Rising inflation top concern for Indians, shows Kantar India’s budget survey
A majority of respondents are expecting an increase in basic income tax exemption limit
Kantar has released findings from its second edition of India Union Budget survey. This survey maps consumer sentiments and expectations from the Union Budget 2023, just ahead of its unveiling on Feb 1.
With no clear end in sight of the Russia-Ukraine war, an expected slowdown in Europe and the US, and with 9 Indian states heading into assembly polls in 2023, the mood of the nation is one of cautious optimism.
A majority (55%) of those who took part in the survey want continued focus on healthcare in this budget like last year’s. This number however is significantly lower than last year’s (66%).
At a macroeconomic level, most have a positive outlook: 50% believe that the Indian economy will grow in 2023 as against 31% who feel there will be a slowdown. Non-metros at 54% are more optimistic as compared to metros.
55% believe that Sensex will hover around the 70,000 mark by year-end. A sizeable 40% expect it to potentially cross 70,000 as well. This is more amongst the affluent (58%) and older 36-55yr olds (54%).
However, the global economic slowdown and a potential resurgence of COVID are key areas of worry for Indians. 3 out of 4 people are worried about the rising inflation and want the government to introduce decisive measures to tackle the same.
Every 1 in 4 Indian is also concerned about the threat of job layoff. This is relatively higher in the affluent (32%), older 36-55 year-olds (30%) and salaried classes (30%).
Consumers expect an announcement in policy changes with respect to income tax: Increasing basic income tax exemption limit (from current Rs 2.5 lakh) is the most common expectation among consumers followed by the increase in the threshold limit of the highest tax slab rate of 30%. Two-thirds also want to see an increase in the tax rebate for investments under 80C.
Commenting on this year’s survey, Deepender Rana, Executive Managing Director - South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, said: “Indians are largely positive about the macroeconomic performance of the country in 2023. Belief in the India growth story amongst older and affluent class is quite strong. However, the global economic slowdown might play spoilsport. Most expect the government to play the role of a protector and take stringent measures to curb inflation to prevent the economy from slipping into a recession, as it directly impacts their household budget as well as their job prospects. As always, consumers are looking for some sort of relief in the income tax regulations and middle-class friendly budget overall.”
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