Union Budget 2023-24: What middle class expects from finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman

By Varna Sri Raman
A few days ago our finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that she empathised with the middle-class and their pain stating that she belonged to the middle-class herself.
She was referring to the feelings of the average middle-class household in India, that every financial year finds itself between a rock and a hard-place, with no tax-relief from the government and inflationary tendencies in the economy.
It is hard to believe that our finance minister understands what the middle class goes through though her own personal assets declaration to the Election Commission of India is at Rs 2.6 crore and her salary is Rs 2,00,000 every month.
In developing economies, the distribution of socioeconomic classes can best be graphically represented by a skewed distribution to the left of a distribution curve (the majority is poor) as opposed to more of a bell curve for richer nations.
Going by this definition in India, the middle-class statistically speaking is that Indian who earns between Rs 200,000 to 500,000 per year, clearly our finance minister whose monthly income is the same as the annual income of middle-class households is not in the “middle” we understand.
According to India’s premiere Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) put together by CMIE, middle-class households account for half of India’s total households and also half of the unemployed and the largest number of unemployed people. Despite a clear economic and demographic ‘location’…

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