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Budget blues……
Reminiscence

Budget blues……

Durgadas P.V.

Today I went to one of the most advertised jewelry shops in town to purchase a gift.

I had to buy a golden gift for a wedding in the family. As a close relative, I had to give a gold ornament as the custom warranted. Moreover my daughter had received a gold gift from that family years back. As I had taken my wife along with me, it took more than one hour to select the item. During the process of selection, she saw many items like earrings, bracelets, bangles, etc. I had closely observed her reactions while doing so. The OMG appreciations reflected clearly on her face.The price tag many times retracted and restricted her oral expressions.

The jewelry was situated in a four storeyed, well stocked building. When one enters such shops we forget the fact that India is a poor developing country. The huge chandeliers studded with diamond like stones and bright LED lights added to the shine of the long array of ornaments of wide range of style and weight and of course, price ranging in five and six figures.

There were TV screens with advertisements and current news kept at strategic points within the hall.. The news coverage included direct telecast of the central budget being presented in the parliament. Madam Seetharaman was reading through the budget proposals with the thumping of desks by the ruling party MPs. There was instant reaction/review on the proposals. The news of reduction in the IT rates was being flashed on the TV screen repeatedly. I felt very happy about it. The channels were prompt in calculating the benefit for an individual with an income of about fifteen lacs of annual income as Rupees seventy eight thousand. For a pensioner living with a monthly pension and interest on fixed deposits it was great news at the outset. My cell phone also pinged. The messages complimenting Madam minister came from none other than Kumaraswamy a great critic in tax and investment matters. I was really pleased with a broad smile on my face which was keenly observed by my wife. After she elucidated the reason for my reaction, she came with a reasonable request to buy a pair of bangles which she liked very much. The cost of the item almost matched with the tax benefit I was supposed to get in the coming year. Hence I had to agree to the proposal…( as you know a proposal from your wife is more than a demand). I proudly swiped the credit card and purchased the " gift" for the relative and my wife and drove back home by afternoon.

The afternoon analysis of the tax proposals revealed about the options given to the assessee to go with the existing concessions and rates or choosing the new rates without concessions. The comparative studies showed hardly any change in the net tax to be paid for my income bracket . This was not revealed by the channels in the morning when I saw the news sitting at the jewel ry shop…….!

I was reminded of the words of caution by Prof Fenn who taught me German language in the Institute of Languages way back in the seventies. In the German language, the word for negation ("nicht" equivalent of "not" in English) mostly comes at the end of the sentence. And when a long sentence with positive expressions is read, one should not conclude about the message till the last word is read and meaning understood…

I should not have gone for the rope to tie the calf no sooner than someone informed about the cow delivering one ( as the Malayalam proverb goes).

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