What the Budget means for most Indians

The Indian Budget 2011 was tabled in the Parliament on the 28 Th Feb. The question which comes to mind most naturally is –
What does the annual Budget mean to most Indians?
The obvious answer nothing.

When I say most Indians, I really mean most Indians. And certainly not the same bunch you see day in and out on Television, debating issues who assume that they are the “we”. The Budget does have a huge impact, but only for the “handful” and the “we”. This “we” is the section of the population who are the table polishers, those who feed on the scraps thrown at them by the “handful”.

In a country home to the world’s largest poor population, where 60% of the total population lives below the poverty line. This 60% lives on an average daily income of 100 Rupees, the daily routine of this section of the population range between meeting the daily basic needs to death by starvation ,malnutrition and lack of health care. I don’t know of any such surveys being conducted, but I am sure that over 80% of this section of the population either doesn’t know what a Budget is or haven’t heard of it.

Of the next 35% of the population, they most probably know what a Budget is. For those eligible to pay taxes, they know where they stand. But again, I am sure an overwhelming majority does not know or haven’t heard about the technical jargon like G.D.P., fiscal deficit or any of the terms one associates with the Budget.

Then there is the next 4%, which includes the upper middle class and what is known as the white collared class, they know most of it and what it means for them. These are the people who contribute most of the taxes. This is the section of the population, which leads a comfortable existence.

That leaves the last 1%.This is the wealthy class, most of who try to minimize their tax liabilities by using the loopholes left so kindly for them to exploit. At the very upper end of this class are the “handful “, for whose benefit the annual Budget exercise really takes place. Next in hierarchy are the “we”, the table polishers, about whom I have already spoken about. Last are those who have no option but to flow with the tide, even if they do not wish to.

Now coming back to the Budget 2011, there is really nothing in it for the common man, who’s Budget it has been dubbed as. The funds allocated for the common man are as always, the funds, which are left for looting. From a Government facing international ridicule over the series of corruption scams, one could at least have expected some token bold steps to stop the looting. Some initiatives could have been taken to find and recover the looted 1.5 trillion dollars stashed away in Swiss Banks and other tax havens. What we get is nothing; they have become brazen, digesting scam after scam.

Where the Government has taken care is the allocation of more funds to those states where they will be facing elections in the near future. This has nothing to do with the poor in those states, but an opportunity to loot for those power brokers who can ensure votes.


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Comments

  1. http://www.arindamchaudhuri.com/india-today-tomorrow/dream-budget-for-indians.html

    An alternative to Chidambaram-Manmohan-Montek's dream budget for 20% Indians.

    ReplyDelete

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