Saturday, March 1, 2008

Safe path chosen by Chidambaram

This is the first time I have followed budget so closely and it deserves a mention over here. So here I am with my own review of the budget. Jotting down the merits and pitfalls of the budget.

Disclaimer: Information provided here must already be known to you . Opinions expressed here are mine.

First the merits:

  • Farmer's loan waiver has to be the man of the match for this budget. This will help crores of farmers across the country.
  • Income tax slab revision is another master stroke targeted towards the middle class. The revision is beyond expectations. The salaried class is all set to benefit hugely from this move up to a whooping amount of 45000 a year. Another point here which might be missed is an amount of 15000 is eligible to be exempted from tax under 80G for medical insurance for parents.
  • Cars ,bikes,fridges and other household items will be cheaper from April 1 2008. Another arrow in the quiver targeted towards the election.
  • Lots of new institutions, 3 IITs among them and many other sops for education.
  • Duty on cigarettes without filter raised which will turn people towards "safer" filtered cigarettes.
Now for the pitfalls. The biggest pitfall with this budget is FM has NOT spoken about many crucial aspects. He has simply chosen to avoid them.

  • Nothing being told about extending the STPI sops beyond 2009 March, IT cos future still hangs in balance.
  • Nothing being told about Interlinking of rivers. As soon as summer comes this issue is set to rise its ugly head.
  • No announcements about the pay commission report on revising the pay of Central Govt. Employees.
  • Increase in duty for packaged software, another small blow to the IT industry.
  • No change in the corporate income tax, corporates were expecting a reduction so that their operational costs get reduced.

FM has tried to please everyone with the budget but as an IT professional I feel betrayed except the decision on the other IT, income tax.

Agree with me or counter me... let me know.