Open House: Has the last full Budget of the Modi government lived up to your expectations?


Nothing concrete for agriculture

The Economic Survey and the Union Budget are routine annual features followed by TV debates and open house write-ups. But little emphasis is laid on the past performance of the government. To quote an example, it was promised that in the year 2022, the farm income would be doubled. Shockingly, that did not happen. We proudly claim that with our great efforts, 2023 was declared as the International Year of Millets by the UNO, and being our traditional crop for long, we shall reap its benefits in the long run. But in the current budget, no announcement has been made to encourage the farming community to diversify the crop pattern from wheat-paddy to millets. All governments, present and in past, do talk about agriculture, but practically do nothing in this direction.

Harsh Johar

Cooperative movement the only solution

After two waves of the Covid pandemic, the world economy saw a drastic fall. But when the recovery started, some countries took a V-route wherein they quickly recovered whereas others took the U-route wherein some countries dragged for some time and then recovered. But strangely, we took the K-route, in which the rich became richer and the poor became poorer. Moreover, there is nothing new in the budget to come out of this route. Why our policy makers don’t understand that when the most perishable item like milk is successfully marketed by cooperative societies like Amul and Verka, then why not other farm products? On one hand, the producer is not getting a fair price for potato whereas a corporate house is selling the same in the form of chips at the rate of Rs 500 per kg. In an economy like ours, the cooperative movement in all sectors is the only solution but nothing concrete has been done in this budget in spite of the formation of a cooperative ministry under the leadership of Amit Shah.

Nityanshi Chopra

Need to think out of the box

A good annual budget leaves the maximum amount in the hands of the general public in order to spend the same and propel the growth engine of economy. Hence, the concept of standard deduction and other tax-saving schemes. Along the same lines, to give a boost to the rural economy, government introduced PM Kissan Samman Nidhi Yogana in 2019 under which Rs 6,000 given to farmers per year. In a similar way, if not cash some other way should be adopted to save cash in the hand of consumer. One way is to introduce plain colour uniform in all schools, including private and government-aided schools, throughout the country. At present, schools have a unique uniform available at only some selected shops which have exorbitant rates. This process is repeated twice every year. With the introduction of the plain-colour uniform, money would be saved in the hands of parents and it would give thrust to stitching work from home, and thus generate greater employment. But no such out-of-the-box idea is ever considered in our annual budget.

Namish Johar

Budget not up to mark

No, the budget has not lived up to the expectations of Punjab. As all the demands which the Punjab Government has highlighted for the upgradation package of fund are ignored in the budget by the Central Government and the Finance Minister. For upgradation, the Punjab Government has demanded Rs 1,500 per acre of land for farmers and funds for the anti-drone system, for collaborating the five lakhs and clearing debts. But these all are not mentioned in the budget presented recently. By this, Punjab will not get adequate funds for the modernised technology and the upgradation of the state. Punjab will stay backward if there will be a lack of funds. But for resolving this problem, there should be some amendments in the budget and the required fund should be provided to Punjab for the fulfillment of need. As all the states are equally important so, equity should be maintained among them.

Jasleen Kaur

Central budget lives up to expectations

Certainly, the budget presented by the Centre is upto the expectations. Making tobacco items costly is a good move as it has dangerous health effects for everyone. Moreover, the raising of tax slabs is very good and beneficial in the long run for us.

Sanjay Chawla

Budget backs common man’s expectations

The Budget can well be understood to be a financial deposition of the government policies solely attributable to the economic stability, glued with people-centric approach and most above all backing the expectations of the common man. This year’s Budget is perhaps no different with much inclination on the relaxation of tax slabs, provisional rationalisation, infrastructure gradation and sectoral multifariousness thereby paving way for inducting strong chapters into the three organs i.e. primary sector, secondary sector amp; tertiary sector with the ultimate aim of achieving a mammoth 5 trillion dollar economy, India is no behind. The Budget was expected to be a promising one on a key note that India will go to polls in 2024 and it would ensure more power to people was expected when pitted against the previous budgets of the present regime. The perpetual craving of the citizens for major reliefs under the tax roofs was satiated in the form of elastic slabs under the new tax regime with enhancement of rebate in respect of taxes up to a threshold limit of Rs 7 Lakh. It has further been proposed in the Budget with respect to enhancing of limits of savings schemes such as Senior Citizen Saving Scheme from the present limit of Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.

Sameer Bhatia

It’s for businessmen, not common man

The last full Budget of the BJP-led Central Government has nothing for the common and poor people, but for the corporate and the rich. The allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee and the MSP on crops, more so from Punjab, has been decreased. Therefore, state economists have criticised the Budget over the poor allocation. It appears as if the Budget only benefits the states where the BJP in power.

