. This got me wondering and prompted me to look into what this year’s budget is all about. So, guys if you are not a newspaper buff and have missed out on this year’s budget, read on here in I will give you the “INDIAN BUDGET” on the platter, sweet and simple.
The budget presented this year comes amidst the sulky times for the government. With temper riding high over the recent VIP aircraft deal that is one more inclusion in the list of UPA’s failed endeavours. The macroeconomic backdrop to this budget was high inflation, low growth, widening current deficit and high fiscal deficit. The finance minister did a tight rope between increasing the revenue and controlling the expenditure.
The biggest gainers from the new income tax proposals are those with income between Rs.2.2 lakh and Rs.5 lakh per annum. In this category you save exactly Rs. 2,060, thus giving middle class a breather. Beyond Rs.5 lakh and Rs. 1 crore you neither lose nor gain on tax liability. But the government has tightened its clutches on the super rich, those with income breaching the Rs. 1 crore mark the tax mounts rapidly, for instance at Rs. 1.5 crore the additional burden is Rs 4,45,990, at Rs. 2crore it is Rs. 6,00,490 and at Rs. 5 crore it becomes a whooping Rs. 15,27,490.
If you are planning to buy an SUV get ready to pay more with customs duty up from 75% to 100% importing a car would cost you more. Even the home manufactured cars would cost more as the excuse duty on SUV is also up, but the government’s criteria of deciding what categorizes an SUV might give some companies a breather. This is good as the price rise of cars would buck the trend of having an ” apni car “(own car) , instead of raising the petrol prices which affects the middle class the most, hiking the taxes on cars will help fill Government coffers in an “aam aadmi”(common man) friendly way.
The FM says be ready to pay more for your sins, the excise duty on cigarettes has been hiked by 18%, so the next time you want to hit the butt your lungs will not be the only one feeling the heat.
The “pro poor, anti rich” stance apart, the FM wants to go women friendly and aims at strengthening the UPA’s votebank by announcing an all women’s bank named “Nirbhaya” funded with an initial amount of Rs.1000 crore for their empowerment and security. This will lend to businesses that are run by women, employ women and women SHGs and livelihoods.
For the already crumbling Indian healthcare system FM has allocated Rs.373.3 billion to the Ministry of Family and Healthcare for the next fiscal year, roughly a 49% jump from last year. For the girl students the FM has earmarked Rs.658.67 billion to the ministry of Human Resources Development, a 17% increase from expected expenditure this fiscal year, thus maintaining strengthening the UPA’s girl empowerment stance.
If you just thought that the budget was “people friendly” with the middle class enjoying the benefits, think again cos FM has made your dining-out a costly affair. Currently the service-tax stands at 12.36%, hence customers will have to pay around 5% extra on their food. So guys next time you go out for a burger be ready to shell out more. The thing that will hit the consumers the most will be the subsidy cuts on LPG. With the Government already putting a cap on the number of subsidized LPG cylinders in a current fiscal year to 9, the time has come to go on carb-free, all salad diet. The cylinder which had cost the consumer Rs.480, would cost Rs.900 if the annual quota of subsidized cylinders is exhausted.
This year the FM has given us a budget that would meets the consumer’s expectations but leaves their aspirations high and dry. The FM has given us roses in the form of “Nirbhaya” Fund, taxing the rich but increase in the cell phone prices and the subsidy cuts in the LPG has also given us much to talk about. The FM has tried to play it safe by keeping the Congress hopes afloat and also trying to steer the economy out of the turbulent waters.
We really appreciate FM’s effort to curb smoking and taxing the super rich instead of the already reeling crisis prone middle class. So the “aam aadmi”(middle class) has something to cheer about this time. But the only thing that irks is the idea of controlling the deficit at 4.8 per cent in the next financial year as is proposed by FM realistic.
(figures from TOI( 1.3.2013))