Analysis according to one’s own idea but definitely more is to be done for economic health of the nation
Union Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitaraman has presented what is said and praised to be a paperless budget but opposition and critics of this government are terming it as a directionless and worthless budget. Though the finance minister has tried to put lives on livelihood. She according to her budget speech allocated greater amount to health care which was necessary. It gives greater fiscal push to undergird to struggling demand in the pandemic hit economy . But analysed deeply it becomes clear that actual allocation for health care has been slashed in comparision to last budget the extra amount is to be spend on Covid -19 vaccination etc.
When the farmers are up in arms against this government due to three controversial farm laws the government tried to give them lollypop in shape of increased investment in farm sector but is not this laughable that by increasing input cost of farming this government is claiming to be working to double the farmers income. The agriculture cess on Diesel has been increase by Rs. 4/- per litre and on Petrol Rs. 2.5o per litre. One may imagine how much a farmer will now have to spend for ploughing by tractor and irrigating by diesel tube well and pumping sets. Not only this even transporting farm produce will be more costly so how the government will double farmers income is a major question. Is not this like putting money in one pocket by bringing out from other of the same shirt?Allocation for MGNREGA has also been slashed which will create job crisis in rural India. One must not forget that it was this job program which saved millions Indian from starvation death during lockdown and pandemic. It was agriculture which gave 3.5% growth during this period when all other sectors had collapsed and both these are being victimized by government. The government proudly claim to provide Rs. 6000/-per annum to farmers but allocation for this shows that the number of farmers being benefitted by this aid is to be brought down if the same amount is to be maintained.Budgetary allocation for farm sector as highlighted by the finance minister to portray the government as farmer’s friendly can not be cited to validate the three new farm laws against whom the farmers are up in arms all over the country.
Economists are of the view that there should have been more allocation for providing direct cash transfer to poor house hold to tackle the impact of pandemic particularly to those middle class youth who have lost their job or whose pay packet has been reduced. Fact remains that nothing has been given to middle and lower middle class people in this budget but there gain through PF interest exceeding 2.5 Lakh has been subjected to Income tax which in no way be termed as fair and justified. Senior citizens above the age of 75 have ben exempted from filing ITR of what use this facility is remains difficult to understand.
Budgetary allocation for MSMEs have been slightly increased but unless demand is increased these units may not survive on mere government facilities of loan and moratorium . For increase in demand jobs are the precondition otherwise these MSMEs will become white elephant and a burden on Indian economy.
Government claims to be working for “Aatmnirbhar Bharat ( Self reliant India) but by selling PSUs and the precious land that the different government deptts. Have,will nation ever be self reliant. It is day dreaming and a dangerous trend which not only have economic but even social fall out. With maximum privatization the statutory job reservation will become meaningless as not government but private sector will be employer and they will not implement the reservation policy SC/ST and OBC will be the main loser of this blind privtisation policy. Railways and banks are the major employers and both are to be privatized closing the doors of mass employment for our youth. Nothing directly and clearly has been said finance minister to create job which has reached to dangerous mark of 9% whereas even in worst days it was around 2-3%.
Government has increase allocation for infrastructure development in election bound states of Bengal,Assam Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It could not be opposed or crticised but electoral consideration are not appreciable. Infrastructure is needed for every state and justice should have been done in fund allocation with every state.
In general the budget may be said to be good for its focus on health care,innovation,infrastructure and transportation sector but fromm tax payers angle it is lacklustre as there was no announcement on any category of an increase in the income ceiling limit,standard deduction or exemption under 80CC.
Some steps have been taken by the government to improve the health of our economy but more are needed as our recovery rate after pandemic is not upto the mark. The budget could only be the starting point for a year that calls for deft handling and stewardship of economy.