With the hopes of crypto traders, a stifled middle class, and eager politicians on the line, saying that the Union Budget for 2022 was highly awaited would be an understatement.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman opened the second iconic ‘red bag’ in a row, bucking tradition once more by replacing the Union Budget papers with a tablet.

Like every year, budget announcements result in an explosion of opinions – whether in the form of cheers, wails, and most commonly, memes and jokes.

For starters, one of the biggest highlights of this year’s budget was the formal legalization and taxation of cryptocurrencies. While we finally have confirmation on the national acceptance of cryptocurrencies, there’s also a significant tax of 30 percent on all ‘virtual digital asset’ income.

Unsurprisingly, Indian Twitter immediately began typing away. Several enthusiasts including industry names such as WazirX’s Nischal Shetty and CoinDCX’s Sumit Gupta hailed the move as a ‘futuristic’ and ‘positive’ one.

On the other hand, several Indians groaned at the thought of 30 percent taxation on all their crypto profits, some even called the move ‘hostile’ and urged fellow investors to trade outside of the nation:

While cryptocurrency regulations were a long-awaited announcement, much of the budget’s standout moments came as a surprise, and at first glance, it seem a bit absurd. There’s no better example of this other than the announcement to revise duty on… umbrellas?

With a distinct lack of benefits or reforms in favour of the middle class, some users noted how the ‘umbrella tax’ was ‘disgraceful’ on part of the Finance Ministry,

 

The vast majority were simply left confused, however.

And then, there were the memes.

Falling somewhere squarely between depressing and hilarious, hundreds of Indians posted sarcastic comments that picked the Union Budget apart, if there’s one sector that boomed after the announcements, it was the meme economy.

At 1.5 hours long, this year’s budget announcement was the briefest in FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s tenure, with a relatively lean agenda that some described as straightforward, and others as lacking. It certainly took a toll on Sirtharaman either way. The minister cut her event short with two pages to go, seeming unwell and sipping on what seemed to be electrolytes.

Like minister, like economy? Let’s hope that both the FM and India’s plummeting GDP rates will recover soon. There’s only up to go.