Pradeep Pattanayak

With just about four days to go for Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to present the Union budget, farmers, backward classes and middle-class families are eagerly looking forward to it. 

What the common people expect from the budget are reductions in the prices of essential commodities, income tax rebates on hard-earned money, employment scope for youths and social security for the elderly. 

“The focus of the budget should be on increasing the savings of the middle-class people. We want an increase in the income tax slab and a decrease in fuel price,” said Soubhagya Deo, a Bhubaneswar resident. 
Another city dweller Shekhawat Khan said, “We are having problems running our families. Fuel price keeps on increasing. If some concessions are provided to consumers, it would be better.”

In the last one year, it is the housewives who have borne the brunt of inflation. The prices of essential commodities like rice, pulses, wheat, wheat flour, sugar etc. have skyrocketed beyond expectations. The situation has come to such a pass that the price of domestic LPG cylinders has touched Rs 1100. 

Housewives expect the Finance Minister to lessen the burden on their family budget. 

Similarly, students and educated youths expect rebates in the interest of education loans and employment opportunities. 

“The government suddenly hiked the price of cooking gas. Then the prices of essential commodities like rice, pulses and vegetables have increased. A decrease in the general price level would be a huge relief for us,” observed Pushpita Guru, a housewife. 

“I would like to request the Finance Minister to reduce the interest rate on the education loans,” said Srijyoti Mohapatra, a student. 

While the middle-class families are expecting that the income tax slab will be increased, senior citizens want there should be an increase in their pension amounts and special concession on medical expenses and medicine costs.  

“The income tax slab hasn’t been changed for the last two years. So, we are not getting any benefits. We expect the Central government should increase the slab so that we can utilize the money in shaping the future of our children,” said Pabitra Mohan Mohapatra, a Bhubaneswar resident. 

Echoing the same, senior citizen Prakash Chandra Mahapatra said, “The government should make arrangements in the budget about special concessions on the medical expenses and medicine costs.”


(Reported by Kapilendra Pradhan from Bhubaneswar, OTV)