Dr Parag Mehta, 38
By: Srinath Rao
I run a clinic to treat respiratory disorders and I also consult at several public and private hospitals. I am disappointed that the Budget did not touch adequately upon healthcare. India is the diabetes and tuberculosis capital of the world. It is struggling with malaria and dengue fever. India can progress only if it’s a healthy nation. I had expected an increased income tax exemption on hospitalisation expenses and on premium for medical insurance. Affordable healthcare also remains a distant promise, with the budget silent on healthcare infrastructure. They could have initiatives in public private partnership in healthcare centres.
Cherisma Lahori, 26
Hometown: Pune, currently living in Mumbai
Professional: Marketing professional
Income: Over Rs 10 lakh per annum
By: Tabassum Barnagarwala
I am currently employed with a media house in Mumbai. My three-member family comprises my mother, brother and me. I am currently paying EMIs on an educational loan. I invest in mutual funds, an LIC policy and a systematic investment plan. This year’s budget had nothing substantial for a common person like me. Increase in rent deduction will not amount to much in Mumbai. But it is good that this budget puts focus on agricultural and infrastructure. What I could not understand was the allocation of Rs 100 crore for Din Dayal Upadhyay and Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary.
Mohammed Umar, 56
Income: Rs 4 lakh per annum
By: Rohit Alok
I drive my taxi nine hours a day in Mumbai, and have been doing so for 20 years. I live in a self-owned home in Kurla. I am a father of three children. I was looking for a decision on fuel. CNG prices will increase and that will bother me in the coming year. The minister proposed an infrastructure cess of 1 per cent on CNG cars. Autorickshaws have been spared and taxis will suffer. Even mineral water and other goods will become more expensive. Hum ko hi kuwa har din khodna hota hai pani peene ke liye. I know how expensive vegetables have become over the years. I am not a senior citizen and cannot avail the new schemes announced.
Sefrah Johnas, 27
Income: Rs 15,000-16,000 per month
By: Sadaf Modak
I was hoping the Budget would help me reduce my monthly expenditure. On the personal front, the one positive in the budget was the Rs 50,000 deduction on interest for home loans up to Rs 35 lakh. I live in a rented apartment along with my husband and we are deliberating on whether we should buy a home. When it comes to my monthly expenditure, however, I am a bit disappointed. The service tax which was already high has been raised further. In healthcare, the spending has risen this year. The health insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh for families below poverty line and additionally for senior citizens is an important step.
Yashesh Shah, 29
Occupation: Consultant in a start-up providing healthcare services
Income: Rs 1.25 lakh a month
By: Arita Sarkar
Apart from stressing on measures for the farmers and the vulnerable, the Budget has made some interesting promises to the start-ups. The best news is the 100 per cent tax exemption for the first three years out of five years for start-ups. The biggest impediment for start-ups is funding and the finance minister’s proposal of not taxing capital gains if invested in notified start-ups will give a financial boost to the sector. Among other positive measures, Rs 500 crore set aside for start-ups by women/SC/ST will bring about more opportunities. One-day time period for registration is a good step too.