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What youngsters expect

Concession on student loans, higher spending on education and health, fuel price cut - students and young professionals have a whole list of expectations as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents India's national budget for this fiscal.

business Updated: Jul 06, 2009 08:38 IST

Concession on student loans, higher spending on education and health, fuel price cut - students and young professionals have a whole list of expectations as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents India's national budget for this fiscal on Monday.

Rakhi Malhotra, a college student who voted for the first time in the April-May elections, said she had a lot of hopes from the budget.

"I hope the total public spending on education is increased. We keep fretting about all kinds of issues but education, which can become our tool in slaying most of those issues like unemployment, is not given much attention. The spending must be increased to at least six percent of the GDP," Malhotra, who works as volunteer with an NGO working for slum kids, told IANS.

Salma Khan, another student, said special provisions should be made for students, like educational loans at concessional rates.

"The budget is drawn keeping the common man in mind. But it should also benefit the students. Therefore, a concession in student loans, which will enable a youngster to study further without any financial hurdle, will be good," Khan said.

Students, besides professionals and home makers, are also hoping for fuel price cut.

Shravan Sharma, a young professional, said: "There should be concessions on petrol and other fuel prices because, other than the direct effect, they also affect the prices of basic commodities and thus the common man's home budget."

Kanchan Tripathi, a house wife, said: "Every now and then I come across news of price hike, in one or the other commodity. It has become a tough job to set my home's budget. I suppose there should be standardisation of prices so that every section of the society can afford."

Others like Rahul Jain, who works in an animation school, want that personal and other taxes should be lowered.

"I understand the importance of paying our taxes, but some of the taxes seriously need to be reviewed. Costs of living in the city are going higher, and with all the taxes, there is hardly any money left in my bank to last me comfortably through the month," Jain said.

But for some like Radhika Misra, a student, the budget doesn't hold much meaning.

"Budgets come and budgets go, but my life doesn't get any better. Frankly, I think that the government, besides thinking of a budget which will please all, should make sure that all the money actually reaches the beneficiaries. Otherwise it doesn't hold any good," she said.