Editorial

Expectation Of The Middle Class From The Last Budget Of Modi Govt

The middle class of the country is demanding a lot from the Modi Government this time and the truth is that it has a lot to offer. 

According to the data released by the Central Board of Direct Taxes i.e CBDT, the total direct tax collection in the country till January 10, 2023 was Rs 14.71 lakh, which is 24.58 percent more than the same period last year. 

After giving refunds, etc., this amount is Rs 12.31 lakh, which is 19.55 percent more than the previous year and it is 86.68 percent of the direct tax collection estimates in the budget. 

Means the government treasury will be filled more than estimated. On the other hand, an increase of 24 per cent has been recorded in Indirect Taxes so far, while there has been an expected increase in Corporate Tax and the total receipt has been Rs 6.35 lakh crore.

According to the available data, tax collection in India has been increasing continuously for the last twelve years. According to a survey, in the financial year 2023, the government will have an additional income of Rs 1.7 lakh crore. 

Not only this, the government will also earn at least Rs 64,000 crore from disinvestment. It is a happy situation for the Finance Minister and the circumstances are such that he has a lot of options. The recovery this time has raised a hope among economists and the middle class that the Finance Minister will give many types of relief.

This budget of 2023-24 will be the full budget before the Lok Sabha elections. It is obvious that the Modi government would like that there should be many such announcements in it, which are not only popular but also attract votes. 

The truth is that this country runs on the politics of votes and most of the steps are taken to get votes. 

This thing will be seen to be true this time also, analysts believe. 

The Finance Minister will not get such an opportunity again. Let’s see what the Finance Minister can do. 

First of all, it can change the slab of personal income tax. Currently, there are two options for filing income tax returns in the country. 

But the new option which was introduced by the Finance Minister was not that successful and now it needs to be improved or rather made practical. 

The second big thing could be that this time the government should directly increase the minimum limit of income tax from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

A big relief can be that the standard deduction limit can be increased. Although the rate of inflation has come down at this time, it had crossed the limit in the previous months. 

Even at this time the prices of flour and pulses are high and it is painful for the low income salaried people. 

Given that the purchasing power of the rupee has declined and people are reducing savings, which is not good for the government, the finance minister may consider increasing the interest on small savings. 

This time, the Finance Minister should also consider reducing the heavy GST levied on medical insurance for senior citizens. 

In the past, Sitharaman expressed a lot of sympathy for the middle class and described herself as belonging to the same class. 

But this alone will not do, she will have to open their coffers. Everyone’s welfare is in this. 

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