Covid-19 pandemic-hit middle-class families kept their eyes glued to their television screens as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Budget 2021-22 on Monday morning, but many said that they had expected more from the government. In this year's budget, the government has emphasized more on healthcare, infrastructure, and other sectors, while providing no particular relief to the middle class in terms of income tax exemption.
However, in a major relief, senior citizens above 75 years of age are now exempted from filing tax returns. Besides this, taxpayers were definitely left disappointed as the Union Finance Minister did not announce any change in income tax slabs for them in the much-awaited Union Budget announced during an undeniably tough year.
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Homemakers were not content with the announcements. "Since my husband is the only earning member of the family, no relief on his income tax will not only affect my kitchen, but also the education of my children," said Delhi-based Vinita Kapoor.
Another homemaker said that she did not like the budget. "The government should have made things cheaper at these tough times. Ration and home appliances are getting costlier day by day," Pushpa Sharma said. A Delhi-based telecom expert said that the government should have been given some kind of stimulus to the sector.
"This Union Budget has been a dampener in terms of unshackling the telecom sector, which is ailing. There is a need for liquidity in the sector in terms of GST, input credit, reduction of spectrum usage charges. The incumbent telecom operators continue to face uphill struggles," said Amrish Kapoor, Vice President of Vodafone Idea.
Eshwar Sharma, a retired Delhi government official, said: "There is no change in the income tax slab. No income tax return filing for super senior citizens is, however, a big relief. This government's budget was never satisfactory since the time it came to power."
A recent graduate, who is now looking for a job, said that the government has stretched itself quite a bit given the current situation. "Fiscal prudence was not a very vital criterion right now and the government could borrow to invest more in order to kick start the economy. The economy needs more," Manyika Shrivastava said.
Her mother, Manisha Shrivastava, who runs a BPO in Delhi said that the budget did not help much. "This is a tough time and people do not have disposable income. The government should have taken into consideration the high premiums that are there in the insurance sector. The budget is good in some aspects but I think that it needed more." (IANS)