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HomeNewsNirmala Sitharaman India's Finance Minister for a third consecutive term.

Nirmala Sitharaman India’s Finance Minister for a third consecutive term.

In a move that feels all too familiar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NDA government has reinstated Nirmala Sitharaman as India’s Finance Minister for a third consecutive term. As Sitharaman prepares to present the 2024-25 full Budget, the nation watches, but not all are hopeful. The Finance Minister, known for her elusive responses to pressing questions—often deflecting with “Next question, please” or “I have no answer for that”—seems emblematic of a broader transparency issue plaguing this administration.

The upcoming special session of Parliament, set to begin on June 18, will decide when the Union Budget will be presented and discuss various governmental schemes. The Ministry of Finance is already gearing up for the Budget, including initiating industry consultations. A crucial decision lies ahead: whether to adhere to the interim fiscal deficit target of 5.1% of GDP or adjust it, especially in light of the Rs 2.1 trillion dividend from the Reserve Bank of India. This decision comes at a critical time, as the nation grapples with a tax system that many argue disproportionately burdens the common man.

Notably, the recent amendment to the Income Tax Act, set to take effect on April 1, 2024, has sparked outrage. This change mandates that large companies failing to pay dues to micro, small, or medium enterprises within 45 days cannot deduct these expenses from their taxable income. Sitharaman hinted at a possible reconsideration of this policy last month, but given her track record, many remain skeptical.

Moreover, the government’s delayed strategic sales of major entities such as IDBI Bank, Shipping Corporation, and NMDC, coupled with ongoing GST controversies, add layers to the existing fiscal dissatisfaction. One of the most contentious issues is the 18% GST on essentials like education and medicines—a burden that disproportionately affects every Indian.

As citizens, we must question whether these policies are just reinforcing the barriers between the wealthy and the poor. India’s finance policies need a serious overhaul, focusing on fairness and transparency. It’s time for Sitharaman and her colleagues to face these challenges head-on and provide the clear, honest answers that the public deserves. Will this term be any different, or will it be another chapter of unmet expectations and evasion? The nation deserves better, and it is high time our leaders deliver it

As the visionary Owner and Director, Mirza Seraj Baig has been at the forefront of e-commerce and digital marketing since 2016. His extensive expertise in the digital realm makes him a pivotal leader in navigating the complexities of the Dubai market. Mirza’s strategic insights enable businesses to thrive both online and offline, providing innovative solutions that propel companies forward in Dubai’s dynamic commercial landscape.

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