ShankkarAiyar, Visiting Senior Fellow, writes on the recently tabled, Budget 2018 in his New Indian Express article. He opines that the anger of the middle class is about the relief that was expected and which is not in the budget.
For the middle class, the budget is "Essentially .... a promise of hope, a prayer and a plea of appeasement. The speech devotes 35 paragraphs and over 2,200 words to agriculture and rural India, 25 paragraphs and over 1,500 words to health, education and social protection, 12 paragraphs across 750 words to MSMEs and employment–for emphasis the speech mentions the poor 21 times, farmers 25 times, agriculture 16 times, health 29 times and employment 17 times. The middle class gets four mentions—two generic and two specific—and a lollipop sop."
"The grief of the people is about expectations and about the inequities in the system. Start-ups in Bengaluru and Mumbai are struggling with notices that treat capital raised for the venture as income. The evangelism of self-employment is not followed up by change on the ground. Those providing services, for instance, are subject to 18 per cent GST, with little scope of set-off and income tax resulting in higher outgoes than those, perhaps, of many corporates."
"The anger of the middle class is about the relief that was expected and which is not in the budget. The sentiments expressed on social media reflect the angst about governance at large—it is about expectations of change that is stalled and yet to arrive."
Read full article here