Not A Populist Budget

Not a single rupee can be spent by the government unless we give our consent in the form of the passage of the Finance Bill by the Lok Sabha. The presentation of union budget is eagerly awaited every year expecting something better than the last year.

The fact is that all like to have a better share of benefits, but nobody likes to be taxed. The beauty of any budget is to manage and allocate within the tax pie of 100. If there is increase in something, it will be compensated by reducing something else.

The budget proposals for 2022-23 presented yesterday in Parliament expects the largest contribution of revenue from GST (16%) followed by corporation and income tax (15% each), while one fifth of the earning will go to serve interest, and 17% to states as share of taxes and duties.

As much as 58 paise come from taxes for every one rupee earned by the government. In a pre budget survey, 24% people expected relief in the income tax, but none was given. People like me also got disappointed and angry that there is nothing for middle class, especially salaried class or even for elderly people.

When a budget is presented, we know how political leaders of different hues will jeer and cheer the proposals. I’m not going into that useless debate. As a non-aligned citizen, I’m really surprised that Finance Minister (FM), Nirmala Sitharaman has not given in to populism, even in the light of a mini-election (5 states going to polls this month).

The 4 priorities set by the government in this budget are-
1. PM Gati Shakti,
2. Inclusive development,
3. Productivity enhancement, and
4. Investment

The desire to put the economy on a high growth trajectory is apparent with focus on capital expenditure that shows a growth of 24.6%. There is clearly a conservation approach on consumption spending. Budget math also appears to assume a strong revival in private sector demand, but the government spending has not been upto the mark for the last two years to trigger demand.

The important highlights of the budget 2022-23 are as under:

*No change in income tax slabs
*Focus on Gatishakti, e.g. roads, railways, ports, airports, transport and logistics infrastructure
*Use of kisan drones to aid farmers
*Opening of a digital University
*Boost for affordable housing
*Issuance of chip embedded e-passports
*Rollout of 5G network
*Introduction of digital currency and crypto tax
*Introduction of 400 GenNext Vande Bharat trains
*Green bonds mobile resources for green infrastructure
*Introduction of tele-mental health programme to facilitate mental health counselling
*5-river link projects across various states
*Creation of six million jobs under productivity-linked schemes

The budget has given a strong push to AtmaNirbharta (self dependence) by way of tariff and policy steps to reduce imports, and also to big infrastructure and overall economy. As FM has emphasised, it would give a blueprint to steer the economy over the Amrit Kaal of the next 25 years from India@75 to India@100.

Instead of ‘what I have got’, if we see ‘what we as a nation will get’, then there will be no heartburn.
🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳


–Kaushal Kishore

17 Comments

  1. I read your highly informative explanation of the Indian government budget with rapt attention,
    Kaushal, not only because of my interest in India but because there are parallels with the thinking and aims of our brilliant Chancellor who is Indian by birth.
    Your use of the famous quote:” Don’t ask what this country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” set the tone of your outstanding post.
    I do hope that all listed aims will be achieved and that India’s economy will flourish
    in the next few decades.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like others, I also appreciate you and your love and concern for India. I think Rishi Sunak is your future PM. The day of budget presentation is awaited eagerly to know what is there in store. I hope that the intentions of the government are genuine. Thank you, Joanna for your kind words and good wishes.

      Like

  2. KK Sir ,that was an outstanding account of the Budget Proposals for FY 2022-23 by you! Like any salaried or pension drawing individual, you haven’t tried to hide your disappointment over non- raising of taxable limit or encouraging more savings u/s 80c! But then Budgeting is a balancing act which can always be tricky! Let’s be content with the quote-don’t ask what this country can do for you, but what you can do for your country by foregoing the concessions not granted! Thanks for such a splendid explanation 🙏🏾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well said, Dhirendra ji. I fully agree with your sentiments. Criticism is easy, but doing in reality is difficult. Thank you for sharing your beautiful reflections 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Being the travelers on the same boat, we understand each other’s sentiments as well as the restraints of the Government which has to adopt a policy like it or not! I again say, at times somebody becomes happy at the expense of someone’s unhappiness!Budget allocations need balancing exercises in which some unpopular decisions have to be made 😂👍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re absolutely on dot. We may compare our family budget with the union budget. We also make a lot of adjustments and permutations and combinations at minute level. The national budget has so many ramifications that a layman doesn’t envisage. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are absolutely right regarding your thoughts on the current Union budget!We are indulging in a healthy debate on the issue and I am happy sharing my thoughts with you! Thanks Sir! Keep happy 🌷& keep safe 💕🙏🏾

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Succinct with to the point post on Budget 2022-23 covering the major aspects… Identifying flaws is easy but rectifying the same is not… Many have criticized the budget but none have given any solutions, this is the irony…

    Liked by 1 person

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