Get set and go

The forthcoming budget is more important for the NDA government than the previous two, as it’s now almost midway through its five-year tenure and can no longer afford to take citizens for a ride. Though there is little noise so far, almost every section of the society has huge make or break expectations from this year’s budget.
Badly stung by high prices, the common man is deeply concerned about his meals and the cost of running the household on everyday basis. Employees are desperate for more disposable incomes and are seeking significant exemptions on income-tax. Businessmen want enough low cost capital, while startups are seeking a good ecology that makes doing business easier. Though startups have already been granted three-year tax break, its meaningful impact is doubtful in a short timespan. Flipkart, one of biggest startups in our country, is yet to book profits after being around for so many years.
There is no denying that all business tycoons are pinning hopes on this budget to lower taxes to boost economic outcomes. The irony is that even after almost seven decades since independence, only 3 per cent of the population pays income tax, and that too mostly from the Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh income group.
If I can buy a toothpaste online sitting in my bedroom, why can’t the income-tax department go online to tackle tax delinquencies more efficiently, I wonder. It’s time for many more of us to pay taxes. Embracing technology would certainly benefit both the government and the taxpayer.
Last night, I was talking with my journalist friend in Kashmir and he raised a very important point about rural economy, which is often neglected. There is immediate need to revive the rural economy that sustains close to 70 per cent of our population


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