Budget 2016 to focus on poor, progress, jobs: Jayant Sinha

| Monday, February 22, 2016 - 15:35
First Published |
Jayant Sinha

Sinha also says the government has managed to kept prices in check | Photo: IANS

New Delhi: The uplift of the poor, progress of farmers and employment for the youth will be the focus of the upcoming budget, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a Youtube post on Saturday.

"This budget will be a forward-looking budget that will ensure that India will continue to be a haven of stability and growth in a very turbulent and choppy global environment," he said in a rare message ahead of the annual exercise.

Sinha had also said in a tweet on Friday that the present government has managed to kept prices in check. "The NDA government has been successful in contain inflation," he said, adding this was far less than the pace during the previous UPA regime.

(Also Read: Maharashtra taskforce suggests formula to end farmers' suicides)

Earlier, his boss and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also spoke about facilitating tax payers.

The use of technology has gone a long way in helping taxpayers with 1.4 crore assessees notified and also paid their refunds using this medium, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, ahead of the budget presentation for the next fiscal year.

"The government has been increasing using technology for the advantage of all tax payers and 1.4 crore, that is assessees, have been notified of their refunds and refunds have been given to them also using this very medium," Jaitley said.

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A Laughing Matter ? Last evening, TV channels showed the traditional " Halwa Ceremony " in the Finance Ministry building With this , the process of preparing / printing of the Union Budget starts The people involved will stay " imprisoned / incommunicado " till FM completes his budget speech on 29th Feb , to ensure that the budget provisions do not leak out That does not stop the experts ( - and some non-experts like me ) , to make predictions such as : * Revising limits for personal Income Tax slabs * Reducing rates for TDS * Rationalizing procedures ( assessment scrutiny / tax refunds / tax litigations etc ) * Launching new Schemes / Funds for savings and investments * Increase / decrease of Excise rates on products ( watch out smokers and drinkers ! ) * Increase / decrease of Import Duties on products to protect local industries / stop dumping from China * Recapitalization of Banks ( to write-off Rs 7 lakh*crore of NPA with tax payers money ) * Write-off DISCOM debts of Rs 4 lakh*crores by passing the buck to State Governments ( tax payer burden ? ) * Write off loans to farmers - what with elections looming in 5 States ( but I support this ) News papers report that the Government have received budget suggestions from some 7,000 persons and that , this time around , Prime Minister himself is closely involved in the budget making exercise Now , with all this obsession / seriousness / paranoia , surely this secrecy surrounding the budget document , cannot be a laughing matter ! Unless you ask , * some foreign software geeks ( eg: Sundar Pichai / Satya Nadela / Vivek Ranadive / Ray Kurzweil etc ) * some Indian BIG DATA ANALYTICS geeks ( Mukund / Krishnan / Sanjay / Srikant / Raj / Anurag etc ) Because , if you do , they will laugh and tell you : " Just give us the actual budget documents of the past 60 years ( including the accompanying budget speeches ) and we will process these documents using Big Data Analytics software and predict what will be the provisions in the forthcoming budget ( with a probability of 99.7 % - ie ; plus or minus six standard deviation ) And then , we will process those past budget speeches with a PARAPHRASING software ( ala Kurzweilai.net ) and give you an advance print-out of Shri Arun Jaitleyji's speech on 29th Feb " But of course , Shri Jaitleyji could cheat the PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS , by announcing following unpredictable : * Total Abolition of Personal Income Tax ( or at least , reducing incremental tax rates in each higher slab ) * Decreasing Incremental Corporate Tax Rates , linked with each higher slab of " Permanent Employee Number " * Perpetual Amnesty Scheme for all CASH deposits made in Jan Dhan Accounts , if invested in tax-free Infra SPVs * Transfer of 1.8% of GST (from 18%) into buyers' PPF a/c , to ensure all citizens get PPF a/c for tax-free savings This amount to be used for paying premium for COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INSURANCE to cover all illnesses * Introduction of plastic Currency Notes of Rs 500/1000, embedded with micro RFID sensors ( stop Black Money ) Surest way to ensure that almost all payments are made thru official channels ! * Introduction of BTT ( Bank Transaction Tax ) @ 2% to yield Rs 15 lakh*crore of revenue ( against revenue loss of Rs 2.5 lakh*crores caused by abolishing Personal Income Tax ) Now such announcements , besides being " Unpredictable " , would echo Shri Narendra Modiji's following announcement at Make in India week on 13th Feb : " There is no time for incremental changes . We want a quantum jump " Dear Shri Jaitleyji : How about an " Incremental Quantum Jump " by * Announcing these unpredictable on 29 Feb 2016 * Spreading out actual implementation over the next 5 years That could be the surest way to win 300 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections ! Any other budget provision / announcement , would be a laughing matter ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ hemenparekh.in / blogs 20 Feb 2016

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