The Union Budget of India is an important economic document that shapes the fiscal policy of the nation and outlines the government’s plans for revenue and expenditure for the upcoming financial year. It has a direct and profound impact on the lives of citizens, particularly the youth of the country.
The Finance Minister will present the Union Budget 2023 on February 1st and it is expected to provide the necessary support to help the youth realize their potential and contribute positively to the nation's growth. Despite its importance, there is a lack of interest among the youth regarding the Union Budget of India.
This article explores how various factors contribute to the lack of engagement among the youth when it comes to the Union Budget.
Lack of awareness
There is a lack of awareness among the younger generation about the budget-making process, its importance, and how it affects their day-to-day lives. Many are unaware of the various budgetary proposals and allocations made annually, and the potential impact they may have on their lives.
Furthermore, many young people do not understand the importance of engaging with the Union Budget and the role it plays in shaping the country’s economy. The language and terminology used by policymakers can be hard to understand and difficult to discuss. This lack of understanding makes it difficult for them to form opinions or express their views on the budget.
“The budget process can be complex and difficult for non-experts to understand, which may also contribute to a lack of engagement. However, it is crucial that this generation pays attention to how the budget would impact them,” said a young working professional, Pranay Loya in an interview with MintGenie.
Disconnect from an early age
The lack of interest in the Union Budget amongst the younger generation may also be attributed to the fact that they are not exposed to the budget process at a young age. Most schools and universities do not teach students about the budget and its importance. This means that young people enter adulthood without any knowledge of the budget, making it harder for them to engage with the budget process and understand its importance.
“There is little ‘inherent’ excitement about the Union Budget among younger generations beyond the institutional level. This is because, in middle-class homes, children are kept away from the conversations of taxes, loans, or budgets for the longest time possible,” stated student Paridhi Sharma in an interview with MintGenie.
“So, most of us grew up with the mindset that the budget only influences big businesses, corporations, the rich, and the poor. We presume that there is nothing in it for the younger groups, and call it a topic not suitable for ‘us’ to discuss or analyse its impact on us, directly or indirectly,” she added.
Interests of the youth
There is a disconnect between the priorities and interests of the youth, and those of the decision-makers. Young people often feel that their needs and concerns are not adequately represented in the budget and that the current budget does not address the issues that matter to them.
This lack of representation in the budget-making process leads to disengagement and disinterest in the budget-making process, resulting in a lack of active participation by the younger generation.
“Most of us are implicit of the opinion that neither the discussions around the Budget directly impact one’s personal or professional life nor is it drafting under one’s control. Most of us are also of the opinion that the Budget is solely about ‘Tax’ matters which are reserved to be interpreted by tax professionals and are beyond the understanding of a non-professional,” said a working professional Arjun Mehra in an interview with MintGenie.
Young people view the budget as something that is out of their control and therefore do not feel compelled to engage with it. This is especially true when it comes to the budget’s fiscal policies, which many young people feel have a limited impact on their lives. This is reinforced by the fact that the budget rarely includes any measures that directly target the younger generation. As a result, young people feel disconnected from the budget and do not see the point in engaging with it.