By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
The long lines and any inconvenience that people might have endured will be soothed by the new budget. I will not go into details but would still some points that I think will have a significant impact. I think PM and finance minister have tried to balance the budget that would bring relief yet still won’t be a burden on economy.
The biggest relief is the lowering of tax rates and no tax on income up to Rs. 3 Lakh, I think this will greatly benefit lower income household, college graduates who often labor for longer hours in BPO and IT offices and many others from this income belt. Tax benefits have been implemented all over the spectrum. Individuals, families, corporations startups have been given the necessary tax boost. This will infuse the money that was withdrawn from the circulation during demonetization. Another crucial aspect of this budget is the focus on building infrastructure. Two new AIIMS, 3500 km of rail lines, strategic oil reserves are some key points that were declared. Infrastructure is the key to a robust economy and military strength. The wages Act will safeguard the rights and livelihood of labors and factory workers. Payment by cash always presented an opportunity for exploitation, electronic payment and cheque will keep things clear to all parties, this will reduce labor disputes and make compliance easy.
Focal point of infrastructure overhaul should be rural connectivity, money is important but emphasis should also be on optimizing the workings of the government. Making process simple, transparent and people friendly will increase the output and save necessary money, resources and time that is wasted in government offices. IRCTC which is one of the most used and all most irreplaceable parts of Indian railway will get a traffic boost by removal of service tax and public offering. Railways are that symbolic elephant that can go much faster than it can but let’s concentrate on making it more punctual and safe. Railway safety fund will prove to be a key to this end. Past accidents raised serious concern of safety and government has to ensure that Railways continues to be the lifeline of Indian People.
Nation building is in our hands, government has to have that vision to give the direction to its citizen’s potential. It is definitely an ‘Uttam’ budget but the work at the ground level in implementing these policies will set the tone of development. Let’s hope that this planning translate into ground reality.