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Starry tales of the Indian Budget

Is this Budget going to bring smiles on the common man's face? Yojana Sharma talks to some soothsayers.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2006 10:54 IST

With the Railway Budget bringing a smile to the face of the common man, similar benefits are expected from the Union Budget.

Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his directive to the Finance Minister P Chidambaram, had urged a modest price line as inflation hits the common man the hardest.

So, is the Union Budget '06, like the railway budget, going to be populist budget? While the concerns will be addressed concretely on February 28, when the Budget is to be presented, we showcase Budget predictions from India's leading astrologers, tarot readers and numerologists.

The common consensus: Though India's economy will see a boom, stars predict a rise in prices.

According to astro expert Dr Prem Kumar Sharma, the planetary alignment indicates that 2006 is a harbinger of difficulties for the ruling government. A top leader could be under the scanner for having vested interests in the rising prices.

Mumbai-based astrologer Larra Shah's prediction is also on the same lines. Her reading says that the fiscal policies of the government could run down its image. The government is likely to come in for criticism as the budget is likely to favour the upper class, corporates and MNCs, leading to a feeling of stress on the masses and the lower strata of the society, labourers and farmers.

Shah hints, "New taxation policies will burden people heavily, especially the middle class in the society."

"The general price trends, that have been steadily spiralling upwards, will continue to do so. Almost all commodities, especially the fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs), will continue to show an upward trend as a result of this Budget," says Dr Sharma. The salaried class, though, could breathe easier, as the Budget is likely to make provident fund and insurance more attractive, he adds.

Shah's reading indicates another hardship for the aam aadmi(common man). She predicts all petroleum products including LPG may cost higher. Dr Sharma agrees with her.He says, "It will become difficult to keep the home fires burning with the escalation in the cost of LPG."

Our in-house tarot reader Reeta Shanker Seth also predicts the same. Her cards show that "while a marginal increase in kerosene and cooking gas is likely, agro-based products can get cheaper.However, there's likelihood of some increase in the prices of milk and milk products after May this year."

Shanker Seth further claims that corporate taxes are expected to increase. Dr Sharma seconds to her reading.

Though all does not seem to be bleak. There is a silver lining as the alignment of Chidambaram's stars could spell relief for the common man, according to renowned numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani.

Jumaani sums it up like this, "Chidambaram's horoscope has 7 of Neptune, 2 of Moon and 5 of Mercury. The influence of moon and mercury make him a creative and imaginative person. His lucky numbers are 1, 2, 5 and 7. He is in his 61st year, which again sums up to 7 (his lucky number). Overall, he will be able to do a good job or more than of a good job of the resources that he has in his hand. This obviously translates some relief for the common man."

So, keep your fingers crossed till February 28 and send up those extra prayers so that the stars do not play truant.

First Published: Feb 25, 2006 16:33 IST