On 1/2/2022 at 11 a.m. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Budget 2022. It was telecast on Sansad TV. It used to be telecast on Lok Sabha TV. Last year Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV were merged to form Sansad TV. There was echo during telecast. It was very irritating. I dialled 011 23445700 to complain about the echo. Once there was recorded message. Second and third time there was no response.
Reactions to budget from politicians were predictable. BJP members said it was a good budget. Opposition members said it was disappointing.
Many expected changes in Income Tax rates. That did not happen. There was also talk of bringing back Wealth Tax or increasing tax on the rich. That too did not happen. Perhaps BJP leaders did not want to lose votes in elections.
RBI will issue digital currency using blockchain technology. Many countries want to issue Central Bank Digital Currencies.
Budget introduced 30% Crypto tax and 1% TDS on crypto transactions. There was talk about what to do with crypto currencies. Some wanted to ban them. Some wanted regulation. Bitcoin is legal tender in El Salvador. Government has opted to suppress crypto currencies through tax instead of ban. If the transactions are person to person, there is not much scope for collection or recovery of tax. If the transactions are through an exchange, tax can be collected or recovered. Anyway, crypto dealers were happy that government recognised crypto currencies as legal.
Budget should aim at zero inflation and zero fiscal deficit and making rupee stronger by the day against other currencies. It should not have freebies and subsidies. In 1947 it was 3.36 rupees per dollar. In October 1949 it became 4.76 rupees per dollar. On 6/6/1966 it became 7.50 rupees per dollar. After that rupee has gone down especially since 1991 and now it is around 75 rupees per dollar.
There should not have been retrospective amendment with effect from 1/4/2005 regarding surcharge and cess as business expenditure. Similarly other retrospective amendments should have been avoided. In 2014 then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said we will not bring retrospective amendments. That is forgotten or ignored.