On the day of the budget all my work takes a backseat as I am glued to the television. This is the day that will determine how I run my kitchen, my home and my expenses for the next 365 days.
My first expectation from this year's budget would be price control of groceries and vegetables. Prices of pulses and kitchen essentials - such as tomatoes and onions - have skyrocketed in the last two years. This has destabilised the middle class kitchen.
According to a recent report, less than 4 per cent of the total population pays taxes. This year, the Finance Ministry should ensure that more people and occupations are included in the tax bracket. It is better for the economy and for the development of the nation as a whole if more citizens pay taxes.
The rich need to be taxed more in order for the middle class to survive. Also, more tax relaxation should be provided to the senior citizens since their source of income stops after the age of 60.
Another expectation would be a lower interest rate on education loans. With more Indian students choosing to pursue their studies abroad - in order to garner international exposure - the interest rates are as high as 13-14 per cent, making world class education a dream for the masses.
It is to be noted that education in premier Indian institutions like the IITs and the IIMs continues to be expensive. A lower rate of interest would benefit students studying abroad as well as in India.
More funds should be allocated to the education sector as India needs institutions that can impart excellent skills to our younger generation. In addition, we need funds to support research in the medicine sector, social sector, technology sector and others. Such research would lead to new discoveries, development, help in the creation of new jobs and would help India compete at an international level.
- Shashi Yadav, 50, Homemaker