The Interim Budget for 2019 was largely welcomed by the tricity. It was tax exemption for those earning an annual income of Rs 5 lakh that seemed to make most people happy.
Professor Sanjay Kaushik, University Business School, Panjab University
I haven’t had a chance to look at the budget closely, but I am told it is the best budget ever presented in Parliament. It touches every section and aspect of life. We were expecting a relief for the people as it was an interim budget, but it proved to be more than that.
Brigadier Harwant Singh (retd), Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement
There has been some increase in the defence budget but not to the level it should have been. Whatever increase you make in the budget has to be in accordance with the threat perception. The hike in defence budget is not what is required to buy advanced weapon systems to safeguard our borders, especially from China, which is far ahead of us in terms of modern armaments.
The India Air Force is short of so many planes. Out of 32 service squadrons, we have only 26.We actually need a much bigger budget to make up for all the gaps. Similarly, there is a colossal shortage of tanks and ammunition in the army.
My reaction is mixed, the budget is a step in the right direction, but the step is too small. We need to take big strides so that we can move ahead of China.
Navneet Sharma, Haryana Government employee
I am happy. The entire service class is extremely happy due to the tax rebate for those earning up to Rs 5 lakh a year. This was a pleasant surprise. Small farmers will get benefited from the annual payout of Rs 6000. BJP has made fertile the road to the Lok Sabha elections. But I wonder where they will get the funds for all their do-good schemes. I hope it doesn’t impact the national treasury in future.
Vishnu Goyal, head, Haryana Chamber of Commerce, Panchkula
I was not expecting much as this is an interim budget. The 2% interest subvention for Micro Small ansd Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) for loans up to Rs 1 crore will give a boost to industrial growth and create more jobs. The interest burden on industries has been reduced and that is a very good step. Another good reform is the increase in standard deduction to 50,000. The budget has also provided some relief to farmers. It is good that the defence budget has also been increased.
But the tax burden on the corporate sector needs to be reduced further.
Pooja Chauhan, Business Development Manager, Skills Anytime India
I am super excited. The rebate in Income Tax is a good thing for middle class people like me. I am glad BJP is doing something good for the common man also. They are looking after the entire gamut of people. I know this may have something to do with the Lok Sabha elections, but I am happy.
But something more needs to be done for people who buy health insurance. It is a big cause of concern for all of us as we don’t fall in the Ayush bracket and private healthcare is very expensive.
Shashi Sharma, Homemaker, Mohali
The government has done what it can for the common man. Everyone is happy, especially the middle class. I feel it is a good budget. The big thing in this budget is the tax exemption for those with an annual income of Rs 5 lakh. The threshold for TDS on interest earned on bank fixed deposit has also been raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000. This is quite praiseworthy as the middle class still likes to keep its savings in fixed deposits. The government has also promised to give 8 crore more LPG connections, which is a good step.
Manish Jauhar, a Venture Capitalist
Since this is an election year, I expected it to be a populist budget. But one thing I liked about it is the tax exemption for people with an annual income of up to 5 lakh. My employees were very happy when they heard about it. This step makes a difference to a lot of people. I run an IT company, I did not notice any noteworthy step by the government for IT business. The other measures they have taken for the common man, especially poor farmers, are also good. My concern now is implementation of these steps. Saying is one thing and implementing is another.
Hirdesh Madan, Co-founder, Bulls Eye
This is a good budget for middle-class people. The 10% increase in allocation for education is praiseworthy. I haven’t seen anything remarkable for the growth of industrial sector though. It is a populist budget and it was presented keeping the middle-class in mind. The most effective step by the government is primarily the tax exemption for people with an annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh.
Upinder Sawhney, head of the Department of Economics
They have not dealt with the farm distress in a holistic manner. Giving Rs 6000 a year to a marginal farmer or a farm family comes to Rs 500 a month, which is far from sufficient. Rs 6000 means only Rs 100 per head for a family of five. It doesn’t make any sense as it doesn’t help anybody. They have not tried to encourage any employment by giving specific sops to agro-processing industries, which can generate more employment in the rural sector. Very little has been done to boost employment in general. There is no specific enhancement in the budget for the education sector, especially higher education. The finance minister has been been lucky that the oil prices have been at an all time low in the last four years except 2018. They have not done anything special for reducing the fiscal deficit or the current account deficit. The finance minister is taking credit for programmes such as OROP and Ujjala that were implemented earlier. And there are many schemes where the beneficiaries have not benefited. For instance, toilets have been built but there is no water supply.
Dr. Ashok Khanna, Former President, PHD Chamber
Although it is an Interim Budget, it has beneficial provisions for everyone. The much needed tax exemption for people with an annual income of Rs. 5 lakh will benefit the salaried class. I also welcome the increase in TDS exemption on bank and post office interest income. It will encourage people to invest in banks and post offices, which are much safer investments as compared to mutual funds.
B K Jha, Principal Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, Chandigarh
It is a good and balanced budget. The government made an attempt to give some relief to those involved in the nation building process.The government has made efforts to make Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST). But the new tax proposals will be a big challenge to implement at the lower levels. The assessment of Income Tax returns electronically within 24 hours will bring transparency in the system, which will be a great relief for the honest tax payers.