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Young India cares less for Union Budget

india Updated: Feb 29, 2008 19:12 IST

IANS
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India has a young demography, but the union budget 2008-09 presented on Friday morning didn't seem to have made much difference to youngsters in college corridors and elsewhere.

Tulika Sharma, an undergraduate student based in Guwahati, Assam, said the budget wouldn't affect her at all.

"I had a clue that the budget would be presented today, but frankly I wasn't really bothered about it," Sharma told IANS over telephone.

"If I had plans of buying a car, then probably it would have affected me because the budget states that hybrid cars will now come cheaper or that Hyundai has announced a price slash in small cars. But I don't have any such plans," she said.

Asad Ahmed, an engineering student in Bangalore who also works for NGOs that take up social causes, similarly said that the budget wouldn't make any difference to him.

"I frankly didn't know that the budget was being presented today until yesterday when I glanced through the newspaper. But really, what difference does it make to us?

"The country might be having an amazing growth rate of 8.8 per cent, but I don't see anything being done for people in the unorganised sector," he asked.

For Richa Misra, a student doing her M.Phil in zoology and based in Patna, Bihar, the railway budget was something that interested her more than the union budget.

"I travel frequently by train so the railway budget was something I was keenly looking at. The union budget, on the face of it, sounds good but I don't know how much will it affect me," she said.

As for Rs 850 million being allocated for higher studies in science and research and the distribution of scholarships, Misra said while it sounded encouraging, many would not know how to make use of it.

"The scholarships for students sounds very promising but then I don't know how many will be able to avail of it. This might sound critical but that's the truth," Misra said.

The union budget stated that a higher tax rate would be applied on non-filter cigarettes to bring them at par with filter cigarettes. But most smokers said a price rise would not make them kick the habit.

Rohan Sharma, a BPO employee in Gurgaon, for instance, said: "I was hoping that the cigarette prices wouldn't increase. But now that they have, you can't do much. As far as I am concerned, it won't affect me. Whoever wants to smoke will smoke anyway, price increase or not."

Samir Abraham, a young entrepreneur based in Hyderabad, bought 20 packets of cigarettes before the budget was presented.

"I knew they would increase the cigarette prices so I decided to buy 20 packets in advance before the budget was presented! That's how much the budget affects me immediately," he laughed.

Samir Abraham, a young entrepreneur based in Hyderabad, bought 20 packets of cigarettes before the budget was presented.

"I knew they would increase the cigarette prices so I decided to buy 20 packets in advance before the budget was presented! That's how much the budget affects me immediately," he laughed.