Our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, had sought suggestions and views from the people, for the forthcoming Union Budget to be presented on February 1, 2020. And here are some worthy suggestions to you from my side. In fact these have been time and again ignored by your predecessors due to which there has been no relief to the common man, the salaried class and mainly the senior citizens. I am not going into critical cases of taxation pertaining to corporate and industries, market and commodity transactions and other such matters, as there are many associations to represent and make suitable suggestions to your good selves.
The hike in the tax exemption limit to Rs.5 lakh was only notional. This was not effectively the actual exemption limit. I.T @5% was still made applicable. I suggest that the first slab of Rs.5.00 lakh be fully exempted from tax. Besides the third slab of 30 per cent is hitting the salaried class very hard. Here I feel this rate should be lowered at least for the salaried class and employed.
Today, the plight of the senior citizens is quite pathetic. The senior citizens today, are in fact a harassed lot, thanks to ever decreasing rates and return on investments like fixed deposits on which they try their best to thrive. On one hand, you are increasing the prices and imposing cess, surcharge etc. But on the other hand you are reducing the interest rate on deposits etc? The interest on PPF was also reduced. Do you know how senior citizens have been adversely affected due to drastic reduction in the interest rates, from time to time? Their monthly income (through interest as source of income alone) has come down heavily and they have been finding it difficult to lead a decent life. At the time of introducing exclusive schemes for senior citizens government, banks, LIC etc. generously announce the interest rate of 9.30% and even above. Later this is brought down systematically, for one reason or the other to say 8.30 per cent or just 8 per cent. Once the interest rate is fixed under the “senior citizens’ scheme”, this should never be brought down, especially when there is lock-in period of 5 to 10 years, for investments made.
Above all, the limit for exemptions under Sec.80C should also be increased to a more reasonable level.
Please withdraw obnoxious and ridiculous charges levied by banks. It seems that banks are rather ‘innovating and introducing’ as many kinds of illogical charges as per their whims and fancy, thanks perhaps to R.B.I. Banks have also been making money in crores from these absurd charges like “for not maintaining minimum balance”, ‘service charges on the maturity of deposit amounts’, “charges towards SMSs (as many a time SMSs are not sent)’, charges for using the lockers above 12 times and so on.
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(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)