I look at a Budget purely from the lens of consumption. Consumption, to me, equals development. And from that point of view, this budget is a mixed bag of announcements. I believe that the government’s intention was quite positive; but then, it had to do a tightrope walk, juggling between social and economic reforms at the same time.I find various measures in this Budget that would help boost consumption, and in turn, the development. Raising the limit of deduction on health insurance premium and increasing the deduction for rent paid for those living in rented houses will increase the monthly disposable income. Not only this, I am glad that the service tax slabs remain unchanged as any change would have added pressure on the services industry and spending of the common man.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Announcements on the initiatives to simplify taxation and curtail black money in the system are also something I feel positive about. Especially, the efforts that the government has taken to increase the transparency in the taxation system will go a long way in creating a positive outlook that the taxpayers have for taxation. It will also make the whole system of taxation people-friendly.The announcements also showed government’s focus in strengthening the rural economy. Various measures taken to ensure the security of farmers, doubling their income and providing employment to rural youth will further expand the consumption net and have a long-term positive impact.Allowing 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) through Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the marketing of food produces from India is a welcome step and would encourage investment in the country’s food sector business.While I see quite a few positives in this Budget, I see one announcement that can prove to be a dampener. Making PAN (Permanent Account Number) mandatory for any purchases above one lakh rupees is going to have a serious impact on consumption. Not more than 13% of Indians have PAN card and only about 4% of them pay Income Tax. Without expanding the PAN and income tax net, a move like this will enormously hamper the consumption space. I expect its significant impact on retailing as well as on manufacturing sectors, especially that of consumer durable products like televisions, gadgets, furniture and other home products.I believe it is a positive change, but we should give more time to our society to adopt these changes.Overall, I see this Budget as a mixed bag of multiple things with a common direction.

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A mixed bag, but mostly positive