New Delhi, Feb 1 : As the common man waited with a bated breath during Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's budget speech in Parliament on Saturday, the 2020 'Bahikhata' evoked a mixed response from the taxpayer throughout the country. Though some readily accepted the tax slabs presented in the Budget, especially the income tax that remains exempted till an income of Rs 5 lakh and the pan card which will be now allotted instantly on the basis of Aadhaar card, yet some were critical of many points in the budget.
Despite difference in the opinion on the merits of the budget, Women have expressed happiness over the special allocation for the empowerment of women and their nutrition schemes. Ms Sitharaman proposed Rs 28,600 crore for women-specific programs, underlining the government's commitment to the welfare of women in the budget presented on Saturday. A woman journalist, while speaking to UNI, expressed happiness over the gross enrollment ratio of girls over boys at all levels of education.
She said that the government is striving for education of girls and women and providing them better opportunities. While announcing the tax proposals, the finance minister announced further tax concessions to the corporate sector and the rich, which a common man on the condition of anonymity told UNI, that its is a highly discriminatory as India's richest 1 per cent are currently holding more than four times the wealth held by the bottom 70 per cent. Another man, who was critical of the budget, said that there is nothing in the Budget that leads us to believe that growth will revive in 2020-21.
"The claim of 6 to 6.5 per cent growth next year is astonishing and even irresponsible", he said. The Election Commission while announcing the dates for assembly polls asserted that the Centre will not declare any state-specific schemes in the budget to woo voters. Though the new reforms announced in the budget might speed up the economy, yet, according to experts, a lot could have done for the middle class. (UNI)