The Union Budget had mixed reaction among Kolkatans with the salaried middle class feeling disappointed over absence of tax benefits. “I think the Union Budget 2018-19 is very weak. I am hugely disappointed by the imposition of the long term capital gains tax among investor classes as it will impact small entrepreneurs the most.

The central government says that it wants to create a culture of entrepreneurs but in turn imposes additional tax. The so called rural thrust is high on the rhetoric and low on substance,” said Mr Vinay Dokania, an entrepreneur. “Primarily there are both good and bad things about the Budget. Exemptions have been given on corporate tax but no relief has been offered to individual tax payers.

There has been no revision in the tax slab as well. Relief has not been offered to women and retired tax payers which is very disappointing,” said Mr Rahul Sharma, a BCom student of Bhawanipore Gujarati Educational Society College.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley announced that there will be no changes in income tax slabs this year. He has lowered the corporate tax for small, micro and medium enterprises with turnover of upto 250 crore to 25 per cent from current 30 per cent, while reintroducing the tax on long term capital gains of over rupees 1 lakh made from the sale of shares.

“BJP was a strong advocate of complete evolution of personal income tax but no change in the tax slabs is a complete disappointment. Health insurance that has been announced for 10 crore families seems to be an escape route for the government for its failure to do enough in the area of health insurance.

“There is no mention of allocation of National Rural Health Mission. Long term capital gains tax is a dreadful idea and it proves that the government is not confident about its tax collection. The move will therefore encourage black money,” said Mr Yugesh Arora, a salesperson.