New Delhi, Feb 1 : There was ‘nothing’ in the Union Budget for Kamaljit Rai, Vice President of Palika Bazaar traders’ body, who was expecting relief from the Central government with an increase in income tax slab, as many traders like him are going through a rough phase due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to IANS after the Union Budget was presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Rai said he was not happy with the announcements made in the Budget, as they didn’t meet his expectations.
Asked about his views about the provisions announced in the Budget, Rai said, “We are going through the tough phase of Covid-19 since last year, which has been very difficult for us. In the beginning of the pandemic outbreak, our business was only left to 20 per cent.”
People might have hoped that the government will provide some relief by raising the income tax slabs owing to the pandemic, but nothing of this sort happened.
Rai said, “Now things have improved a little to 40-50 per cent. From this Budget, we were expecting that income tax slab would be increased from the present limit of Rs 5 lakh so that people hit by the pandemic get some relief.”
Things might have been little better from what they were when the Covid pandemic started, but the road to recovery seems more distant. Since the Covid-19 pandemic has begun, nearly 12.2 crore people have lost their jobs and many businesses have been severly hit.
Despite Palika Bazaar having many shops in its compound, the trade improving to 40-50 per cent points to the fact that recovery is happening at a snail’s pace.
Rai said, “Traders are troubled by the fact that the government has not given any relief on income tax. We request the government to again review it and give more rebate to the businessmen.”
Another businessman, Kamleshwar Prasad, a manager at Wenger and Co. in Connaught Place (CP), told IANS that he is not very optimistic about the announcements made in the Budget.
Asked about his expectations from the Budget, Prasad said, “The government should have shown some softness while making the Budget announcements. It should have ensured that common people and businessmen get some tax rebate.”