The Good And Bad of Budget 2022

budget

The hype around budget 2022 was nothing short of a blockbuster movie. Nirmala Sitharaman presented her 4th budget and her speech started with Amrit Kaal, a plan for 25 years taking India from 75 to 100.

But what about execution after marketing?

Some people are hailing this budget as non-disruptive because it did not shock the market. Yet, these same people called demonetization, GST and lockdown masterstroke that tanked the market.

Anyway, let’s start with the positives of the budget:

1. PM Gatishakti programme will focus on infrastructure spending. In other words, more expenditure on construction that may generate more employment. The only problem is execution. Whatever happened to the promised 100 smart cities… does anyone know?

2. National highway network will be expanded by 25,000 km. It is an ambitious goal but with Nitin Gadkari in charge it might be possible.

3.Government’s stance on cryptocurrency grabbed the headlines. Profits on digital assets will be taxed at 30% and no deductions or offsets. Virtual digital assets like crypto should be reported in property. Digital rupee will be issued by RBI!

4. Housing and tap-water for the poor and 48,000 crore under PM Housing scheme. In the last two years, 5.5 crore households were provided tap water. Tap-water is a privilege and this is an empowering step by government. Infrastructural developments will come into place so it is good for economy and politics.

5. More self-reliance as far as defense is concerned. 68% defense fund for domestic private industry.

6. If you make mistake in tax calculation, you will not be blackmailed. You can correct the same within two years. Government is willing to assist taxpayers and putting faith in them.

There is also a bad side of budget 2022 that is receiving criticism.

1.Middle class is disappointed as no relief or stimulus was announced after the pandemic. This is not just taxpaying class but also driver of the economy as they are consumer market. They deserve some relief as well.

2. Inflation is also rising so no specific discussion on how to deal with inflation.

3. Progress on old projects not updated like swachh bharat, smart cities and health infrastructure.

4. Reduction in healthcare sector. Even if vaccination drive is near completion, our healthcare system needs more spending, for more upgrade as the pandemic taught us why.

5. Disinvestment was a major announcement of budget 2021 but now its target has been revised to 78,000 crore. Actually, from April to December 2021 only 10,000 crore have been generated. Disinvestment of LIC before March 31 might fill the gap.

6. Urban poor is struggling. It would be a game changer if national urban employment guarantee scheme like rural scheme was also launched.

7. High GST collections make the news repeatedly as rate is increasing. Then why high fuel cess? Savings of middle class may diminish because of high fuel and LPG prices. No discussion on inflation which is also high.

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