The Madhya Pradesh Government is going to present its annual budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday.
Free Press asked some city residents about their expectations from the budget. All of them insisted that the government should control the rapid rise in the prices of essential commodities, especially petrol, diesel and cooking gas. Electronic gadgets like laptops and mobile phones should be cheaper, they demanded.
Some said that employment opportunities for the youth should be expanded and more emphasis should be laid on skilling students.
Rohini Sharma, social activist
An LPG cylinder now costs Rs 825. Commute has become costlier, eating out has become costlier, everything has become costlier. I am not saying that the government should stop taxing essential items or reduce taxes on them. But at least, it should stop increasing taxes on essentials. The government argues that it needs more money to expand health facilities and so it is taxing people at higher and still higher rates. I am sure that if things continue in this way, soon the hospital beds would be full of malnourished children and people who have got afflicted with diseases due to lowered immunity!
Joy Wadhwani, artiste
Commodities which fulfil the basic needs of the lower and the middle-class should be reasonably priced. Also, electronic gadgets like laptops and mobile phones should not be made costlier. These days, everything has become online, classes are online, exams are online and people work from their homes. And so, laptops and smartphones are no longer a luxury. Their prices should be brought down.
Afshan Afsar, government school teacher
The prices of diesel and petrol in Madhya Pradesh are among the highest in the country. The government should reduce VAT on fuels. If that is done, the prices of all items will automatically come down. The salaries of government employees are stagnant for more than a year now. Increments have been withheld and dearness allowance has been not been increased. Now that the Covid-19 situation has eased, the government can think of its employees also, especially since the cost of living has increased.
Gaurav Mishra, ad filmmaker
The government should control the prices of grocery items, food grains and vegetables. These are basic needs. Also, job opportunities should be created for the young by promoting industrialisation. Incentives should be given for shooting of feature films, web series, ad films etc. in the state. That will generate revenue for the government and jobs for the local artistes and others.
Sana Azhar, student
Nowadays, in the job market, it is not degrees that matter; it is skills that do. In Madhya Pradesh, though the government is laying emphasis on skill training, the facilities are poorer as compared to other states. For instance, if a person wants to become a motor mechanic, he has to learn the skill hands-on. There is no training institute he can go to. I am a psychology student. Now, if I want to become a counsellor, I have to get training. And for that I will have to go to Mumbai or Delhi. So, the government should spend money on skilling people and not merely on giving them theoretical education.