What the Youth Should Know about Budget 2017

Young tax payers, startup owners and students will feel the impact of this year's national budget

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On February 1, the annual budget was presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. While the scope and effectiveness of the decisions taken are debatable, what is certain is that this budget has directly and indirectly focused on the condition of India’s youth, which comprises a staggering 41% of the total population.

We at Bayside Journal simplify how the budget will impact the lives of young Indians.

Students

Students are likely to gain much from the changes brought in by this budget. It is predicted that the focus on digitisation and skills-based education will lead to an overall positive impact. “This will certainly reduce the level of discrimination between haves and have nots which is created by the present education system,” opines Professor Aditi Sawant, Head of the Economics Department, St. Xavier’s College Mumbai.

Young Tax Payers

One of the aspects of this budget that was most spoken about was the reduction in the tax slab rate for those who belong to the lowest category, that is, Rs 2.5 lakh – 5 lakh. Now, these people will pay 5% instead of 10% tax. Prof Sawant says, “It is an illusion that people in the lower bracket will be impacted positively. Most people in the lower bracket work in the informal sector and mainly rely on cash transactions. Hence, they do not come under the purview of taxes anyway.”

Startup Owners

After a year that was disastrous for countless startups in India, this budget offers some relief. Apart from various innovative programmes such as SWAYAM and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras, there will be another phase of Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) in 2017-18. “It will certainly have strong fundamental impact on youth entrepreneurship building culture in India if they are taken up seriously by the trained manpower,” says Prof Sawant.

Young Voters

For the first time in the history of Indian politics, the Government has come up with the policy of electoral bonds. No cash donations can be made above Rs 2,000. “This limit on cash donations and filing returns within the prescribed time to the Income Tax Department will certainly have a positive impact. We cannot anticipate a heroic impact, but this is certainly a step ahead towards corruption-free or less corrupt governance,” says Prof Sawant.

 Facts You Should Know:

1. The prices of smartphones and cigarettes are likely to increase.

2. You will soon be able to use your Aadhar card to pay for services through the newly introduced Aadhar Pay option. Two schemes were also announced for the Bharat Interface for Money digital payment app.

3. Spending on defense and military received a 6.2% boost. A whopping 12.78% of the total expenditure has been dedicated to defense purposes.

4. Not many changes were made to the service tax regulations and other indirect taxes as the Goods and Services Tax Bill will soon be implemented.

5. Farmers will be able to sell their produce directly to customers and will get a better price for them. There has also been an increased focus on bettering the rural credit system. Overall, the spending in the rural and agricultural sector has been increased by 24%.