This year, BJP Minister Piyush Goyal stepped in and delivered the Budget speech because Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is away for health reasons. The Budget 2019 is the last by the Narendra Modi government ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in May.
This interim budget (2019) presents one last opportunity to PM Modi to make some big announcements that may include sops for farmers, youth and the middle class before he seeks re-election in April-May.
After budget, do you save tax or not? Where is budget for this particular sector? Where are concrete measures to combat pollution? To what extent can that Rs 6000 per year address the farmer’s concerns? Read everything about what is god and wrong in the Indian budget 2019
Biggest announcement for farmers or just a Jumla?
The biggest announcement was that farmers(with cultivable land of up to two hectares ) they will receive 6,000 rupees (about $84; £64) every year in their bank accounts.
Agriculture has been blighted by a depleting water table, shrinking farms and declining productivity for decades, while farmers struggle to repay debt to banks and money lenders.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Centre over its decision to provide direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to the farmers. “Five years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers. Giving them Rs 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for,” he tweeted.
To what extent can that sum address the farmer’s concerns?
Who will pay for these schemes?
Piyush Goyal also proposed a pension scheme for India’s informal workers which will only target those with a monthly income of $210 or more and is contributory. By this they would have to set aside a minimum amount each month, which the government will match.
It would certainly help a workforce with almost no benefits, but the problem is that most unorganised workers are paid in cash. Their income also varies as many work as contract labour on farms or construction sites. So it would be hard to decide who is eligible.
North India Grapples With Toxic Air Pollution But Government Fails To Announce Concrete Measures
In the Budget 2019, Piyush Goyal announced a special scheme to be implemented to support efforts of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi in curbing air pollution.
“A special Scheme will be implemented to support the efforts of the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi to address air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue,” said Goyal in his speech.
Most of the environmental issues such as pollution-free cities, clean rivers, coastline protection, only managed to find a mention in the ‘vision for the next decade’ in Goyal’s speech. None had a concrete action plan.
More things that don’t work
– Assumptions around the funding of the direct subsidies were not very clear and could be a challenge.
– Measures related to the corporate sector/MMSE (e.g., MAT, SEZs, Doing Business, etc.) were ignored.
– Disinvestment targets have not been met and have been a big disappointment. Acceptance of the same with an action plan on how it will be achieved was missing.
– No clear strategy around job creation.
– The important question is who will pay for these schemes? Who cares about economics, when survival is at risk?
Few more challenges before the government that needs to be redressed immediately:-
1) To rescue the cash strapped economy still reeling under the effects of demonetisation
2) The problems compounded by the GST slabs, which government has time and again revised
3) Massive unemployment, no job creation, Make in India yet to take off
4) Keeping fiscal deficit under control within 3% of GDP
5) Raising the GDP growth level to over 7%
6) Keeping the Revenue Deficit and Current Account Deficit (CAD) under control
Where is budget for this sector?
The interim Budget is devoid of any grants, incentives, or subsidies for the renewable energy sector, proving to be another damp squib for renewable energy sector in India. It is similar to the Union Budget 2018-19 and the 2017-18 Budget which did not include any major subsidies or incentives for the renewable energy sector, and brought the sector much disappointment.
How the Indian budget has changed over the years!
– The first Union Budget of Independent India was presented by RK Sanmukham Chetty, the then Finance Minister of India on November 26, 1947. First budget of the Republic of India was presented by John Mathai.
– The first budget of independent India was only for seven and a half months and that was the time when the ‘Interim Budget,’ that meant budget for short period, came into being.
– Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru are the only three Prime Ministers’ belonging to the same family to have presented the budget. This unique achievement of the Gandhi family was completed in 1987-89 after VP Singh quit his government and Rajiv Gandhi presented the budget.
– The longest budget speech was delivered by former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, comprising 18,650 words, during his tenure as Finance Minister in 1991.
– The shortest budget speech comprising 800 words was given by HM Patel in 1977 while delivering the Interim Budget.
– Manmohan Singh as Finance minister introduced the concept of Service Tax, VP Singh introduced the Modified Value Added Tax (MODVAT) and Rajiv Gandhi Introduced the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT).
– In 2017, the Rail Budget, which was presented separately for 92 years, got merged with Union Budget.
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