Great expectations of the aam aadmi

Great expectations of the aam aadmi

Budgetspeak

The Rail Budget has made its appearance and according to experts, it is a window to what the real budget on July 10 will be like.

In its final phase of construction, while the Union Budget would be clear in the mind of the Finance Minister, its direct effect on the heartbeats of the common man, specifically the housewife, are of utmost importance. 
Recently when Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO mentioned that 160 million women in India, just remain at home doing ‘household duties’, one gets a fair idea of the vast segment of homemakers, the faceless, silent workforce at home. 

One such homemaker, 45-year-old Rita Choudhary is worried about how the Union Budget will impact her household where the sole breadwinner is her husband. “From LPG gas to onions, the price of everything needs to be controlled in the upcoming budget,” says Choudhary ruing the Congress-led UPA Government’s tenure which made her suffer the brunt of inflation without any respite.

“The price of electricity has shot up in the last two-three years. Let’s not even talk about vegetables, the prices of which are soaring! For my family of four, vegetables for a week cost me atleast Rs 250 and I can’t afford to make two vegetables in a day. At times, I cook one sabzi and all my family members eat the same for lunch and dinner,” says the mother of two, extremely worried about any further increase in prices. Her priority at present is her children’s education and with a deep sigh she says, “Only I know the difficulties that we have faced in getting them educated.”

Speaking of priorities, it is the ‘need’ that wins over ‘want’ when the talk of budget crops up. Looking at an advertisement, one (especially a woman) might fall in love with a refrigerator or a washing machine. But the thought of buying it by extending the budget wouldn’t be a pleasant thought. 

Thirty five-year-old Rashi Rohatgi Khan who desires to buy her favourite “42 inches LED screen Sony Television”faces the same dilemma. 

“At present, my eight-and-a-half-year-old daughter is my priority. So I guess, I might have to delay my plans of buying a TV if there is a hike in the price of electronic products in the upcoming Budget. Plus, I need to save since the future is uncertain. I so wish the Government provides a higher rate of interest on saving schemes,” says Khan who feels she is better off than many, since both she and husband are earning.

Yet, the dreams are high and expectations lofty among those who aspire to buy their dream house in the Capital. “As an individual I would like to see reduction in loan rates especially of home and automobiles. The Union Finance Minister should also increase income tax slabs, making it people-friendly. As a professional, I would like to see reduction in service tax and an increase in the ceiling of service tax till INR 18L,” opines 38-year-old Sayantan Sinha whose plans to buy a house depend largely on the Budget.

Having seen the Rail Budget on Tuesday, Vivasvaan Srivastava, a IInd year student of Political Science in Hindu College feels that the government is on the right track. “No doubt the price rise is plaguing all of us. Just transportation costs me Rs 150 per day. This includes some odd Rs 45 as Metro fare from my house in Saket to North Campus and then the charges of a ride in auto that is Rs 30 one side. I can’t afford to spend on lunch everyday,” he says. 

Expressing concern over the poor infrastructure of colleges in Delhi University which demand “higher proportion of allocation for education in budget and a definite decrease in corruption,” he hopes that the BJP-led NDA Government which rode to power largely on the support of young voters will ensure better employment opportunities and a climate boosting small and medium enterprises for the youth and unemployed.

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