From Umbrellas To Cryptocurrency Tax: Desi Twitter Goes Wild Over Union Budget 2022
At 1 hour 30 minutes, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered her shortest speech while announcing the 2022 Budget.
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.
Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaves from the Ministry of Finance.
— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2022
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.
Hope to see a reduction of crypto ban fear in India
India just taxed crypto
Lot to unpack here but overall this is a very positive step forward for crypto ecosystem in India #IndiaWantsCrypto
— Nischal (WazirX) ️ (@NischalShetty) February 1, 2022
Taxation of Virtual Digital Assets or #crypto is a step in the right direction. It gives a lot of clarity
India’s focus on digital innovation and promotion of blockchain is welcome
The details need to be studied to comment further
But it’s great news for crypto investors in India
— Sumit Gupta (CoinDCX) (@smtgpt) February 1, 2022
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:
Loot macha di hai is government ne.. Hatao is government ko 2024 me bhikaari chaddidhaari. Corporate surcharge reduced to 7% from 12%. clearly this government is working as a slave for corporates (adani ambani)
— King HODL (@Cryptoking4good) February 1, 2022
Useless finance minister… bhikhari government… it’s to time go Dubai….30% tax se aacha h pura portfolio hi le lo sb crypto holder se
— Abhi Bhati (@ABHI_BHATI07) February 1, 2022
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?
You know this budget sucks when the thing that’s about to get costlier is an Umbrella #UnionBudget2022
— Toba Tek Singh (@tobateksin) February 1, 2022
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,
— devil priya (@halfdead_7) February 1, 2022
Wat a disgraceful budget. Nothing for middle class. Tax on umbrella ? Really???
— Mk (@khan_majidreal) February 1, 2022
The vast majority were simply left confused, however.
didnt understand shit in budget as always. whats up with hiking rates on umbrella?
— optionsmandem (@printrgoesbrrr) February 1, 2022
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.
Crypto Investors watching Budget Speech pic.twitter.com/v0v3z7OSx2
— Joy (@Joydas) February 1, 2022
Union Budget and Middle Class Taxpayers !! pic.twitter.com/UWMVkyD8Yf
— The Brain Doctor (@DNeurosx) January 31, 2022
— Finance Memes (@Qid_Memez) January 30, 2022
Middle Class watching the Budget only for Income Tax Slab announcement. pic.twitter.com/kWNZvSwWAH
— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) February 1, 2022
— Meme_Coding (@memecoder) February 1, 2022
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.