The budget may come up with various amendments in various clauses related to any number of Acts, but what is more important is the fact that individuals should get benefited the most. Whether a businessman, a worker, a student, a farmer or any other person who is earning and managing his livelihood needs some sops for personal benefit.
The Union budget will get presented on February 1, which will be throwing clarity over certain major sectors.
As an individual, you need to watch out what the budget has in store for you because you can manage your household budget even better if certain things as mentioned below bring out some relief in the current budget.
Housing Schemes: PM Modi’s dream to offer the house for every citizen by 2022 will remain a dream if certain measures are not taken in the budget. People are still unable to understand the difference between fixed rates, floating rates or the MCLR concept. Although these statutory methods can’t be wiped out, but we can expect to get simple housing loans with lower interest of up to 6% to 7%. After the demonatisation move, this is possible for the government to initiate such things in the current budget.
Rural Development: The concept of Swachh Bharat should increase its penetration in rural areas. Measures to adopt certain policies to improve the economic conditions of rural areas should be an aspect of discussion in the budget. Welfare schemes related to health, education, water supply, etc. should be taken aggressively for the poor people living in isolated areas.
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Agricultural reform: This is an aspect where farmers should get a direct benefit from the end buyers. Currently, they have access to only traders or commission agents. We need to frame a policy for doing trade through mandis. The budget should amend the policies heading under Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC). Currently, the Act in different states permits the first sale of crops — after harvesting done by farmers — taking place only in regulated market mandis.
Railway Reforms: Recently, ticket prices of AC coaches were increased, but services are still the same. From the current budget, people have more expectations about improvement in services which we get during the course of our journey. Safety measures also need to be taken care of. Thirdly, increase the number of trains so that waiting the list can be reduced. Around 2004 when Lalu Prasad Yadav became the in charge of the railway ministry, he took great steps to reduce the fair price and introduced many trains, including Garib Rath, which has very low fair rates for AC coaches. People want to travel more in AC coaches than sleeper coaches. Seeing the need for AC coaches, their number should get increased in this budget. Emphasis should be more on improving the service part, which includes catering charges, travel time, improved sanitary services, etc.
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Digital India Plan: After demonatisation, people are going for cashless, but who will bear the extra cost which is incurred during a transaction? Why pay extra amount if not transacting through cash? If the government is making a strong move towards digitisation, then it should take serious steps towards defining the transaction policy between the merchant, government and the end consumers. Removing the service charge and then increasing the fare price of commodities should not be the aspect of balancing deficit. Therefore, in order to promote digital payments, first, the policies should be fair and transparent; and secondly, since it’s a technology-based medium for the transaction of money, security concern should be taken on a priority basis.
Revamping of IT slabs: Keeping dearness into consideration, there should be some relaxation in tax brackets for individuals earning up to Rs.5 lakh per annum. Limit of section 80C should also be increased to Rs.2 lakh. Currently, it is Rs.1.5 lakh. The addition of Rs.50000 can give much relief to taxpayers in saving their taxes. The number of tax-saving instruments should be increased by the government by creating certain subsections under 80C of the I-T Act. Else, additional benefits should be given under the various subsections of 80C. Like under 80CCD (IB), the limit of NPS should get increased to Rs.1 lakh.
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Make in India: Promotion indigenous goods should be taken into priority. Currently, we have seen a major setback in the launch of the most inexpensive phone – Freedom 251 – which has slightly shattered the Indian market. Keeping such things into consideration so that it does not happen again in future, proper subsidy or easy credit loans should be given to entrepreneurs so that they can manufacture products in India without getting overburdened with heavy manufacturing costs. Had the sales of Freedom 251 been properly managed, we would have seen a major drop in the prices of smartphones in the coming year. Although the initiative has been taken, but the policies need to be redrafted so that the cost of goods can get reduced further. Not only smartphones but various other products should also be manufactured in India, which can help the economy grow at a faster pace.