REUTERS - India unveiled higher-than-expected spending for fiscal 2013/14 on Thursday, aiming to fund it with higher revenues - including new taxes on the rich and large companies.
Here are some reactions from people on the street:
Monica James, 27, media practitioner
"This has been a disappointing budget for more reasons than one. The tax limits haven't been increased substantially. The tax slabs haven't been revised and as usual, we have prioritized spending on defence over agriculture, health and education. The only thing in the budget that gave me a reason to smile was the 10 percent surcharge on income of over 1 crore rupees."
Chiranjeev Kwatra, 28, marketing manager at a private firm
"This government does not understand people's expectations. If savings are less, consumption and investment will be less. We need a better government who can understand people's expectations. Also, I can't buy Armani jeans anymore."
Amit, 35, Cisco
"They should do something about people who do not pay taxes, like shopkeepers and kirana store owners. It is only the salaried people who pay taxes. In my opinion, people who earn less than 10 lakh rupees should be exempt from paying taxes."
Aman, 31, Axis Bank
(On 18 percent extra tax on cigarettes) "Although I don't smoke, I feel it's a good decision. The government will get more taxes. The money can be used for cancer research and to treat people with diseases caused by smoking and use of tobacco."
Arpita Singh, 27, lawyer
(On schemes for women) "Government should invest these funds to conduct self-defence classes in all schools and colleges, and private and public sectors. There should be counsellors available for any assault victim in all of the above places. There should also be a provision for compulsory transportation for women who work late. The budget should set aside funds for free medical help for victims of sexual assault."
Raminder, 37, Axis Bank
(On 18 percent extra tax on cigarettes) "It is a good move, but will not deter people from smoking."
Ritika, 25, student
"I don't think the Nirbhaya Fund is really going to help. It's not about creating a fund, it's more about awareness. There needs to be education about these issues and we need to know that the fund money is going to go into creating awareness and education (on women issues)"
Aashish Bansal, 27, digital producer, OgilvyOne worldwide
"Increase of 20,000 rupees will lead to a mere change of 500 rupees or so per month. It could have been better. There has been double-digit inflation for almost 5 years now and when it comes to tax slabs, there is no increase."
Anjali, 22, student
"(On creation of Nirbhaya Fund) is a good initiative but it depends on the implementation. Government needs to implement it at the grassroots level, only then will it make any difference."
Dilip Kumar Dutta, 67, financial consultant
(On additional food subsidies) "When newer subsidies are announced, they sound very nice but no one analyses the past. Was the government able to achieve what they announced in previous years? For example, in my native village, a worker gets paid 110 rupees a day under the NREGA, out of which 40 rupees is taken by the panchayat. So a very small amount is left for the worker."
Gowthami, 26, marketing professional
"The surcharge on the rich, it is high time this was done. This is a positive move."
Arushi Sen, 26, student
(On creation of Nirbhaya Fund) "Money on its own can't do good and right the wrongs that Indian men do towards women. The money can only be of use if it is used in an appropriate manner. So the onus is on the government."
Noor Saba, 18, café chain employee
"It's a good thing that money is being set aside for women's safety. But I doubt this government will be able to implement much. We have seen in the past that money sanctioned for various things is eaten up by corrupt ministers. Money is rarely used for the issues it is sanctioned for."
Yogesh Bhattar, 28, manager commercial, Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd
"A very hollow budget, with no direction on curtailing the fiscal deficit. Personal tax benefits of 2,000 rupees at the current level of inflation is like peanuts. One has to really look at the effectiveness of targeting the so-called super-rich above 1 crore rupees. What percentage of the population are we talking about?"
(Reporting by Arnika Thakur and Anuja Jaiman in New Delhi)
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