Has Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman steered the economy out of the woods?
It’s a bit early to be sure of that as our economy needed the strongest push possible. The decrease in income tax is a positive sign for the middle class.
Is this a populist, please-all Budget?
It is likely that this Budget will help farmers in particular as it offers good incentives for the agriculture sector; this was much needed. But the cutback in spending when rural distress is at its maximum is worrying as the budgetary allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been cut.
Will it help the economy, create jobs, restart stalled projects?
The prime minister’s skilling program needs to acknowledge traditional skills in India’s textile and craft sectors so as to encourage young people to join these fields. This would make a great difference as it would create employment across rural India. An increase in public expenditure can boost the economy and give businesses a good safety net.
What was the best thing about the Budget? And the worst?
With rising inflation, unemployment and poverty staring us in the face, we must see if this Budget can deliver a shot in the arm to the economy. The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana is good.
Unfortunately the economic data we are given does not sound quite right. The government must stimulate the small and medium-sized enterprises and support them. I am not sure if this Budget will really create more jobs. Compulsory primary education needed a bigger push. The Sensex has not responded well to this Budget.
Prasad Bidapa is a fashion stylist and choreographer