New Delhi: The Union Budget for 2018-’19 announced on February 1st 2018, kept much of its focus on rural plans and easing the agrarian crisis ahead of general elections next year. The headline schemes included a healthcare insurance proposal for the poor and an increase in the minimum support price for crops. In the midst of it all, India’s salaried class felt woefully ignored.
There was no relief in the income tax slabs and the standard deduction of Rs 40,000 on taxable income that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced fell far short of expectations. Besides, this was offset by the increase in 1% education and health cess, which will increase taxes overall. The Long Term Capital Gains Tax on equity and an additional dividend distribution tax on equity mutual funds came as an added blow. Adding salt to the wounds was the fact that the salaries of the president, vice president and governors were increased, while MPs were guaranteed an increment every five years to keep up with inflation. Chrome Data Analytics & Media, India’s largest primary research company, conducted a research in order to understand if the recently presented budget is beneficial to the middle class population of the country.
The survey was carried out in the metro cities, with a sample size of 2384 respondents among an age group of 18 -55 years of age constituting 57% males and 43% females.
According to the report, 69% of the respondents feel the tax changes proposed will not benefit the middle class and 61% feel that more changes in the corporate taxation would have been welcomed.