India is the country with all resources and has ability to lead the world. I always believed that India is the power which can guide the world for a new opening. COVID-19 is pushing the world economy to a disaster, and the same happening with India as well. The light of torch of positive and self development can save the world. A glimmer came out after the announcement of a budget of Rs. 20 Lakh Crores by Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Singh Modi. We appreciate this step of the government and in this article, we are going to see how this budget will be helpful for our country.
Before we start, it needs to be clear that this budget is not a one go budget and is not going to come in natives’ pocket directly. It is a budget to make India self-dependent, to explain, this budget will be used to build infrastructure, to make factories, hospitals, and many other requirements. With this budget government will also try to provide basic necessary things to poor and needy people. It is still not clear by the government how they are going to divide that budget according to different sectors and priorities. By 18th of May, we will get information about the proper usage of this budget as Mr Modi announced. As a citizen, what would you be expecting from the government? It is a complicated situation, 20 Lakh Crores looks likes a big amount; let’s break it down and see how it can help the country to overcome the corona blow to economy.
First of all, government’s basic priority should be to fight with corona and help people who are being affected by corona and the lock-down. To save people from being infected, masks and other basic protection kits should be available in the market all the time, and also distributing those equipment free to people who can’t afford it will make a positive sign. In addition, if government can make a rule to put mask all the time when someone is out of the home will help as well. To manufacture these many masks, government need to invest a small ratio of budget in it, and I believe that amount will be recovered very soon when people will buy those masks and equipment. Hospitals equipped with latest medical instruments like ventilators, corona test kits and other tools will be helpful to control the spread. Testing number should also be increased, as per a report By India Today, India has performed nearly 3 lakhs tests which breaks down in approximately 211 tests over a million natives. The numbers are not so good and it is very disappointing to see these results when government is pretending to be very active. Anyway, let’s hope for the best and hopefully with this new budget, number of testing will increase and a good part of budget will be used for it.
Secondly, government need to look after the people who were working daily for their survival and are not getting any work because of lock-down. Labor sector and small businesses are the main focus of this category. Groceries and other basic things need to be arranged for these people until lock-downs are not completely finished. This will take a good part of the budget but if supply chain works fine and people get just only the groceries will be sufficient in these bad times. Other sector which is badly hit by this pandemic is Middle class population. As we discussed in our previous article, middle class sector is not able to pay EMIs and taxes by the government, so these EMIs and taxes should be stopped for sometime to give some relaxation to this very important and big sector of the country. I believe this is what government need to work on very smartly, is it possible to wave off the taxes or loans of middle class? I believe with this budget, it is not possible; taxes on daily need items can be removed and limit of income for income tax can be increased from 250,000 to 400,000. Electricity bills for a certain amount of usage should be waved, water and house taxes can also be waved or subsidized.
Furthermore, coming to the loans of middle class families, it is a hard time for all families paying installments for their small household items like TV, Fridge, AC, Car, Scooter and also few of those might have taken personal loans for their medicals expenses, children study or business loan for an expansion of business. The race to match the lifestyle of rich is the biggest issue with middle class, all have dreams and to fulfill those dreams loans are taken, that what the banks market as well. In this situation, when banks accounts of middle class sector is drained by the installments and other expenses; what does government has to offer the middle class sector is the main thing to check-out. (World bank, 31 March 2020) India is already paying off loans and still taking more from World Bank, more than $65,029,900,000 is the loan on Indian government including few of loans are still in disbursing and repayment process. Remember this is in US dollars, not the rupees. Out of this loan, few first repayments due between 2020-2022 are of value 19,464,880,000, rest are due in between 2025- 2050 in installments. Indian government has a big job to do and it is a big decision of how to use the 20 Lakh crores budget.
Finally, government need to build a platform for regular income as announced with the term of self-dependent. If somehow we become capable enough to produce items, which we import, in India, then it will be a remarkable change in our economy. I believe, this will reduce the import of unnecessary items and can also open an opportunity to export the items produced by India. Bangladesh is a very good example of this, our neighbor country did an extra ordinary work in exporting regular need items, specially the garments, to developed countries and it has changed the pace of its GDP growth in last few decades. India can do that as well, we have resources, labor, support of the developed countries, professionals, well equipped factories, people with extra ordinary skills; what else we need. This is the time to do it, aim and hit on the bulls eye or in Indian style, hit on the birds eye as Arjuna did. Self-dependency will make our country’s future bright and I hope government will take important steps to make it possible.
To conclude, this budget is a good amount but for a big country like India with over 1.3 billion population is limited and government need to use it smartly and we believe the said amount will be properly used for the better of country without any scams and corruptions. If this happens, then with this amount also, our economy will certainly be on the path of self-dependency and we will be the super-power earlier than we actually think.