New Delhi, Feb 28: The people of India are taking this budget really seriously, and so is the Modi government. Afterall, a litmus test for its poll-pitch, the budget will either make or break people's trust in a major way. While the public could see the logic behind the Railway Budget, which aimed at developing the existing infrastructure before venturing out on newer projects, the Union Budget accords a lot of sentiment for the common man.
Claiming to be a government of the common man, the government has to walk a tight rope to make both the working class and the underprivieged happy, keeping in mind the economic status of the country.
From food to healthcare, petrol to LPG, common man has pinned its hopes on the budget this time. No wonder, they could be seen praying in temples and Gurudwaras. Ask the middle class and their demands vary from low food and petrol prices to raising the tax slab, the poor and the underprivileged, however, just are bothered with edibles.
Industry-specific experts, however, believe that the Modi government should give a boost to investment in the manufacturing and the real estate sector.
Certainly, this budget is loaded with unusual events, especially when this is the first time that a finance budget is being presented on a Saturday. Interestingly, the stock markets and the Nifty are up both on Friday and pre-budget trades today. Meanwhile, advances in shares outgunned declines by a huge margin.
Jaitley, however, has a lot of work to do. He has now the responsibility of completely erasing last year's insipid memories of the budget. Moreover, he has a minimum of 10 challenges to overcome (as per Firstpost), which include revival of growth, despite the buoyant numbers stated by the CSO for 2014-15 (7.4 percent), and what the Economic Survey itself projected half-heartedly (8.1-8.4 percent), using the new GDP measurement methodology.
- However, on a holistic basis, the public will be buoyed if the government took the following steps:
- Raise public expenditures without hampering the fiscal consolidation roadmap fully
- Relaxing corporate and personal taxes without compromising too much on the revenues
- Spurring market values, despite lack of benefits for stock markets.
- Catering to rural requirements, without overdoing with new subsidies.
- Manufacturing sector and Make in India policy should be justified
- Recapitalising banks, without giving them easy money for jam
All rests on FinMin Arun Jaitley, whether or he chooses to answer the prayers of the common man.