Prime minister Narendra Modi congratulated finance minister Arun Jaitley in parliament for presenting a budget 2016 which will increase opportunities for the youth, by promoting start-up culture that will enable youths to become ‘job creators’ instead of ‘job seekers’. Modi said, “I want to congratulate Finance minister for Union Budget 2016, which focused on the development of agricultural, farmers, women and rural areas. Many important steps have been taken in Budget 2016 in the direction of doubling the income of farmers by 2022. By 2018 every village will have electricity, rural economy will get a boost as a result, common man’s life will change.” 

Earlier Narendra Modi also congratulated Suresh Prabhu, Railway minister for presenting a corrective and visionary budget which though not being a populous one will open many opportunities in future. In response, Suresh Prabhu credited Narendra Modi for being the inspiration while preparing the budget. All the major initiatives which were taken in the budget synchronise with the Modi’s vision of the transformation of railways by satisfying each and every member of railway and the common man. No hike in railway fare, four new categories of the train, Antoyada express for long distance unreserved category, Deen Dayalu coaches which will be equipped with more chargers and drinking wter, Humsafars, fully 3rd AC train and UDAY (Utkrisht DoubleDecker Air-conditioned Yatri), which will increase the capacity by 40 percent by plying on the busiest routes overnight, setting up of auto hub in Chennai, creation of modular station equipped the services like free WiFi and solar lights were some of the highlights of the railway budget.

The Modi Government was criticized for being a pro-investors previous year and faced many allegations of not providing enough benefits to the weaker section of society. This year’s budget was completely different as per target is concerned. It focused around the upliftment of rural areas by initiating many schemes as well as flushing sufficient fund to make some of the earlier schemes like NREGA and NABARD more efficient. Narendra Modi also welcomed the move for passing on the benefits of LPG gas in rural areas, he compared serious consequences of ‘Chullahs’ or stove used in many part of rural India with cigarettes, and said it affects the health of the women as they are exposed to the ill effects which are equal to smoking 400 cigarettes in a day as quoted by some experts.

Narendra Modi expressed his contentment with the union budget which aims to raise the standard of living of people in rural areas as well as focus and harness the benefit of young India. Keeping up the trend of past two years of rectifying the previous mistakes of giving freebies to each and every states in appeasement which resulted in projects getting delayed and shelved, thus increasing the total cost and creating a burden on the Government’s fiscal deficit as well as projecting bad impression to the foreign investors, this year’s budget have focused on generating revenues by selling many ill public sector units (PSUs) and also developing many public sectors through public-private and partnership model (PPPs).

One of the major highlight of the budget was collection of funds for Krishi Kalyan Scheme by levying each individual with a cess of 0.5% in form of indirect tax on goods and commodity purchased may miff many commoners, but going by the income disparity, excessive deficit (3.9 % for the year 2015-2016) and invariably lower revenue generation through direct tax, such motives may not be doubted if not appreciated. The middle class may have a share of some grievances as their provident funds (PFs) will come under the taxable income if withdrawn the same year. But through such initiatives, Government is trying to make people save more in financial system rather than investing in dead assets like gold and silver which contribute almost nothing to the economic growth.

ShivajiContributor: Shivaji Singh