Education Budget 2022: Today, Madam Nirmala Sitaraman presented the union budget 2022 in the parliament. This budget was presented in the positive backdrop of 9.5 percent GDP growth and buoyant tax collection as indicated in the Economic Survey, and assembly elections in five states. Accordingly, people have high expectations of exemptions and concessions from the budget. However, the budget appeared not being influenced by the pressure of elections or individuals’ expectations of instant benefits; rather, it presented a long term vision for the country.
Budget 2022 has retained the fiscal deficit at 6.9 percent of GDP and has made necessary capital expenditure.
It has given due emphasis on infrastructure development, modernising Railways, incentivising start-ups, and promoting digital economy. ‘PM GatiShakti’ which includes seven areas of infrastructure development namely, Roads, Railways, Airports, Ports, Mass Transport, Waterways, and Logistics Infrastructure would collectively give the needed impetus to the development.
This budget has not made necessary allocation for the education sector which has tall targets to achieve under the NEP 2020.
Budget has promises for startups facilitating ‘Drone Shakti’, getting projects from the defence sector, getting funding from NABARD for starting agriculture & rural enterprises. Procurement of 1208 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and paddy in Kharif 2021-22, and Rs 2.37 lakh crore direct payment of MSP value to their accounts, promoting Chemical-free Natural
Farming are welcome steps however, the promise of doubling farmers income remains a question.
The budget reflects the government’s concern for the health and wellness of people during the COVID 19 and beyond. And Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, National Tele Mental Health Programme, Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, Saksham Anganwadi & Poshan 2.0 are welcome steps to this end. Also, bringing 100 per cent of 1.5 lakh post offices to core banking will help in financial inclusion of rural people.
The budget has aimed to present tax stability, focus on the digital economy, promotion of startups, and capacity building for sustained growth while taking risk of high inflation.
The middle class has been disappointed by not having any tax concession and may suffer further due to rise in inflation. Also, the effectiveness of the budget provisions would to great extent depend on the subsequent monetary policy where RBI will have the challenge of keeping inflation in control.