The Budget-making process is underway, so are the discussions over expectations from the government this time around. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget – final full Budget of the Narendra Modi government before the 2024 general elections – on February 1.
Here's a look at what students and young professionals want from the government in the upcoming Budget:
Students expect the government to come up with policies to promote employment growth and spend on digital literacy.
"Today's youth look to the government and its financial decisions to spend more on digital literacy so that everyone has access to fundamental digital skills and to enact stricter rules for safety and privacy," Vibhuti Gupta, a student at University of Delhi, told MintGenie.
"In order to reduce migration, we also want more policies and laws that promote employment growth. The current generation of youngsters is particularly inclined towards mental health and would want to see more initiatives in this domain," she added.
Among other expectations the youngsters have are reduction of GST on electronic books and an increase in fund allocation for skill development and technical education, especially for semi-employed youth.
According to a report by News18, experts feel that the government needs to come up with more reforms and initiatives to boost the education sector in order to create more jobs.
“We need to get our priorities right as we move towards a higher growth trajectory in the 25-year window during Amrit Kaal till 2047. There is a need to prioritise the education sector and allocate 6 percent of GDP to it in the interests of human resource development," Prof. Y.S.R. Murthy, founding vice chancellor, RV University, was quoted as saying in the report.
Young professionals/salaried class
Salaried individuals are mainly seeking tax relief from the government. Here are the areas they want the government to focus on:
An increase in the basic income tax exemption limit from ₹2.5 lakh to ₹5 lakh.
Deduction under Section 80C
The tax deduction limit was increased to ₹1.5 lakh in 2014 from ₹1 lakh. Salaried individuals are seeking an increase in deduction this time as there has been no change in the same for nearly a decade.
Deductions under Section 80D
Amid high inflation and rising medical expenses, the government should increase deduction available to individuals for medical expenses which is currently ₹50,000.
Allowances for children's education
The government is expected to increase the current allowances from ₹100 for child education and ₹300 for hostel expenses. It is expected to raise the allowances to ₹1,000 for child education and ₹3,000 for hostels.
Besides, those investing in securities are also expecting rationalisation in the long-term capital gain (LTCG) tax and holding period for equity, property and bonds.
It is to be noted that the current tax on equity is 10 percent with 1-year holding period. For property, the tax is 20 percent with 2-year period while for bonds, it is 20 percent with three years.
Among other expectations in salaried class are also tax exemptions or deductions for first-time home buyers, increased allocation for housing schemes and relaxation of rules on loans.