The NRIs living in the Middle East have given a mixed response to the budget- ranging from the budget being change-making budget to some feeling that it was more of an ‘eyewash’, which holds nothing substantial for the people.
FISCAL PRUDENCCE CONTINUES
Dr. B R Shetty, CEO, NMC Healthcare
Macro-economically it is a good budget wherein the fiscal prudence continues. There are certain trendsetting initiatives this time like the consolidation of Union and Railway budgets thus bringing railways into the centrestage. Common man will get great relief with the reduction of tax to 5 percent for income between INR 2.5 Lakh and 5 Lakh. Healthcare gets an impetus with establishment of two more AIIMS, which means affordable quality care to more people. Rural development gets into focus with infrastructure and cleanliness taking the lead. Farmers will get double the income in five years with intensified focus on agriculture, the spine of the economy. National agricultural market on digital space will get the best price for the farmers. The homeless to get houses by 2022 is a great move. Life and skill development for youth, women, children and minorities are defined well. Digital economy aims to bring transparency in political funding, income structures and financial inclusion, enhancing the lifestyle of the poor. It does sound progressive in approach, just that the aspect of corporate tax could have been a bit bolder. But the intention of the government is clear and positive, which is good for the economy as a whole.
LIFESTYLE IMPROVING AND BALANCING BUDGET
Y Sudhir Kumar Shetty, President, UAE Exchange
It can be termed as a change-making budget. It combined Union and Railway Budget which set a trend and reflected government’s intention to streamline the budget. Its vision is to transform, energise and clean India, shaping a digital economy and building TechIndia. Agriculture, infrastructure, youth, education, women, children, minorities, digital etc., have been covered well in the proposal. The digital focus increases transparency in terms of income or political funding, strengthens the financial system, generates more revenue and adds impetus to financial inclusion drive, helping the poor. Common man’s tax woes seem to have found a breather in this proposal with a tax cut to 5 percent for an income ranging between INR 2.5 Lakh and INR 5 Lakh. That means more money in the hands of the salaried. Meanwhile, GST means revenue to go up further due to indirect tax. The reduction in the tax is a good idea. With this positive and progressive approach, more tax concessions can be expected in the future. Overall, it’s a sound proposal with a very positive intention of the government to take a strong step towards balance and improving lifestyle.
Valerian Dalmaida – Chartered Accountant
Well, there is nothing great about this budget and for me, it is more of an eyewash. For the individual tax payers reducing 5% tax and and a tax reduction of Rs.12,500 for people earning income upto Rs 20 lakhs- What else?
The real budget should be abolition of direct tax, introduction of single tax like GST across the board and introduction of bank transaction tax on payment of Rs.50,000 or more
Successive governments have failed people of India. Section 13A- anonymous contribution in cash to political parties should have been repealed. Political funding is the main cause for corruption and black money generation. Reducing the limit to Rs 2,000 from Rs 20,000 is not the way out. The political parties have been issuing five receipts so far for a donation of Rs 20,000, and now they will issue 50 receipts! How is this going to bring a change?
The Government could have done better if it had the will to stop corruption and black money by repealing Section 13A, bringing super rich farmers whose income is more than Rs one crore under the tax bracket, taxing betting and gambling, reintroduction of inheritance tax, Tax incentives to all start ups instead of selected few start ups including e-commerce, internet based and digital based companies. All start ups should be provided with seed money of a minimum of Rs.1 crore with a tax holiday of 5 years and repayment of seed money over a period of 15 years without interest. This would have boosted the spirit of PM’s Make in India and Digital India concepts and young tech savvy and rural entrepreneurs could have been motivated.
I would rate this budget a mere two on scale of ten.