Dr JS Wadhwa

Visionary document to make India developed

This Budget is a visionary document that facilitates Prime Minister Narendera Modi’s vision of a ‘New India’, which is developed and prosperous. All sections of society will be benefited in the coming days. In the Budget, the focus has been on the creation of infrastructure and development of the Railways, national highways, education, health services, public transport, etc. In the Union Budget, the limit of Income Tax exemption has been increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh. This will certainly benefit the salaried class. It will certainly boost the industrial revolution in the country and give Indigenous ‘Made in India’ production, especially in the defence sector, a major fillip. India commands high reputation in the globe and this Budget will certainly boost the Indian economy to new heights. It will halt brain drain and provide more job opportunities to the unemployed youth.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru

Growth-oriented, that pleases all

The Union Budget seems to be a well-balanced exercise with renewed outlook and stability in growth. It aims at pleasing all from the perspective of economic and electoral considerations, since the country goes to parliamentary and a few Assembly elections in the coming periods. Evidently, through enhanced allocations and reorientation in strategic approach, vital segments viz MSMEs, infrastructure development are assumed to get boost. With more reliefs and enhanced incentives to the industry, production is bound to increase. Consequentially, general business community is happy, foreseeing merchandise activity and consumption to boomerang. In broader terms, the Budget outlays for various sectors lay emphasis on the national security and boosting growth through the introduction of technology and higher capital expenditure. Enticing capital investments of higher magnitude of Rs 2.70 lakh crore in road transport and highways is a big push to improve infrastructure, which obviously will generate more jobs and improve efficiency. Promoting Green-cover may lead to environmental safety in a substantial way. Though the agriculture sector outlay has been slightly reduced by Rs 9,000 crore, the creation of Agriculture Acceleration Fund may bring innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers. While the concessions in personal taxation under new tax regime will prompt tendency towards increased spending, which in turn help growth in consumer market. All such measures are largely to benefit the lower and middle class.

On the other hand, some states have not got equitable and fair access to central bourses and initiatives to bridge the gap in their resources and strategic needs. Insurance and banking, a vital sector of the financial limelight, gets a raw deal as the customers will be subjected to increased premiums and pay more due to enhanced taxes on some products. Further the farm sector absorbing majority of our populace ought to have been prioritised higher for inclusive and sustainable growth. Nevertheless, the Budget is, indeed, a calibrated leap projecting growth and pleasing all before going to polls in the year ahead.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath

Nothing done for health sector

It is correctly inferred that proposed Union Budget aims at creating a balance between economic and electoral considerations due to which deserving relief to some marginalised and weaker sections of society has been compromised. Though some major relief in personal income tax is welcome, the special treatment to senior citizens is missing. As per new IT regime which is going to be exclusively implemented in future, these two special categories have been totally abolished. Contrary to expectations, nothing concrete is done in health related issues of senior citizens and persons with disabilities. For example, maximum deductions allowed under relative section 80-D (Health insurance premium), 80-DD and 80-DDB (medical expenses) have not been increased even in partial consonance with ever surging cost of medical treatments. Further, it is most unfortunate that the government has not provided any relief in GST being levied 18% on medical insurance premium payable by senior citizens.

Jagdish Chander

Small farmers ignored again

In a democratic setup, budgets should be formed to bring growth to the country with equity and justice. Unfortunately, political parties see their vote bank first before they make any public policies. Freebies in the form of subsidies are a common trend. As a result our country still has high illiteracy and people below the poverty line are increasing by the day. More farmers are ending their lives by suicide. The actual benefit of government schemes never reaches the intended beneficiary. In this Budget also, farmers have again been ignored, especially small and marginal ones. MSP for all crops should have been the top policy of the Central Government. All farming operations from the sowing of crops to harvesting should come under MNREGA. This will give employment to small farmers in the villages only. Huge subsidies in the form of start-ups to the new industrial entrant are a waste of money and nothing is given to government-sick industrial units where there is a plenty of scope for actual industrial growth. The government is blindly selling government subsidiaries to private corporate. Above all, the Opposition is totally silent. Therefore, what is required is rational policies that can lead to industrial growth and simultaneously eliminate problems like poverty hunger and unemployment.

Harvinder Singh Chugh

Budget meant to lure voters

Definitely, this budget is going to attract voters. The Central Government is simply trying to lure voters for some states’ upcoming assembly elections in 2023 and for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. The Centre is giving benefits to some classes to please them. In a big relief for the middle class, an amount up to Rs 7 lakh. It is the best way to attract the middle class, which accounts for 30percent of the population in the country. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana can appeal to the poor quarters of the Indian population. The Central Government created a big attraction for the scheduled tribes by planning to open 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools and recruit 38,800 teachers to serve 3.5 lakh tribal students over the next three years. Moreover, the Centre has set aside funds for scheduled castes and OBCs.

Sucha Sagar


CM Bhagwant Mann recently flagged off the first batch of 36 government school principals for their visit to Singapore for professional training. Do you think this step would help improve the education system in the state?

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