This is the fourth budget of the Sitharaman at a crucial time when the nation is reeling under pandemic. The public is expecting a big relief and generation of employment opportunities from the government.
An IANS-CVoter nationwide tracker poll conducted on the eve of Budget presentation reveals some predictable results. According to the survey, an annual income of Rs 6,25,000 may become completely out of the income tax bracket. That works out to an average monthly income of just above Rs 52,000.
Interestingly, way back in 2010 when the UPA was in power and had not yet been hit by scams and a faltering economy, respondents to the survey had stated that they wanted an annual income of Rs 5,65,000 or monthly income of Rs 47,260 to be out of the income tax bracket. That doesn’t seem like a very steep rise in tax payer’s expectations over a time period of 13 years. But there are interesting changes in expectations in different years. For instance, in 2020, respondents to the survey wanted an annual income of Rs 3,80,000 or a monthly income of Rs 31,717 to be out of the income tax bracket. Soon after that, India was hit by the twin scourge of Covid-19 and high inflation.
Accordingly, there was a dramatic shift in the taxpayer expectations. During the 2021 survey, respondents wanted an annual income of Rs 5,60,000 to be out of the income tax bracket. By 2022, that had climbed further to Rs 6,25,000 per year. Analysts are widely expecting a hike in the threshold of tax free incomes when the Budget is presented on February 1, 2022. They are also expecting a substantial hike in medical expenses exemptions because of the pandemic.