Union Budget: Eye on job market

Jul 09 2014, 16:27 IST
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SummaryRecent comments by Jaitley about wanting to end “mindless populism” and take “bold decisions” has only increased expectations of a strong budget

As a 25 year old who is going to graduate from a B-school next year saddled with a MBA in one hand and a huge debt in the other, my biggest expectation from Arun Jaitley’s budget is going to be a positive impact on the job market. After the second five year term of the UPA government brought growth to a virtual standstill, the announcements of the new NDA government has come as a breath of fresh air. The recent comments by Jaitley about wanting to end “mindless populism” and take “bold decisions” has only increased expectations of a strong budget. We may need to undergo short term pain to achieve long term gains, as the cliché goes; there is no gain without pain.

Couple of points I would like to implemented in this budget are

Cut government subsidy - currently standing at 2.2% of India’s GDP, government subsidy is probably the biggest unwanted legacy the UPA government has left the country. But it is good to see that the current government is not just considering it as an elephant in the room but are trying to take active steps in rectifying the issue. The BJP’s statement about the government fuel policy including a diesel component lends credence that the budget will contain some steps to curb the $24 billion subsidy bill thereby shrinking the budget deficit. This would free up the funds to boost investment in sectors that create more jobs.

Taxes –At a corporate level, my biggest hope from the budget is that the retrospective tax introduced by the previous government gets scrapped. We need to have a stable Tax Policy and cannot be changed to suit the whims of few individuals. While this would lead to a huge hit on the government fiscals, it would send out a strong statement of intent to companies and corporations that the government means business when it says it will make the climate conducive for investment. I would also like to see the service tax imposed on education fees to be rescinded. On a personal front, I would like to see the minimum personal tax slab increased from the current level of 2 lakh rupees to 3-4 lakh rupees as well as the tax exemption increase from to 2 lakh rupees. While this would not affect me over the next one year (with zero income and climbing costs), it certainly would let me look

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