Union Budget 2020-21 : Quick Reactions by Prof. J.D. Agarwal

Budget 2020-21 is a well balanced, development oriented, non inflationary giving boost to investment & consumption & containing fiscal deficit of to a reasonable level at 3.5 percent said Prof. (Dr.) J.D. Agarwal, Distinguished Professor of Finance and Chairman, Indian Institute of Finance. It is realistic budget with a focus on agriculture, rural development, infrastructure, health, education and social welfare paving the way for five trillion dollar economy & doubling farmer’s income feels Prof. Agarwal.

According to him, it will help generate employment & may result in 5% growth in industrial production from 0.6% growth in 1920.

Prof. Agarwal welcomed the tax proposals. It will provide relief to individual tax payers to increase their purchasing power & give boost to consumption by announcing no tax upto five lakhs and 10% tax for incomes from 5 – 7.5 lakhs, 20% for income between Rs 10-12.5 lakhs; 25% for income between Rs 12.5 -15 lakh and 30% for income above Rs 15 lakh said Dr. Agarwal. He also welcome shifting of tax on dividends from companies to individuals. It is a correction from double taxation i.e. one on incomes then on distribution. According to him, he opposed it ever since it was introduced.

While appreciating the Finance Minister’s concern for education, Prof. Agarwal welcomed raising allocations to 99300 crores and inviting FDIs to promote education and also enhance the quality of education by setting up new institutes for Diploma courses. The government , while setting up new institutions need to ensure that existing institutions and colleges set up by trusts and societies are not closed down opined Dr. Agarwal. It has been observed that All India Council for Technical education (AICTE), a statutory body responsible for promoting education and maintaining quality of education has reduced more than 10 lakh seats from 40 lakhs sets to 30 lakh seats in Engineering, Pharmacy and Management etc. Thousands of colleges offering these courses have been forced to shut down by placing them in no admission category on false and fabricated grounds due to some minor deficiencies. Crores of investment made in these colleges is national loss as assets including Land and building, library books ad computers are being made redundant because of being closed down. Government must ensure that its regulating agencies such as AICTE must pursue its policies in both letter and spirit and not act in contradiction to Government’s mission to develop human resources feels Dr. Agarwal.

The budget estimates for revenue receipts and revenue expenditures presented today were very well forecasted by Prof. (Dr.) Yamini Agarwal, Professor of Finance and Dean (Academics), Indian Institute of Finance and presented in “Mera Budget” programme on Rajya Sabha TV on 24th January, 2020 and by budget forecasts by me on 31st January, 2020 said Dr. Agarwal.