Of course, slabs tweaking and raising exemptions are the routine things that budgets do. Let us look at two additional things the budget can do to empower investors. Firstly, the budget can consider dynamic standard deduction setting on an annualized basis. The government must, in this budget, look to move towards a dynamic standard deduction. While the flat deduction of Rs.50,000 is a good start, it should be pegged to the inflation rate so that the standard deduction automatically goes up as part of a fixed formula. This will ensure that the mean standard of living can be maintained as the loss in rupee value gets partially, if not wholly, compensated.

Why not make the tax process simpler and in the process more productive and fruitful. In the last few years, we have seen a substantial increase in number of returns without commensurate growth in tax revenues. Ideally, all incomes up to Rs.20 lakhs should be limited to a single-page filing. This will go a long way in reducing the administrative burden and also allow the CBDT to focus on the larger tax payers. That is the right way to move forward.