Vikash Sharma

Be it salaried, home-makers or industrialists, the hope of everybody will be certainly high when finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivers the Union Budget 2023 on February 1 (tomorrow).

All eyes will be on what comes out of the Pandora's box as this is the last full-fledged budget of the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. The above-target inflation, exorbitant price rise of essential commodities like rice, sugar, sugar, petrol and diesel is certainly a matter of concern for the common man as this has led to increase in expenses while the savings have shrunk.

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The homemakers across the country including Odisha are hoping that there could be some major announcements in the union budget which will help them to restore the budget of their respective kitchens. “Be it salt or cooking gas, the prices of all items have increased. We urge the government to focus on homemakers as they are the ones who fuel the entire family,” said Kalpana Tripathy, a homemaker.

As no major relief was given to the middle class following no change in tax slab or new deductions in the last year’s budget, the middle and the salaried class is hopeful for significant relief on income tax this year.

“We are hopeful of some relief in the income tax slabs by the Modi government. Everybody will benefit in the long run if it focuses on unemployment,” said Samish Mohanty, a tax payer.

The famers too are looking forward for some major announcements in the union budget 2023 including true value for their produce, appropriate market linkage and other issues.

“If appropriate action is taken to provide market to the farmers to sell their produce, bulk of the problems will be resolved,” said Odisha farmer leader, Seshadev Nanda.

The industry sector in the country is looking forward for the union budget 2023. Many are keen to see major announcements, focussing on the small and medium sector industries.

Subhrakant Panda, President of FICCI said, “Expectations are high from the union budget 2023. There will be significant outlays for health care, infrastructure, education. There will be boost to economy if tax slabs are rearranged.”

Many industrialists and entrepreneurs are looking forward and want some relaxations to promote exports. The Odisha industry sector is hopeful that the Centre will focus on the development of infrastructure for railways and ports in the state as it is one of the major contributors of revenue in the mining sector.

“MSME sector needs special attention and there is need for export incentives to meet trade deficit. There is also need for dedicated freight corridor as there is no access to mines and evacuation from mines,” said Brahmanand Mishra, president UCCI.

In Union Budget 2022-23, Odisha received an allocation of around Rs 9,734 crore for Railways. This was the highest allocation for the state so far. Experts believe that similar kind of allocation will be made for Odisha and at the same time focus needs to be given to extend railway network in the uncovered routes.

Dilip Samantray, MD, Angul-Sukinda railwayline said, “In the transportation sector, we hope that focus will be put on a dedicated freight corridor on Vijayawada-Kolkata and Berhampur-Sambalpur via Phulbani railway project in the budget 2023.”

(Reported by Soumyaranjan Sahoo and Kapilendra Pradhan)