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Modi tries to please India with 5P’s, Union Budget

2/28/2015 7:20:50 PM

Progressive, Positive, Practical, Pragmatic and Prudent: NaMo

New Delhi: The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union budget for fiscal 2015-16 today in the Lower House of the Parliament. "Growth in 2015-16 is expected to be between 8-8.5 per cent. Aiming for a double digit rate seems feasible very soon”, Jaitley said. 

The FM delivered his speech for 90 minutes accompanied with the Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. 

The FM reiterated the government's commitment to GST, which he assured, would be implemented by April 2016. The corporate tax rate would be reduced from 30% to 25% over a period of 4 years starting next financial year. Investment in infrastructure will go up by Rs 70,000 crore in 2015-16. 

Continuing the trend set by his many predecessors, Jaitley came down heavily on smokers and tobacco consumers with a steep increase in excise rate in tax proposals in the Budget 2015-16.

The FM spared the common man from price hikes on many commonly used day-to-day items by keeping the duties unchanged while increase in service tax rate to 14 per cent would make a whole lot of things more expensive. The products that would turn cheaper include leather footwear, locally made mobiles, computer tablets, microwave ovens, peanut butter, packaged fruits, ambulance service and agarbattis. And products and services that would be expensive includes, cigarettes and other tobacco products, completely built imported commercial vehicles, cement, aerated, flavored drinks and packaged water,  plastic bags and sacks, business and executive class air travel, visit to amusement and theme park, music concerts, Liquor, chit fund and lottery etc. 

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi said that the government's annual budget sends a clear signal that India will have "a stable, predictable and fair tax system." The premier, known for his penchant for alliteration, also gave the budget "5Ps" in a tweet: "It is a budget that is progressive, positive, practical, pragmatic and prudent."

The Congress party described the budget as "pro-corporate and anti-poor," and called it "dhanwapsi (repayment)" by the NDA to the big corporates for their support in Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel said, "The hype over the budget had created lot of hope but the outcome is disappointing".  Patel claimed that budget is pro rich and has nothing for the poor, "Allocation for Sarvashiksha Abhiyan is cut. Farmers get nothing. Service tax increase hurts the poor and the rich will pay less tax," Patel further added. 

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