Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Budget for me.....

Finally, the Coalition government presented its third Union Budget and did it make any difference to our way of life. I doubt. Surprisingly there was nothing unique about the budget. Seems like our Finance Minister did not wanted to take any chances with the Leftist or the critics. This time it seems he had done a prior consultation and maybe that is the reason that disinvestment was not mentioned anywhere. It was a mediocre budget. There was nothing new to steer the economy and no unpleasant surprises. When you have a competent team like Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Man Mohan Singh and P.Chidambaram, drafting it, the expectations runs high and people expect some out of the box thing. This budget comes in the wake of a booming economy. Sensex is creating new records everyday, rupee has become easily convertible and GDP is growing at a steady rate. The finance minister could have acted, as a catalyst in this emerging market by bringing in some bold initative to boost the GDP from 8 to 10%. The economy has anyway has become an autopilot. The coalition governments have hardly played any role in the growing of economy and it was infact good that the government does not affect the market but now our democracy has changed from passive to active state. The Govt should pitch in to bring new reforms and ensure that growth is trickling down to the whole mass. This year budget brings no new taxes and thankfully, there are no dampeners this year like FBT and tax on withdrawing money like last year. FM could have infact scrapped the fringe benefit tax rather than bringing it down to 5% from 20%. Levying tax on ATM’s is not a very good idea. It affects the low middle-income groups badly but looking into the brighter side, everyone can now purchase the cheaper cars, which has become cheaper and have lots of beverage, which has also become cheaper(pun intended). For me, the budget brings no new plans. I still have to pay the same tax where some tax is deducted at the source and the rest; I only worry when the last date of filing tax is announced. Thankfully, I do not have to go through the chores of filling the long application form, which anyway the company accountant fills it. The Government could have made filing returns little easier. I am still trying to figure out how much money i will be shelling as service tax. The service tax is still a mystery , dunno when and where money slips from finger.

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