As the budget is rolled out in a few hours from now, one can’t help but notice the many small and big changes in the pre-budget hype. While mainstream media continues its many speculations about what the FM might do, in the process covering practically all possibilities, never before have people expected so little. And that is saying a lot. Witness the lack of advertisements urging you to buy before the budget? That is a good change, for it signals a level of continuity in the business and market environment, which is good for both business and consumers eventually.
For once, despite being a little too high on intent and low on action, one thing the government has achieved is to set expectations more accurately. Whether it was the shock of demonetization or the equally ‘shocking’ continuity of most of the previous government’s policies, inadvertently perhaps, people have been made to realize the truth of that old adage, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Of course, when it comes to taxes related to income and what not, feel free to keep hoping, but don’t be too surprised if after all the dust settles down, you are reminded of the line above again.
With GST looming on the horizon as a budget level or bigger event soon, we believe the Finance Ministers hands are tied, when it comes to sops and sticks for the consuming classes.
So expect minimal changes to the status quo when it comes to actual prices, be it for mobile phones, or the many other durables that make your house a home for you. So probably none, or very little tinkering with rates like excise rates, import duties and the like. There might be the perfunctory effort to ‘punish’ consumption of high end imported products, but this government might just decide its not worth it. If anything, no one can accuse them of not thinking big. So chances are, if they will do something, it will be something far more wide ranging in its impact, than just a few thousand consumers at the top. So congratulations on getting a free ticket out of the needless hype and hoopla this year. We look forward to helping you choose the best for yourself and your home this year. See you around!