My Personal Feelings about India Budget 2018


#budget2018

Friends please don’t get carried away by the heading of the post, I’m not going to write here who gained and who lost or what will be cheaper and what’s pricier. There are already lots of articles all over the internet that talk about it. My post is all about what the government has (or not) in mind.

I’m no tax or budget expert, neither support or oppose any political party or leader. I’m a common man, belong to the middle class that pays income tax (rather robbed off) religiously. In other words the income tax is already taken as TDS by the time I receive my salary.

According to a CNBC report here, just about 10% of the Indian population pay tax. The way this govt is now doing poor appeasement, feels like the 10% tax payers are supposed to feed the remaining 90%. Why should they? What are they getting in return? Absolutely nothing. So isn’t the govt indirectly encouraging ‘evade taxes‘?

I agree that corporate taxes could have been high and hence being given sops, but just look at the salaried individual tax payer:

  1. He works 100% but almost 40% or more of his salary is taken in direct and indirect taxes. So indirectly the govt is saying don’t do salaried jobs, do business, earn even more money but hide most of it and evade taxes.
  2. The long term capital gains in Equities is also now taxable. Given another chance they may make PPF returns taxable too. Rather just kill the tax payer, he/she is unwanted except for paying taxes.
  3. In some other countries people pay even higher taxes, but they get ample facilities in return. Here after paying all the tax one still needs to pay in hundreds of thousands (Lakhs), just for school education of his/her children; leave other amenities apart. No govt looks bothered to regulate big expenditures like school fees and healthcare services.
  4. The poor doesn’t want to work because the govt is giving him freebies like ‘food at Rs 5‘ from the tax payers money.
  5. Govt says taxes are used to provide better infrastructure, but those are not dedicated infrastructure for the tax payer. Those are used by everybody. So the govt should make provisions to tax everyone who has an income and not put the burden just on the salaried class.
  6. Whatever the govt has done in budget 2018 could be good for growth rate, GDP etc., I don’t disagree, but there is a saying that goes by ‘Rome was not built in a day‘. So it’s not necessarily a good idea to give the 90% everything overnight and rob the tax paying 10% of everything overnight too; that’s not fair. Develop the country for sure, but only few steps at a time & not by causing pain to the people who pay for it (tax payers).

I’m not really amazed by seeing Congress and TMC candidates winning in elections in some states recently (Read about it here). The govt is probably forgetting that it has to continue to be in power to be able to develop this country, but this way, it may not remain in power for longer. So whatever good it has done so far may be reverted by the next govt, so what’s the gain?

Probably the votes of the tax payers which is below 10% of the population, doesn’t matter to the govt. Dear govt, wake up and tax those who appear to be doing small businesses but earn in lakhs and evade tax too. That way you’ll get enough money to run the development agenda and the salaried class can hope for some sops too. And don’t take too long to do it, because my entire life maybe spent in just paying taxes without getting anything in return.

As I have said in the beginning, I neither support nor oppose any political party nor I have much knowledge in politics, economy or development. So whatever I’ve written above may look to some like a bit messy, but I have just put my feelings in to words.

And yes, I know there are people who are much more knowledgeable in these fields, I personally have a number of such friends. So I may be wrong or even over-reacting to the situation, who knows? If anyone thinks differently about the budget or the plans of the govt for the tax paying people, please enlighten us using the comments below. I’m open to learn.


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