As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today presented the Union Budget 2017, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray criticised the central government over last year’s budget announcements. Citing that all the declarations in the last years budget have not been fulfilled the Shiv Sena supremo questioned the importance of presenting a budget every year. Further taking a dig at the Narendra Modi led central government, Uddhav said that the central government came into power with promises of ‘acche din’ but they don’t talk about it anymore. On the allegations of corruption levelled against Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, he said ‘truth is truth’ and without any proof no one will bring forward such charges.
Also slamming the budget, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi stated that it lacked a clear vision and had nothing for farmers, youths and job creation. Highlighting the need for employment creation, Rahul said, “The main issue facing India today is creation of jobs. How are you going to solve that problem? On that front there was nothing. No vision, no idea and for farmers absolutely there is nothing.” Rahul, however, supported the proposal on political funding.
Earlier in the day, before the Finance Minister’s budget presentation the Congress party called for the postponment of the budget. Citing the demise of former union minister and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP E Ahamed, Congress dubbed the government’s move to go ahead with the presentation as an ‘inhuman’ act. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, said a big mistake is being done if Ahamed, who was one of the senior most leaders, is not given respect.
However, brushing aside all the doubts, FM Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017-18 at the scheduled 11 am. Presenting the Union Budget 2017, FM Arun Jaitley announced that he will reduce the tax rate of individuals earning between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to 5% from the current 10%. This would also translate into an additional benefit of Rs 12,500 for tax payers even beyond Rs 5 lakh. Tax and industry experts were already expecting that to assuage the demonetisation pains of the common man and alleviate their sufferings, some tax reliefs may be provided in the budget. Even Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had hinted in his speeches earlier that the tax burden on taxpayers may be lowered due to higher tax revenues being collected on account of cashless systems.
FM Jaitley further said that political parties continue to received funding from anonymous sources, and hence reduced the maximum donation that a political party can receive in cash is Rs 2,000 from any one source. He added that no transaction of more than Rs 3 lakh will be permitted in cash.