Saturday, February 23, 2013

Budget 2013-14: Common man's wish list

The Budget for the FY 2013-14 is supposed to be the "budget of hopes" as it will be the last budget to be announced by ruling UPA. The Govt has already started taking tough decisions in the form of reform push that includes partial deregulation of fuel prices including LPG, rail fare hike and subsidy reforms.

The common man is concerned about how he is going to be impacted by the outcome of the budget like the income tax slab. Here is a glimpse of common man's expectations from the union budget 2013-14.

The salaried person is expecting the basic tax slab to be increased from the 2 lakh to 3 lakh per annum as Inflation has made a big hole in his pocket. Senior citizens are also expecting the existing limit be hiked to 4 lakh. Owing to the rise in fuel costs the conveyance allowance should also be hiked from Rs. 800 to Rs. 2000 per month. The government should re- look at the rebate on interest on home loan which is currently capped at 1.5 Lakh.

There is demand from a wider section that a separate provision should be made for the principal loan amount which currently is included in 80C (under which maximum limit is one lakh all inclusive).The students also have to bear the brunt of higher loan regime. Today, it is easy to buy a car than availing education in India. Government should consider substantial reduction of education loan for students. The medical insurance premium limit which is rupees fifteen thousand currently can be hiked to rupees thirty thousand.

In addition to above there are few more suggestions to suffice the upcoming budget:

Restore 80CCF deduction for investment in Infrastructure Bonds with revised limit of maximum benefit upto Rs 50,000/-. It will help infrastructure companies to raise money.

Increase House Rent Allowance.

Restore MAT from 18.5 percent to 15% which will entice foreign investors to invest in India.

Reduce lock in period for tax saving FDR from 5 years to 3 years.

Enhance the threshold limit of Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving scheme (section 80CCG) for first time investors, which is currently Rs. 10 lakh One hopes that Finance Minister P Chidambaram's Budget 2013 will be more than mere promises and is able to give more headroom to the common man who is already reeling under spiraling price rise.

(The writer is Associate Professor, Manav Rachna International University, M.Com & Doctorate in Finance)

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