A Please-all Budget
There is rarely a budget that can please one and all particular in a country like ours with so much of diversity. Nonetheless, if there is one that has endeavoured to do so it is the 2019 interim budget presented by the Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on February 1. With almost 7 crore people filing IT returns as of last financial year, the tax benefits to the common man have been immense. Taxable income up to Rs 5 lakh has been exempted from income tax and the standard deduction has been raised to Rs 50,000. People with fixed deposits have a benefit that the TDS exemption limit has been steeply raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000. Another noteworthy feature that will interest the middle class is the facility to own two houses without having to compute the notional rent on the one under lock. Importantly, farmers who form the crux of rural India will earn an income of Rs 6000 per annum transferred to their accounts. Another important downpour was the pension of Rs 3000 per month on attaining the age of 60 years for workforce of unorganised sector on a nominal monthly payment. People, particularly those who are at odds with the NDA government will confront that it is designed with the May 2019 elections in mind but there is nothing unusual in it for that has been the norm be it at the centre or state levels to promise things to win the hearts of the people. We are well aware how during the recent elections in the three states of Hindi heartland the votes were won by promising to write off the farmers’ loan and so was it in Telangana too and even in the last Delhi elections the Aam Aadmi Party was successful in wooing the electorate on the assurance that they would not have to pay the water and electricity bills.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
Nothing Can Substitute Hard Work
The Traffic Sentinel Scheme in Goa has caused enough public uproar in Goa. The unfortunate part is that the Goan people were not able to see through this plan and allowed the Traffic Sentinel Scheme to create discord among our own people. We need to be wary of such ploys since authorities’ concerned coming from the central cadres can go back to where they came from but we need to stay here in Goa. It is also a sad thing that the government was not able to decipher this, since they were looking for a scheme to bring in some money to our youth and also give them something to do in the absence of jobs to which this government has miserably failed. In summary, there is nothing to substitute hard work for long term success since all shortcuts in administration are bound to fail.
S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ
Common Man The Mascot Of Politicians
There cannot be any doubts about 2019 being the election year! The manner in which the aam aadmi has been brought out of hibernation to gain the immediate attention of the government is clearly evident. The common man continues to be the mascot of the political establishment every time elections are round the corner! The Interim Budget 2019-20 presented by the Union Finance Minister on Friday would seemingly be a curtain raiser! Announcing a host of welfare schemes for the poor farmers, those in the unorganized sectors, and income tax sops for the middle class, the budget benefactions for the aam aadmi has been loud and clear. But, with a distinct thrust on his immediate needs and comforts, one wonders why the common man suddenly comes into reckoning in the year of elections! Not the least tired by their magniloquence on the subject, politicians continue to unfalteringly raise concerns about the aam aadmi. Propping up the aam aadmi as the deprived class of people deserving their optimum attention, politicians cutting across party lines are exuberant about the grand plans envisaged for them. Yet, is the proposal by the Power Minister to offset the streetlight maintenance cost in the state by charging consumers something called ‘Public Lightning Duty’ on domestic and commercial connections aam aadmi-oriented! However, it has never been that easy for the common man to avail the benefits of the grandiose schemes announced by the government in all magnanimity – even as election time bonanzas!
PACHU MENON, MARGAO