Union Budget 2010 Review

 By: Rita Jain
The Union Budget this year has aimed to focus on inclusive growth. The concerns of common man including Income Tax have gone hand in hand with appreciable measures for improving investment, infrastructure and fiscal consolidation. As the country looks to 'quickly revert to high GDP growth path' in the wake of 'uncertain times', concerns for inclusive growth targeting the disadvantaged sections form the defining features of the Budget. There are also concerns about a rise in inflation in the short term due to a combination of factors like low-base effect, petrol price hike and strong consumption.

The announcements increasing the defense budget, healthy funding of infrastructure development schemes, stress on SEZs etc seem to be enough for a conclusive productive growth. Relaxation in Income Tax is expected to benefit a large section of the society with broadened tax slabs, removed surcharge and increased exemption limit. The new slabs include 30% tax on income above Rs 8 lacs , 20% tax on income between Rs5 lacs to 8 lacs and 10% tax on income between Rs1.6 lacs to 5 lacs. With new tax rates people having a taxable income above Rs 3,00,000 and up to Rs 5,00,000 will now attract a tax at a lower rate of 10% as against 20% earlier. If his income is Rs 5,00,000, his net savings will be Rs 20,600 along with 3% education cess. The new tax rates have put more money in the wallets of the middle income group. The other high points of the Budget are the GST road map, direct tax code and willingness to implement Parikh Committee's recommendations.

Agriculture has also been taken care of and Rs 3000 Crs have been alloted for impetus of agriculture sector in India. Besides this, the farm loan payments have also been extended for six months. Subsidy on fertlizers is to be reduced. To strike a balnce, there is also an announcement of 2% subsidy on loans to the farmers.With concern at the emergence of double digit food inflation, steps have to be taken to bring down the inflation in the next few months. However, hike in fuel prices and extended coverage of service tax, increased cost of commodities like jewelery, refrigerators, tv etc seem to take away the credit of a good budget. In spite of all these facts, the Budget seems to give more than it takes and deserves an honest appreciation.
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