The cynical man’s thoughts on Union budget 2017-18
So, the Union budget for 2017-18 is out and grabbing applause. But is it? Not to be a buzzkill, but the most analytical way to approach any matter is by being cynical. So, here we take a look at a cynical commoner’s thoughts about the union budget for 2017-18.
Can Digital India hold up?
Demonetisation was not an option. We were all made to stand on long queues before the ATM without any choice and we were all forced to use our cards and online payment options for transactions. Now it looks like the budget favors the digital. So we ask, is digital India secure?
With major companies investing in online payment markets and some pointing out that the security network is porous, we need to repeat the question ourselves, now more than ever.
Wait, what about my gadgets?
Well, you’re in for a handful of bad news if you are looking to buy that new gadget just out of corner. Printed circuit boards have been levied a customs duty of 2 percent and guess how many printed circuits you have on your smartphone, that’s right. We don’t know either, but we sure know it’s not a really good number to look at. A 5 percent additional levy on LED lights can also be a frightening thought for wide-screen lovers. We wonder how we are supposed to do our digital transactions without gadgets. Hmm, interesting.
What about jobs then?
Make in India is all fine and well, but what about creating jobs? The recent Economic Survey pointed out major gaps between education and job opportunities. Despite having gazillion skill development centres spread across the country, the survey pointed out the lack of market skills in youth. So, was more skill centers announced in the current budget the right way to go?
Guess I better keep my startup plans aside.
We were all excited about Startup India until the union budget happened. While the emphasis on the digital element of the Union budget has been heard along with cheers from the startup camps, entrepreneurs still seem to be stuck with one of the biggest and oldest hurdle of all – cap on capital gains. Talk about giving more fuel when you got no tyres in the first place.
Any light of Universal Basic Income?
Universal Basic Income scheme can single handedly replace India’s umteen number of welfare schemes. It also keeps the “wage-in-cashes” factor out of the equation and help turns rural India digital. It also gives the choice of not opting for a rural employment program and instead opting to be a painter or a dancer or simply follow your passion while you’re taken care of. Get the drift? But whether we should discontinue schemes like NREGA, child development programs, maternal support, social security pensions, etc, which have undeniably helped the public vastly, is a discussion we need to have another day.
Well, it’s not all bad. Or that bad. With more emphasis on solar power, at least we’re moving towards a cleaner future with solar energy to power brighter days. And during the nights, we will just power our overpriced LED lights and overpriced gadgets using inverters having overpriced circuit boards. Can’t wait!