The Union Budget 2021 was read out by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the 1st of February, which is no doubt a significant event, given the economy had to face a tough and torrid time in the last one year due to the impact of ravaging Covid-19.
The budget needed to address key issues faced today which are slower growth, stress on the public health sector, impending work on vaccines for Corona, unemployment, low consumer confidence and spending, liquidity issues and the banking sector weathering the effects of the pandemic on growth, debt, risks associated with loans, customer service pressures, operating Model Adjustments, demand of cost elasticity, innovation and revenue compression.
The key highlights of the union budget are
- Government imposes cess on petrol, diesel, gold, other items to fund agri infra development
- Subsidy bill nears Rs 6 lakh crore in FY’21 mainly on extra free food grain distribution
- Additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on home loan interest extended till March 2022
- The Pradhan Mantri Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana, which will operate in addition to the existing National Health Mission, has been allocated around Rs 64,180 crore.
- FM announces special scheme for welfare of women and children in Assam and West Bengal. Rs 1,000 crore for Bengal, Assam tea workers
- Government is committed to welfare of farmers. MSP has gone through a sea change. Over Rs 75,000 crore paid to wheat farmers in 2020-21, 43.36 lakh benefited from this
- About Rs 1.10 lakh crore outlay for railways, of which Rs 1.7 lakh crore is for capital expenditure
- Highway works proposed: 3,500 km corridor in Tamil Nadu. 1,100 km in Kerala at investment of Rs 65,000 cr. 675 km in West Bengal at a cost of Rs 95,000 cr. 1,300 km in Assam in the next 3 years
- Hike the FDI limit in Insurance from 49% to 74%. Majority directors on board and Key management personnels will be Indians
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earmarks Rs 1,500 crore for promoting digital mode of payment.
- The Pradhan Mantri Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana, which will operate in addition to the existing National Health Mission, has been allocated around Rs 64,180 crore. This scheme is expected to be used to develop capacities of primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare systems as well as existing national institutions over a period of six years.
MICRA Consulting Solutions LLP a leading Market Research Agency based in Kolkata conducted a short survey in association with News Sense, among the working urban sample of 100 in Kolkata on 2nd Feb to understand their perception and reaction in general about the budget.
Given below are the key take outs and opinion from this survey. Among all who have come to know about the budget, around 65% say that they understand the impact of the budget and aspects fully.
News feed on mobile and Newspapers account for more than 60% of the source of first hand information of the budget, TV much smaller.
Health Sector Boost and increases in prices are the key take outs to the urban population, Males mentioning FDI and others.
Health Sector Boost and increases impacts the urban most with at least a sizable portion of men and women mentioning cheaper Gold will be good for them, as expected Males can relate to FDI in insurance in some ways.
The global pandemic caused by COVID19 has no doubt wrecked the economy, there is no denying to the fact and thus the government is forced to stand by the priorities. The survey thus had a mixed view about the budget, as we have reached out to the people to understand the urban view of the union budget 2021.