Budget 2017 and ‘Indian Mind’
At the end of the day of the budget presentation, we all knew which parties would talk good about the budget and which parties would talk ill about it. In fact some people were able to predict verbatim what parties like BJP, Congress and the communists would talk. And they did exactly that.
My attempt, as a non-party person, is to assess the budget purely from the ‘Indian Mind’.
Assessment is made on the following assumptions
*Indian Mind is ‘save at all costs’ mind
*Indian Mind is ‘gold hungry’ mind
*Indian Mind is ‘real estate hungry’ mind
*Indian Mind is, unfortunately, made of ‘less self-pride’ and ‘less self-discipline’
*Indian Mind has, most of the times,’ forget and forgive’ attitude
*Finally Indian Mind is, most of the times, afraid of ‘law and punishment’ of the land
Any government which understands these aspects of ‘Indian Mind’ can bring out a good budget. In my opinion, Budget 2017 is one such budget. Without getting into various clauses and sub-clauses, which are left to auditors and lawyers, I can first list out the negatives of the budget
*Indian Mind expected a far better personal income tax slabs, which would have benefitted the IM and the additional money of about 24000 crores would have either been saved or expended in the common market.
IM expected a much favourable 4 slabs
0 – 5.0 lakhs – nil
5.0 – 25.0 lakhs – 10%
25.0 – 1.0 crore – 20%
1.0 – Above – 30%
*IM is ‘real estate’ hungry and any hurdle put to accumulation of properties might not go well with the IM. In this case, allowing rental incomes tax free up to 2.0 lakhs (only) does not go well with IM, even though this exercise is aimed at corrupt people who accumulate wealth by buying properties
*After claiming that the demonetisation was a success and banks coffers were full of money, government failed to satisfy the IM, because the budget failed to make any mention about increasing the deposit interest rates ( a special interest rate for the registered MSM enterprises at the least 1% above the common deposit interest rates) or reduce the bank’s interest rates (a special interest rate for the registered MSM enterprises of at the least 3% below the common credit interest rates) or both for the MSME sector
*IM also wonders about few matters which crop in its mind from time to time
*Is it really necessary for us to have yearly budget? Is it not sufficient to have two or three budgets in a term (of 5 years)
*IM feels that it is not required to present a separate Railway budget, but is it not wise to have a separate Agricultural budget, because ours is agro based economy and there are many facets to be covered in Agricultural sector?
*IM was disappointed that no vehement proposal was mentioned in the budget for swach Bharat, swach rivers, swach cities, swach towns and swach streets
*Is it not wise to make the political parties accountable from the first rupee? Is it wise to accommodate the donations up to Rs 2000/-?
*IM wonders why capital gains tax was not drastically cut to 10%?
*Why these goondas and the sand mafias were not questioned nor arrested nor jailed?
*Why these politicians who have amassed wealth to the extent of 10000 crores, 30000 crores, 50000 crores, were not arrested nor put in jail whether they were 19 years or 91 years old?
*Why defence budgets were never scrutinised? Why CAG was never allowed to prepare extensive report on the defence budgets?
Now I will give the positives of the budget
*Allocation of Rs 48000 crores to MNREGA gives full and continued support to rural people and assures them of their jobs
*3Rs- Rail, Road and Rural expenditure amounts to 2.4 lakh crores which will provide job opportunities to millions
*Agricultural credit to see an astounding 10 lakh crores. This will revive the agricultural sector immensely and positively egg the agricultural output by at the least 5% and this allocation will cover the entire gamut of the sector. This will also provide enough encouragement to small farmers and might lead them to co-operative movement.
*Nearly 640 soil testing labs. across the country would be set up and strong insurance schemes would help the agricultural sector to identify the soil-crop advantage
*IM appreciates ‘high end’ accolades for fiscal deficit; 5% reduction in income tax for industries with less than 50 crore turn over; one year reduction in capital gains investments and orientation for skill development programmes.