'Aam aadmi' not excited with Jaitley's Budget

'Aam aadmi' not excited with Jaitley's Budget

Salaried class unhappy over no tax rebates, health exemptions find favour with elderly

Delhiites are saying there is nothing very exciting for the common man in Arun Jaitley’s Union Budget.

The salaried class looked unhappy with income tax slabs remaining untouched. Ashish Kumar, a young professional who works for a tax consulting firm, referred to the refuction in corporate tax. “Corporate interests have been put ahead of the aam aadmi’s interests,” he said.

Revenue which could have been realises from corporate tax has been lost, service tax has been increased, he said. “So there is nothing for the salaried class.”
“This Budget will delight only the super rich as wealth tax has been abolished in lieu of additional 2 per cent surcharge,” he added.

Some are defending the first full-year Budget presented by the Narendra Modi government by claiming that it is a ‘well-intentioned’ budget.

“One news outlet has called the Budget a ‘bitter pill’. People are being unnecessarily bitter about no income tax rebate. At least, people wouldn’t have to pay more taxes. Had the Aam Aadmi Party been in power at the Centre, would it have announced complete income tax exception?” Shekhar Mishra, an IT professional, said.

The Budget has found some support amongst elderly people. “The tax exemption limits for contribution to the National Pension Scheme and health insurance have been increased. I think this will encourage the young to save for exigencies,” Chander Arora, a retired educationist, said.

The health exemptions for all and, in particular, for the elderly has struck a chord with 64-year-old Arora. “God forbid, if you land up in a hospital, you will have to pay through your nose to get good medical facilities,” said Arora.

Young in the city, however, didn’t seem very happy with the Budget. “People will have to pay extra for going to a gym, having their meals at restaurants, and watching cable TV. This Budget is for the rich and not the aspiring class,” Brahm Chaturvedi, a 27-year-old bank employee, said.

On tobacco products getting costlier, a student of Delhi University, who refused to be identified, sarcastically said, “I am quitting from Monday.”

“Isn’t this a cliché now? Each year, your government increases the taxes on tobacco products and alcohol. Do they not feel guilty of making smokers and alcoholics suffer, both financially and health-wise?”

The student said that he doesn’t really plan to kick the butt.
Pooja Bansal, who works for an NGO, thinks that Jaitley’s Budget has shown concerns for women safety. “It is good to see two-fold increase in the Nirbhaya Fund. I hope this will help augment women safety. But it would be a nice thing to know how much was spent in the last two years,” she said, adding that very little has changed in Delhi on the women security front.

The BJP-led government has allocated additional 1,000 crore to Nirbhaya Fund, which was set up by the previous UPA government in a tribute to the 23-year-old student gang rape victim.