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Friday, February 26, 2021

‘Why have mobile phones, a basic necessity, been made more expensive?’: Chandigarh residents on Union Budget

Chandigarh residents from various walks of life critique the Union Budget.

Written by Hina Rohtaki , Saurabh Prashar | Chandigarh |
Updated: February 2, 2021 2:38:11 am
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THE UNION government has, for the eighth consecutive year, inflicted a body blow to UT Chandigarh in allocation of resources. In the interim budget for the year 2014-15, the UPA government had allocated Rs 813 crore for Chandigarh. However, that was drastically slashed by the NDA government to Rs 570 crore and ever since then, Chandigarh has been denied its due by the Centre. The result is there for everyone to see with an all-round deterioration in the upkeep of the UT.

The Administration and municipal corporation recently embarked on a spree of giving a heavy dose of taxes in the form of manifold increase in conversion charges, property tax, electricity and water rates and a host of other levies….As against MC’s demand of Rs 1,058.31 crore this year, it has only been granted Rs 500 crore in the budget presented today. This will further adversely impact Chandigarh, which is already reeling under a severe economic downturn.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, Former city MP

The annual Budget for 2021-22 presented by the Union government in Parliament is directionless, anti-poor and pro-rich.

The character of the government and its mentality had already been revealed during the farmers’ agitation. Government can never take any decision in favour of the poor and farmers. All its decisions have always been in favour of big industrial and corporate entities and wealthy businessmen.

Rajinder Singh Badheri Sikh farmer leader, Chandigarh state president, All India Jatt Mahasabha

Budget 2021, being the first budget after the pandemic, is a reasonably good budget. Practically no new taxes or burden on the common man. However, from the angle of a common man, in basic terms it may not be very good as it provides no relief in income tax or GST. It may not be a bouquet but it’s also not a brickbat. But overall there is nothing disappointing in the budget. By increasing custom duty on mobile chargers, electronic components and auto parts, a push is being given to ‘Make In India’, whicH will bring more industry and will generate employment. Farmers and health sector both are given due care, apart from other benefits. Some goods points are automated fitness centres for vehicles to check pollution, hydro energy mission, budgeting for Covid vaccine, purchase of crop on MSP, Ration card goes Nation card, Faceless procedures under income tax upto ITAT, reduction of reopening of assessment from 6 to 3 years, ITR exemption to 75+ pensioners (only), pre-filled ITRs to some extent, etc.

Ajay Jagga, Advocate, member, Trade Welfare Advisory Board, UT

Budget 2021 opens up opportunities for start-ups across sectors. The vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ with a focus on good governance and women empowerment will lead to a boost for economy. The incorporation of a one-person company allowed without restriction on paid-up capital limit is a welcome move for start-ups, primary advantages being complete control, lesser compliance burden teamed up with limited liability. This will allow NRIs to invest through this route and encourage smaller businesses.

Also, the announcement of non-auditing of Income Tax till 10 crore and allowing start-ups to claim IT exemption and capital gains for one more year will help in raising more funds.

Rishab Sharma, Start-up consultant, Monks Interactive 

It’s good that allocation for the MSME industry has been more than doubled to Rs 15,700 crore. Apart from this, there is nothing substantial for the already stressed small and medium scale industry due to loss of economy which was doubly hit by Covid. All benefits seem to have been given to importers in the name of MSME industry.

Daljeet Singh Sethi, Director, Tanpal Pharmaceuticals, Mohali

Finally there is something for senior citizens above 75 years — exemption from filing IT returns. But why is there a rider that only pensioners having interest income will be eligible? I have rental income too, it won’t be of any help for a senior citizen like me.

S S Kaushal, Retired Director Education, Haryana

NEP says government expenditure on education will be increased from 10 per cent to 20 per cent, but it has been reduced by more than 6 per cent. Effort is required to bring poor children — who had left studies due to effect of Covid on parents’ finances — back to schools.

Dr Jagwant Singh, General Secretary, Federation of University & College Teachers Organisations

The Budget is a mixed bag. On one hand, to some extent, work has been done to implement ease of doing business by reduction in compliances, thereby giving some relief to business class, like removal of GST Audit u/s 35(5) of CGST Act and increase in limit of limit for tax audit under section 44AB of Income Tax from previous year turnover of Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore, provided 95 per cent of receipts and payments must be through digital modes. On the other hand, there are still some areas which were not fully addressed by the finance minister, like the much awaited announcement as to raising of basic exemption limit of tax is not there, a major disappointment to those fighting to recover their lost income due to Covid-19.

Uma Kant Mehta, president, Chandigarh Management Association

Mobile phones have been made expensive. Due to everything going online, even kids’ classes, mobile phone has become a necessity…so I feel it should have been made affordable.

Preeti R Sharma Fitness club owner

Due to the pandemic and falling economy, there is loss of gainful employment and business, and households are continuously hit by rising inflation. Sad to see there is no respite from rising fuel prices and kitchen LP gas.

Uma Sharma, Home-maker

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