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Budget 2017: Why I do not feel bad about not earning more

It was amusing to see Jaitley addressing the tax payers highlighting how most Indians are tax non-complaints
By Taenaz Shakir | February 01, 2017

Every morning, before I get out of my bed, like majority smart-phone users, I spend half an hour scrolling through my phone. I’m not proud to say this but nowadays on weekdays, apart from work, my reading predominantly consists of memes and forward messages. I find social media exceptionally entertaining, often informative and seldom suffocating. Anyhow, today I woke up to a rather funny forward on how various political parties are going to respond to the budget.

The message predicted that of course the ruling party will think that the budget is path breaking, pro-farmer and inclusive. The opposition is bound to continue their rant that it is anti-poor and will result in inflation. So today when the finance minister presented the Budget before the house, I listened keenly to the speech like an inquisitive citizen who is very much fascinated by the hullabaloo that follows every Budget.

As much as I would like to pretend that I am number savvy and understand everything that is said in the Budget, I can say that I at least try, though in the end my attempts are not completely fruitful. That being said, talking about the things that I did manage to grasp, Jaitley does deserve an applause for making a bold statement by entitling political parties to receive their donations in the form of cheques or through digital mode. The rhetoric of going digital was again repeated. But not much was said about allocation for clean energy apart from setting up of solar power plants.

In between the session though, our finance minister broke character and started reciting poetry in an attempt to woo the nation. I found it rather funny--The poet with the leather briefcase. When he was encouraged by the banging on the tables in unison when he was reading out the Budget allocation for various fields, I could not comprehend the enthusiasm, considering he is not paying from his own packet.

Jaitley’s attempt to both justify and boast about how successful and effective the entire demonetisation fiasco will definitely make one wonder why he is still stuck in 2016. It was amusing to see Jaitley addressing the tax payers of the country highlighting how most Indians are tax non-complaints.

The only direct personal gain I got from listening to this man rant for more than an hour was that I got to know that there is now a cutting in the tax to 5% for individuals having income between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. I anyway fall under the large chunk of people who pay the least amount of tax. Now I do not feel that bad about being poor. Thank you for that, Finance Minister!

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