New Delhi, Feb 17 :
Lower excise on cars and mobile phones and higher subsidy on fertilisers, fuel and food proposed in the interim budget for 2014-15 Monday pleased a lot of people who gave it the thumbs-up.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s announcement on reducing excise on small cars and two-wheelers to eight percent, on SUVs to 24 percent, and on large cars to 20 percent brought a smile on the faces of automobile industry stakeholders as well as consumers.
“This is surely good news for me as I am going to buy a new sedan soon and can expect a discount,” said Vivek Sabharwal, a 34-year-old entrepreneur.
However, Sabharwal remained sceptic as to whether car manufacturers will pass on the benefits to the consumers.
“It all depends on the manufacturers. Whether they decide to pass on the discount to the consumers and even if they do, how much of it, keeping in mind that the industry has been witnessing a slump and this is a chance for manufacturers to compensate their losses or low profit margins,” he added.
The increase in subsidy for fuel, food and fertilisers targeting the Scheduled Castes, minorities, women and farmers and the acceptance of the “one rank one pension” scheme for armed forces aim to please all sections of the society.
“I am relieved that the prices of kerosene and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) have not gone up. Inflation has already affected our budget for the last many months. We could not have afforded to bear another jolt,” said Sushma Pandey, a 45-year-old homemaker from central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area.
The acceptance of the “one rank one pension” scheme finally brought to an end decades of campaigning by armed forces personnel, some of whom even returned their medals to the government.
“This was a right that had been refused to us for long. It was high time that the government took this step. We’ve finally achieved our goal and got what we wanted. This is terrific news for all of us,” said retired army Major Ashok Tanwar.
The main budget for the financial year 2014-15 will be presented by the new government that will come to power after the general elections, the schedule for which is likely to be announced by the Election Commission soon.
People are hoping that the new budget would also be people-friendly.