Days before Finance Minister P. Chidambaram unveils India’s budget for the next financial year, the online team at Reuters India conducted an informal survey of more than 200 people to learn what they expect from the 2013 budget.
In a poll conducted between Feb. 8 and Feb. 20, we asked 10 questions on issues ranging from India’s fiscal deficit to income taxes. At the time of publication, 205 respondents had shared their thoughts about India’s biggest business and economic event of the year.
Not everyone is confident that Chidambaram, already credited with saving the country from economic ruin once, will deliver. Forty-four percent of the respondents said that the budget will be geared toward pleasing voters, while 17 percent thought that it would contain harsh measures to help fix the nation’s economic problems. Thirty-nine percent thought that Chidambaram would find a balance.
Here are some other highlights from the survey results:
Interest paid on home loans is exempt up to 150,000 rupees ($2,770) every year, but nearly half of those polled want this limit to be raised to 300,000 rupees ($5,536). While a third said they would be happy if the limit goes up to 200,000 rupees ($3,690), 5 percent were generous enough to recommend that the exemption should be abolished.
Section 80C, which allows tax exemption on products such as insurance, tax funds and provident fund, is clearly everyone’s favourite when it comes to tax planning. Sixty-one percent of respondents want the limit to be raised to 150,000 rupees from 100,000 rupees ($1,840). But 17 percent of respondents felt more products should be made eligible for exemption under this section.