I have some worthy suggestions to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the eve of the Union Budget to be presented soon. In fact these suggestions have been time and again ignored by the FM due to which there has been no relief to the common man and the salaried class. 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 the FM.
Considering the high inflation rate and rising cost of living (thanks to rising prices of Onion, groceries, essential commodities, conveyance.) life has become extremely difficult for the common man. Hence the income tax slab limit must be hiked to a reasonable extent at least upto Rs.5 lakhs per annum for providing some relief to the salaried class (forget abolishing the IT which the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had suggested in one of his campaigns!). Reinstate Standard deduction. Businessmen, landlords and some class of professionals can set-off every expense they incur to earn income. But the salaried class cannot even set-off the basic needs’ expenses as “Standard deduction”? Why then step motherly treatment is meted against the latter?
Transport allowance is still at a very ridiculous level. The government can keep on revising the petrol prices and the transport/conveyance expenses keep increasing enormously for the common man to bear. On the other hand, the FM doesn’t want to increase the slab of transport allowance to a decent level? Why such double standards? Ask any worker or an office goer. One spends nothing less than an amount of three to four thousand rupees for commuting between home and place of work. And not all are lucky to get this amount reimbursed. Despite this, the allowance limit must be hiked to a decent level–especially when several political leaders, MPs, MLAs, VVIPs and bureaucrats enjoy as many “Free rides”!
Similarly, looking at the cost of mounting medical/health care expenses the Rs 15,000 exemption is a paltry amount. All the insurance companies have also enormously jacked up the premium amount for the health insurance policies, from this year. And, same is the case with the exemption allowed for education expenses as today the cost of education in all respect has risen astronomically and middle class people are unable to afford it. Here too the exemption limit as available should be increased to a logical extent.
(This is the first part of the article and the remaining part will continue tomorrow)
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)