Put on the news today and it’s clear that money is definitely on the mind. Now the Budget is way beyond my comprehension, and all the reading I’m doing, just doesn’t seem to make it any clearer. However what I can sense is that, some (read most) of our rich Indians are going to feel the pinch and hence the fiery debate on TV, between prominent politicians and finance gurus (who let’s face it, have be evading that 30% tax for ages).
How does the budget effect me?
When it comes right down to it, girls like me, want to know just how this budget effects our lifestyle. I want to know what I will be paying less for and what I shall be paying an arm and a Prada for. This is where Tines Now really put things in perspective. On their ticker bar they had a section called Budget Impact: Your Pocket which simply states what is going to get cheaper and what’s going to get more expensive.
Branded Apparel -> Cheaper
Eating Out -> Expensive
Leather Goods -> Cheaper
Luxury Cars -> Expensive
Silver Jewellery -> Expensive
GSM & PDA Phones -> Expensive
Imported Bikes -> Expensive
Cigarettes -> Expensive
SUVs -> Expensive
It looks like lifestyle trends have gotten more expensive, or rather indulgences are getting pricey. The budget has definitely looked at things from a social phenomenon perspective. For Example: we’ve seen this whole SUV culture creep into India recently, and sure enough this year if you have to buy one it will be more expensive. Personally, I’m happy that Branded Apparel and Leather goods (shoes, bags) will be cheaper, because as a consumer of tons of clothes and high heels; India really is fleecing their customers (me). Simple example, I bought a Charles & Keith bag in the Philippines for 2,900 pesos (approx 3,200 rs), the same bag here in Pune (I checked) retailed at 6,800rs. Yikes.
I wanted to buy a new phone this year, but looks like I’ll have to look overseas to buy a decent yet reasonably priced phone. I’m secretly loving the fact that luxury cars will be more expensive. Of late it seems like every Tom, Dick and Hitesh have a BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Bentley, you name it, they got it. The thrill of seeing a truly spectacular car has lost it’s charm, lets hope this will bring some of it’s gloss back.
Eating out has gotten more expensive in general, so it’s a bit of a let down that it’s only going to get more expensive. Sorry boys, but those first dates that are usually on you will seem a bit steep, don’t worry though we women got your back (unless we’re in the 30% tax bracket).
Now for this Woman’s Bank Debate
An all woman bank, really? I didn’t think banks had a bias towards women, it’s money and numbers at the end of the day, why should it make a difference if a man or woman is handling it? The argument by P Chidambaram is:
“There is no bank that exclusively serves women. Can we have a bank that lends mostly to women and women-run businesses, that supports women SHGs and women’s livelihood, that employs predominantly women, and that addresses gender related aspects of empowerment and financial inclusion? I think we can. I therefore propose to set up India’s first women’s bank as a public sector bank,” (sited from business-standard.com). Personally, I have never approached a bank for investments or start up money, loans etc, and the women I know who have started their ventures haven’t spoken of difficulties they’ve faced as a women at a bank, so I don’t really have too much of an opinion on this. Sorry folks, you’re on your own here.
Phew! This budget stuff is exhausting. Hope some of what I wrote made sense, there is a whole lot more to this issue, but that’s all I’ve manage to grasp so far.