FINANCE TIP OF THE DAY
Can you afford your loan?!
Know the quantity of loan you can afford. The banks may sanction loan based on your income but you should look at your monthly expenditure and see if you can afford the maximum that banks offer. As a thumb rule, remember not to let your credit exceed 40% of your income!
Budget 2011: Expectations from the FM
Come February and all eyes and ears are on the Finance Minister and his budget for the coming year. Almost every citizen of the country has his/her own set of expectations that they would like to see being fulfilled in the coming budget.
William Congreve said “Uncertainty and Expectation are the joys of Life”. Going by that, Feb is a very joyous month for Indians as there is quite a bit of “uncertainty” as to what the Budget augurs for us as well a lot of “expectations” for ourselves and the nation too!
Below is a list of expectations from the common man that he would like the FM to implement:
Without doubt the Indian Housewife (including Suvra Mukherjee!) wants the FM to do something and anything to ensure that the prices of basic food and vegetables (a.k.a Onions, Drumsticks, Garlic) do not go high as they have done in the last few months. Onions have literally caused tears in most households and there is a great expectation that the FM would come up with some good ideas to curb the rising prices.
Many housewives would also be eagerly hoping that the price of Domestic LPG remains untouched. There is constant pressure on the FM to reduce the burden of subsidy on LPG and he could look at increasing prices of domestic LPG cylinders.
Tax Paying Janta
With the inflation at a high, the tax payers would like to see a progress to the proposals of the new taxes code which envisage raising the first slab (10%) to Rs 10 lakh instead of the current 1.6-5 Lakh slab. This would be beneficial to a big chunk of the working populace as most people in the middle-middle class and upper middle class have an income in excess of 5 lakhs per annum.
The much touted National Rural Guarantee Scheme has played havoc with Farmers. Easy jobs with a guaranteed salary from the NREG have made big numbers of farm labor to migrate away from the hard work and low pay of agriculture work. This has resulted in a very acute shortage of workers and is seen as a major cause for the rise in prices of farm products. Even a good monsoon has not brought any cheer to the farmer as he does not have labourers to harvest his crop! The farming community is expecting the FM to scrap this populist scheme or ensure that migration of farm labourers is plugged.
An unending and over ambitious expectation from all owners of automobiles is the hope that prices of Petrol and Diesel will come down. Each budget has only brought disappointment and with the current state of crude prices it seems far-fetched to expect any relief. But it does not cost to expect and so we shall!
The last budget had promised a greener land with over 40% of total outlay on Infrastructure. But, sadly nothing much has happened apart from all the so called development at Delhi (that was for the commonwealth games anyway!). The aam aadmi expects the FM to keep the same focus by allocating more funds to infrastructure development along with a framework to ensure that his good intentions are implemented at the ground level.
Opposition’s expectation: Trip to Switzerland
The idea of millions of Indian currency stashed away in vaults in Switzerland is a very old one. But, recent developments including wiki leaks have put the spotlight back on this burning issue and the FM is expected to put forth measures to bring back black money which has been illegally kept away in foreign havens back to where it belongs: India.
The student community expects that the FM will declare a loan waiver for Educational Loans.
On that note most common Indians expect the FM to bring about a sea change in the Education system (indirectly of course) as School Fees and College fees have started rocketing skywards for no Rhyme or Reason. The common perception is that easy availability of educational loans has tempted colleges to demand higher fees as they are sure that the parents will anyway find a way to pay!
The recent spate of mis-dealings by employees of Banks and Financial services has created quite a fear in the minds of the common man about the safety of his investments and finances while dealing with the zillions of companies which have flooded the financial services domain. It is expected that the FM will come up with a long term strategy to ensure that there is stability and a stronger sense of safety prevailing in the Financial Services and Capital Markets domain.
This article has tried to cover a few of the broad areas of expectation. There are of course quite a lot more expectations that each group or set of individuals will have which have not been covered here. It is now “all eyes on the FM” till he rises to present his Budget 2011 to know if expectations have been met. Till then lets enjoy the uncertainty!