TRUTH: Budget 2018 turns out to be hopeless for farmers, middle-class.
Budget 2018 has been claimed as farmer friendly, common man friendly, business environment friendly and development friendly, but it stands untrue to all.
Forgetting all its previous promises, the government could not even deliver its promise of loan waiver and fair crop price.
As a percentage of GDP, the expenditure on agriculture and rural development has reduced from 1.15% to 1.08%, nailing the lie that it is a farmer-friendly budget.
The MSP has been declared by the government only for the kharif season of one-and-a-half times the cost of production. However, this cost of production does not include family labour and land rent.
So, even if such a kind of MSP materialises, it will not be able to take out the farmers of the debt burden crisis.
Middle class has also been ignored by the government, as usual.
There is no relief from tax burden for salaried employees. In fact, reduction of interest rates on savings has further curtailed their earnings.
No reduction in fuel prices is seen as the hype over Rs 2 reduction in the price of petrol and diesel per litre is yet another gimmick. A new cess has been imposed by this budget which increases the earlier one from Rs 6 to Rs 8 per litre making this claim a mockery.
There is also no relief in the income tax slabs and increase in 1% education and health cess is bound to increase the middle-class’ woes.
While this budget has been presented as a pro-people budget, but in reality and in content, it only serves the interest of big corporations.