A housewife's Budget will take a beating after finance minister Pranab Mukherjee raised the service tax rate.
A housewife's interest in the Union Budget generally rests on pointers that impact her household budget. As a homemaker I was looking for stability in prices of food items and some relief from high prices of cooking gas. However, my cries to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee fell on deaf ears.
The spiraling cost of household goods, consumer durables and food items remains the foremost concern of all housewives. While LEDs and LCDs have become cheaper, an excise duty hike to 12% has seen automobiles and other consumer durable products going up. This will lead to the burden being passed onto a consumer like me. Increasing duty on large cars from 22% to 27% was not expected.
On the whole, with excise duty going up, diesel cars, cigarettes, computers and mobile phones are all expected to get costlier now.
There has been no respite from inflation over the last two years, especially in the prices of food grains and pulses which has a direct bearing on the diet of the family. There was no clarity provided on the same for this year.
While no subsidy to domestic LPG or diesel was promised, we are now expecting these prices to go up in future.
Owning jewellery is every woman's dream. While custom duty on refined gold has been doubled, custom duty on standard gold has also gone up to 4% from 2%. Custom duty on non standard gold has risen to 10% from 5%, making gold quite out of my reach. The only saving grace seems to be making branded jewellery exempt from excise duty.