Union Budget 2017: What students have to say about the annual budget

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017 at the Parliament today. He allotted Rs. 1,30,215 crores to Education and Healthcare sector this year, which is the fourth highest in the overall Budget followed by Infrastructure, Transport and Social sectors. PaGaLGuY spoke to students from different sections and gathered their views about the Budget presented today. Here are some of the responses we received:

Mechanical Engineering student from IIT Kharagupur, Vyom Shrivastava said, “It’s a trend since 2007 that after the Budget, Nifty goes up by 100, if negative correction by 300. Budget changes the momentum of the market.” An alumni of IIT Patna, Akhil Shukla curious about how after demonetisation, the central government will manage to implement the proposed plans. “Lets see how implementation of the promised plans takes place, especially after demonetisation. Government will not be able to afford interesting things right now, as the elections are around the corner as well,” said Shukla.

An MBA aspirant Snehal Mendhe pointed out that the farmer credit promised by the government might not help the small and marginalized farmers. “Those farmers who are still out of the banking network would not be able to take help from the Budget announcement related to farmer credit. They depend on informal lenders and unless the definition of priority sector lending is changed, status of the farmers wouldn’t be elevated,” said Mendhe. Another MBA aspirant Umesh Jagtap lamented the fact that there were no major announcements about educational loans for higher studies. “The government should have lowered the educational loans for higher studies. To develop R&D, the government should spend on world-class infrastructure to encourage industrial engagement with institutes providing higher education. This would also provide employment opportunities to the large population of research scholars passing out of these institutes,” said Jagtap.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced two new AIIMS in Jharkhand and Gujarat in his Budget today. Second year MBBS student Amit Dubey from Jharkhand said, “Jharkhand doesn’t have any world class medical institute and establishment of AIIMS will certainly enhance the medical facility in the state. It will also help the poor people of the region to acquire better healthcare,” said Dubey. Another MBBS student Sayan Mukherjee from Mumbai lauded the decision to increase 5,000 PG medical seats each year in the country. “There has always been a mismatch between the number of students graduating after the MBBS course and the number of PG seats. Hopefully this move will nullify the deficit,” said Mukherjee.

An M. Phil student from Goa, Nawoo Varak, was not happy with the Budget as it didn’t mention anything about the importance of urban local governance. “Although I had a cursory glance at the Budget, I found that there is no mention of urban local governance, even though it was emphasized by the Economic Survey conducted by the Finance Ministry.

“Political parties are the main sources of corruption and there should be restriction in the funds. It is a good move that the individual funding has been limited to Rs. 2,000 to political parties in cash in the Budget. It will help keep track of the funding received by different parties,” said Niteen Patle, a UPSC aspirant. Another UPSC aspirant, Kshitij Barvey said, “Restrictions on cash-based donations for political parties is one such reform that was pending for a long time. The Budget has also taken demonetisation to the next level and hence making it pro-poor. Although NDA is a right wing party with corporate support, still there is an initiative to give stimulus to agriculture and promote cashless society.”

Not only students from the country but also those who are studying abroad responded to PaGaLGuY about the Budget. Ritika Vishwasrao, currently studying in Toronto, Canada straightway said she doesn’t follow the Budget anymore. “I used to follow the Budget until last year when I was studying Bachelors in Finance in India. But you can’t expect anything specific to studying abroad in the Budget. Even last year, there was no mention about facilitating loans for those applying to foreign universities,” said Vishwasrao. Another US aspirant Bhakti Sharma pointed out that there is nothing for them in the Budget and hence she gave it a miss this year. “I didn’t listen to the Budget. I don’t think the Budget would have anything specific to studying the US. In terms of school and higher education, I can’t say much as it doesn’t affect my education plans,” said Sharma.

(Inputs from Megha Mehta, Priyank Pamkar, Ishani Bose, Vaishnav Mudbhatkal and Manaal Bhombal)