Kolkata: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s claims in her Union Budget speech on Wednesday that the government is projected to face a Rs 30,000 crore revenue loss because of proposed tax rebates will just be notional, economic experts said.
According to Professor of Economics Santanu Basu, in all probability the Union government will, in due course, recover that loss in the long run by adopting some other tactics. “Just a hike by a rupee in the price of petrol and diesel will enable the Union government to not only recover that projected revenue loss but also get excess,” Basu said.
Economist P.K. Mukhopadhyay feels that although both the old and new tax regimes are continuing, indications are clear that in the coming days only the new tax regime will remain by default. “From a careful study of the tax rebates in two systems, it is clear that those opting for the new tax regime will benefit more than those opting for the old tax regime. So, it is an indirect pressure on the people to opt for the new tax regime,” Mukhopadhyay said.
Meanwhile, Basu pointed out that another point of frustration in the budget was not progressive measures for controlling the skyrocketing of inflation. “At least the Union Finance Minister could have considered GST exemptions on essential commodities like life savings drugs. Without addressing the burning issue of inflation, mere tax rebates will not make lives easier for people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mukhopadhyay feels that what the Union Finance Minister has carefully avoided in her budget speech is a discussion on the successes and failures of existing centrally-sponsored welfare schemes. “There had been an announcement of new schemes. But as a teacher of economics, I feel that the budget speech should address the areas where the existing schemes could not achieve their desired results and accordingly suggest corrective measures,” he said.