Budget according to common man

Free Thinker *

Whenever a budget is presented either in Parliament or the State Assembly the general tendency of the laity is to see its impact on his or her pocket ( personal income-expenditure relation) . Union Budget for the year was presented on 5th July by our gracious Smt Nirmalaji who is also the first full-fledged-full-time lady Finance Minister of the country.

As a common man my take on with the budget is as follows :

1.The smokers and tobacco chewers are as usual to spend more on their stuff. Still I donít understand the rational behind it ; is it to discourage people to consume tobacco and tobacco products or is it to earn more revenue . I am confused.

2.Perhaps nothing is mentioned about alcohol, and so let us assume that the drinkers are exempted this time. Is this a preferential treatment to the drinkers as compared to the tobacco users ?

3. Petrol and diesel will be costlier by 2 to 3 rupees. Is it an encouragement to the potential buyers of electric cars and bikes ? Again GST on electric vehicles is brought down to 5%. But when these electric vehicles and bikes will appear in our state?

4. Gold jewellery will be costlier now ; it will certainly give a good excuse for men to not present such items to their better halves . But the import duty on diamonds remains unchanged , ladies please note.

5.If you withdraw more than Rs 1 crore in cash from your account you have to pay 2% TDS . A person who is having that much of money in his/her account shall not bother about such a minor deduction. 2 percent is peanut for them.

6. Prices of imported vehicles and bikes are likely to be on the rise as the custom duty on auto parts and mental fittings is hiked. I have no idea what will happen to the vehicles and bikes coming from Myanmar? Pretty cheap !

7.Middle class , lower middle class and poor are exempted from income tax burden; existing tax rates will continue for them. It is a good thing .

8.But the super-rich are taxed ; for those who have an income of Rs 2 crores to Rs 5 crores the surcharge has been hiked from 15 percent to 25 percent. For those having an income higher than Rs 5 crores the surcharge will be 37 percent.

9. Hon. Finance Minister contemplates that the economy will grow at the rate of 8-8.5 percent. Common masses do not understand the significance of GDP rate ; they simply long for cheap food, reasonably priced goods , better health care, good education, better employment opportunities , better infrastructure etc.

10. Union government is developing 17 iconic tourism sites into world class tourist destinations and also to serve as a model for other tourism sites. Prahlad ji , minister of tourism and who is also our State in charge said that by mentioning these iconic sites the FM has given emphasis on tourism. However luck is not in our favour this time , no iconic sites are in Manipur. Prahlad ji loves Manipur, so let us hope in the next additional lists of iconic tourism sites we get ours.

11. It is good news for everyone that PAN( permanent account number) and Aadhaar is now interchangeable. But someone says that it is with effect from 1 September. Existing tax laws says PAN and Aadhaar should be linked for filling income tax returns. So we need clarity in this regard.

12. FM has given us the good news that as of now 120 crore people have Aadhaar. Now Aadhaar will play a vital role in our transactions, interactions, and communication with the government and other authorities. But Aadhaar data must be protected at any cost. Any Company or individual who plays with our Aadhaar data must be pulverized or lynched.

13. It is good news for the start-ups that the Angel tax has been done away with. Moreover import duty on capital goods meant for mobile phones, cameras, set-top boxes has been reduced to nil. Such measures will give a boost to Make -in- India and Start-ups.

14. There will be tax benefits for home buyers with loan (first time buyers); tax benefit may go up to 3.5 lakhs. The upper ceiling of the home loan is Rs 45 lakhs. Why canít we extend such benefit to second home buyers if not the third ?

15. Book lovers may be unhappy with the cess on imported foreign books. However Indians books are tax free as usual. I donít think I will be impacted by this because I normally buy second hand books, both foreign and Indian.

16. As projected Fiscal deficit is likely to fall from 3.4 percent to 3.3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Containing fiscal deficit without reducing expenditure is going to be challenging. I heard an expert uttering like this.

17. This budget proposes perhaps for the first time to borrow from global markets. This is the confidence of this robust incumbent government in Rupeeís global standing in terms of foreign exchange rates.

18. FM gives a boost to women economic empowerment and their Self-help- groups (SHG) by allowing every member an overdraft of Rs 5000 on her Jan Dhan account and a loan of upto Rs 1 lakh for a woman of the SHG under the MUDRA scheme. The number of SHGs in our state is possibly more than the total number in the entire NE region sans Assam. Enjoy the windfall.

19. Imported CCTV cameras, marbles, split ACs, loudspeakers etc will be costlier now. So, go for the old stocks and buy immediately.

20. Last but crucial, you must pay tax even if your income is not taxable if your electricity bill is above 1 lakh in a year or if you have spent 2 lakhs in a foreign trip including Tamu and Mandalay.

* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on July 11 2019.

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