What you wanted vs. what you got in Budget 2017

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After demonetisation, every class of citizens had big expectations—realistic or not—from the government to offer some sort of relief. However, Budget 2017 has failed to meet most of the raised expectations.

Below are the details of what different sections wanted and what they got in Budget 2017.

ALSO READ: This is what Budget 2017 had in store for startups

Individual taxpayers

What you wanted: Minimum slab for personal income tax was expected to be raised by at least Rs 1 lakh. Slabs were also expected to be restructured by lowering tax on slabs above Rs. 5 lakh.

What you got: Tax rate for individuals in the lowest income tax slab—Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh—to 5 per cent instead of 10 per cent.

Corporates

What you wanted: Jaitley was expected to cut corporate tax of 30 per cent by at least one percentage point as he has himself promised in his Budget speech in 2015 to reduce it from 30 per cent to 25 per cent in a phased manner over three years. Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on special economic zones was expected to be reduced to 10 percent in the upcoming Budget to boost investments. MAT rates have more than doubled from 7.5 percent in 2007 to 18.5 percent today.

What you got: MAT allowed to be carried forward for 15 years from 10 years now. Corporate tax was reduced to 25 per cent—but only for those with an annual turnover of up to Rs 50 crore.

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IT companies

What you wanted: Weighted deduction on Research and Development (R&D) and skill development expenses that are extended to many other sectors.

What you got: Nothing.

Youth

What you wanted: Cheaper mobile phones and other electronic gadgets. More affordable education loans. More jobs.

What you got: No immediate benefit but several schemes with long-term impact: schemes to promote skills and employment-linked training in the rural India; making school and college education more outcome-based; effective accreditation for colleges; and SWAYAM platform with at least 350 online courses.

Banks

What you wanted: Tax exemptions customers as well as vendors/merchants conducting digital transactions above a certain limit. More capital infusion.

What you got: Increase in allowable provision for non-performing assets of banks from 7.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent. No additional capital infusion except Rs 10,000 crore under the ongoing Indradhanush scheme.

Housing sector

What you wanted: Higher income tax incentives for first-time home buyers. Infrastructure status to the housing sector.

What you got: Affordable housing given infrastructure status. Tax relief to real estate developers on the unsold stock as a liability to pay capital gains will arise only in the year a project is completed.

Mobile manufacturers

What you wanted: A 10-year tax holiday for local mobile manufacturers. Exemption of duty on import of capital goods used

in the manufacturing of mobile handsets and components.

What you got: The government has proposed to impose a 2% special additional duty on populated printed circuit boards (PCB) used for mobile phones, those which are imported into the country. In last year’s budget, the government had levied a 2% SAD on PCBs but later rolled it back after the industry said the ecosystem for local manufacturing of these components was not ready in India.

The poor

What you wanted: The way The Economic Survey 2016-17 advocated universal basic income, there was an expectation that something similar will be offered in the Budget. Cheaper daily use goods.

What you got: Nothing.

The middle class

What you wanted: Moving up of the lowest income-tax slab. More income tax exemptions on a home loan. Cheaper consumer durables.

What you got: Tax rate for individuals in the lowest income tax slab—Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh—to 5 per cent instead of 10 per cent.

Women

What you wanted: Lower interest on loans. Incentives for women entrepreneurs.

What you got: Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set up with an allocation of Rs. 500 crores in 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centres.


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