While opinions and counter opinions on the issue of budget continue to make it to the headlines, this budget in our view is an attempt to serve everyone equally, while traditionally also maintaining some standard norms, which were already in place.
As Nirmala Sitharaman ended her speech, the most common headline that was played across news channels was that of the new tax regime which has basically introduced ‘no tax’ rule for people earning upto 7 lakhs annually and this step is clearly hinted for easing the lives of the middle class. But between these headlines, a lot of details have been missed out which needs to be prioritized as these policies would be the ones shaping our next ecosystem and work culture. So rather than discussing the tax regimes, let’s shed some light on the new-age policies that would significantly help open different ways of revenue generation.
EV VEHICLE POLICIES:
First of , it is the announcement of the new tax on imports of EV vehicles and this step would add a great deal of advantages for Indian manufacturers who are trying to establish the EV culture, especially with made-in-India products and as the prices for imported vehicles increases, this would give the Indian companies an upper hand for gaining momentum in a field that is really important as per the standards of the 21st century.
INCREASE OF TAX ON CIGARETTES:
We often read the headlines these days about increasing addiction to smoking and alcohol in youngsters and dominantly amongst the adult population, perhaps this would be the first time Indians would be celebrating a rise in tax rate as the government has significantly raised the tax on cigarettes. Keeping aside the revenue this industry generates, it equally contributes to severe addiction issues and adds to extreme mental health problems in the long run and this step therefore might help solve this problem in several ways.
EXPANSION IN INDIAN RAILWAYS:
In a country where even today almost 30 million people travel in trains, the capex funding of 2.40 lakh crore for Indian Railways means a lot for the majority of the Indian population, especially at a time when the government plans to start Bullet trains and has already commenced the services of super-fast trains like the Vande-Bharat. Indian railways, being an Indian government entity can contribute significantly to the overall GDP in a much larger way in the coming ways.
PAN INDIA APPRENTICESHIP:
Last but not the least, one of the major highlights of this budget would also be the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme that would provide Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under a pan-India National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme will be launched to provide stipend support to 47 lakh youth over three years. Considering our active workforce, which is between 18-28, this scheme can be a game changer as it aims to provide funding to organizations and centers providing apprenticeships to students, especially for technical courses. Anyone above the age of 16 and having Indian nationality can reap the benefits of this scheme, which will require eligibility of having practical knowledge and skills about a specific program the person is interested in. Building an ecosystem around these fundamentals can add great value to the skilled youth of this country and also increase employment opportunities.
As the mainstream headlines continue to focus on a few major components, prioritization of every scheme by the government and also by the citizens can collectively make these schemes a reality rather than just an aspiration.