Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget for the financial year 2022-23 on Tuesday in Parliament. While the budget received applause from the Prime Minister, not everyone is happy with it. CitySpidey talked to a few residents of Dwarka to understand what the community has to say about the budget.
Madhukar Varshney, an Environment Activist, and resident of Sector 3, Dwarka says, "The budget is quite normal. Agriculture is completely ignored. There was no mention of stopping deforestation and nothing significant on environmental protection and climate actions seem to be in pipeline. There should be provisions in the budget for more R&D expenses on green and environment-friendly technologies."
Ravi Jaitely, a resident of Sector 7 and General Secretary of Senior Hub Dwarka, says, "I appreciate the government's focus on infrastructure, manufacturing, climate change and similar things but there is nothing in it for the elderly. There is nothing in Income Tax, Savings Interest Rates and Medical benefits. The elderly need social security which still remains untouched."
RK Jain, resident of Sector 10 Dwarka and President of Seniors Hub Dwarka , "We as senior citizens discussed a lot of tax provisions and suggested some really good and workable ideas to the Finance Minister. We were expecting a lot from the budget but there is no relief for the senior citizens. We understand the pressure the Finance Minister has to face but still something could have been done. Anyway, all the best for next year."
V Selvarajan, Sector 6 Dwarka, Founder Green Circle, says "One aspect is that chemical-free natural farming is encouraged, which is a welcoming step. However, how these nitty gritties are going to be enforced will be something to watch. Solar power will naturally get a boost which is on expected lines, given that the PM promised COP 26 recently about the same. Though the finance minister underlines seven thrust areas as focal points of her budget, it seems that there is nothing in the budget to stop deforestation. Again, the finance minister says that steps will be initiated to speed up the green clearance, indirectly indicating that environmental impact assessment (EIA 2020) will be undermined and people's voice would be relegated to the sidelines."
He further says, "Sovereign Green bonds for green technology is just an eyewash. Now, it is to be seen whether the funds generated will be properly earmarked for Green technologies or not. As the budget is always prospective, one can only be optimistic that the green proposals are implemented in letter and spirit. On the whole, any proposal to enrich the environment is welcome but it is unfortunate that it doesn't meet the expectation of environmentally conscious citizens to put a check on rapid industrialisation, mining, and infra projects."
Nupur, a teacher and a resident of Sector 2, "The budget was expected to be more friendly for salaried class but it’s not like that. This budget has nothing for the salaried class. RBI to launch digital currency is a good move yet I would like to say that for the middle class, the budget should be more flexible."
Mahesh Gupta, General Secretary, RWA, DDA SFS Flats, Sector-5, "Budget was presented today but as far as the country is concerned, certain tweaks have been made like provisions for Atma Nirbhar Bharat and digital currency. Though, there is nothing for the lower or the middle class. No changes in Personal Income tax or standard deductions are there. There is no mention of rapidly rising prices. It is not a populistic budget. We need to further wait for 2023 for the same as General elections would be in 2024."
Anjana Sinha, Sector 12, Dwarkadheesh Apartments, General Secretary, "Indeed the budget gave positive vibes and government fund allocation on infrastructure means direct employment. Also, the government's focus on hygiene, sanitation, drinking water for every citizen sounds caring. I was expecting more relaxation in the income tax bracket."
Ramesh Mumukshu, President HIMAL, and environmental NGO, "The budget has provision for the implementation of the Ken-Betwa Link Project, at an estimated cost of 44,605 crore. This is aimed at providing irrigation benefits to 9.08 lakh hectares of farmers’ lands, drinking water supply for 62 lakh people and 103 MW of Hydropower. Draft DPRs of five river links, namely Damanganga-Pinjal, Par-Tapi-Narmada, Godavari-Krishna, Krishna-Pennar and Pennar-Cauvery have been finalized."
"Once a consensus is reached among the beneficiary states, the Centre will provide support for implementation. Interlinking of River project requires an in-depth study of its viability, climate change effects and impact on natural resources" he adds.