Friday, February 29, 2008

Budget 2008 - Initial impressions

Budget - Good news first..

Income tax exemption limit raised
http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/feb/29budget20.htm

The salaried class bears the maximum brunt of taxes. The businesses find out ways to avoid taxes. They hire people to do exactly that. In a business, its easy to manipulate numbers and hide the trails. This is not the case with people who get payslips.  I wonder how many of the neighbourhood "mom-and-pop" stores pay taxes. Funny that large retail companies are not being encouraged, since they will come under audit more easily than the neighbourhood kirana walas. By the way, I have rarely seen moms and pops in these stores.
Sadly enough, no simplification of tax processes. Why the myriad variety of surcharges and exemptions.  Why not fine-tune the income tax rates, get what the govt wants and be done with it. I wonder how many man-hours are wasted by businesses, employees and accountants just to calculate tax, and fill up long winded forms, which do not have enough space to write your complete name and address !!

Farmers' debt to be waived
http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/feb/29budget13.htm
If we forget rich farmers taking advantage etc, its a good move. Agriculture and food supply security is one of the most critical aspects of national security. Now, we dont want to be armtwisted by countries like Australia in lieu of substandard wheat that is priced much higher than what we pay our own farmers !!
This may also help reduce farmer  suicides (Why did the haughty and dumb Chiddu wait till now to come up with this? AFAIK, farmer suicides was a big issue since NDA lost elections)

And then the bad..

Reduction of duties on small cars..
http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/feb/29budget18.htm
(Why it is bad? You have no roads to drive them on. Later - more on why I think Tata Nano is, ultimately, a bad idea)

NREGA to be extended to all districts of the country.
http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/feb/29budget10.htm
(More of our tax money goes into the Kaangressi politicians' pockets)


Overall - A populist budget.

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