The first Budget after the Goods & Services Tax was implemented is being awaited with bated breath by the common man. As every year, there are lots of expectations from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley this year too, as it will also be the last full budget that the Modi government will present before the 2018 General Elections.
Will it be a populist Budget? Will it provide relief to the salaried class, the housewife, the industrialist, the farmer, the student? Or will it be a reformist Budget that could hurt the common man’s wallet now but will promise a better and more affluent future?
What is it that the nation wants from the finance minister? Here’s what the common man expects from the finance minister in the Budget for 2018-19:
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Implement Gratuity Bill so that unorganised and semi-organised private sector employees are benefitted with rules and regulations
Encourage small-scale and rural industries with appropriate tax exemptions
Except agricultural, cut down on all other subsidies
Remove GST on Health Insurance premium. Charge GST only when a person receives Hospital service
Take PPF contribution out of section 80C and move it to a separate section
The digital transaction platform should be incentivised significantly
Make a single tax rate of 5-7 %
Heavy loans should be recovered from the sanctioning authority if companies failed to return the amount or they do not have sufficient wealth against loan
Remove customs duty on gold imports
Give farm vehicle loans on less interest to help farmers become self-sufficient
No wholesale loan waivers to farmers
Tax must be levied on agricultural income above Rs 25 lakh per person
Focus on creation of more jobs, especially in the private sector
People who pay income tax should have social security like some kind of allowances in case they get unemployed due to market fluctuations.
No toll payments on State Highways and National Highways
Restrict the lifetime pensions and other benefits given to the MPs and MLAs
Open free zone companies in all states attached to seaports. (Give facilities like free duty on imports and no strike zone
Maximum GST rate should be 12%
No tax on long-term capital gains.
Health insurance premium paid by senior citizens should be completed exempted from tax
No tax on interest from saving account deposits
The rate of TDS on bank FD interest may be reduced from the present 10% to 5%
Every unemployed youth should get at least Rs 5000 every month until he/she gets a job
Income tax rebate for handicapped persons should be increased
Affordable housing schemes for middle-class people
The Return Form should be simplified in one page without calling for unnecessary details
“Dear Finance Minister, I would earnestly request you to provide pensioners under the EPS-95 scheme with a minimum pension of Rs 5,000 as the current Rs 1,000 is inadequate, given today’s expenses and inflation. Linking dearness allowance (DA) to the scheme would certainly help,” says Mr Ramachandran.
Reduction in tax burden on the common man: “There should be no tax for annual income up to Rs 5 lakh. From Rs 5-10 lakh there should be 10% tax, 15% from Rs 10-15 lakh, 20% from Rs 15-20 lakh & 30% after Rs 20 lakh annual income. Maximum GST should be 12% instead of 28%. Please give a popular Budget this year,” says Mr Rajesh K Patel, a reader.
“Respected Sir, Please do something for free education and medical treatment for all Indians,” urges Mr Girish.
“Tax relief under section 80C of the Income Tax Act should be increased from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. Tax exemption limit should be raised to Rs 3.5 lakh,” suggests Mr Parth.
“Please reduce the super senior age from 80 years to 75 years so that at least few aged people will benefit,” says Mr Totanagouda.
“Please reduce taxes for salaried professionals,” says Mr Ritesh Mor.
Mr Veeraraghavan says, “1. Income from pension should be exempted from tax. Or at least pensioners drawing pension up to Rs 50,000 annually should be exempted. 2. There should be no scaling down of interest rate on Senior Citizens Savings Scheme. 3. Health insurance premium paid by senior citizens should be completed exempted from tax for self and spouse. 4. Interest earned by senior citizens from deposits should be exempted up to Rs 120,000 per annum as they depend on this for their monthly expenditure.”
“Senior citizens have been ignored for long. Lots of concessions like income ceiling on tax payment, concessions on travel tickets, healthcare, et cetera should find a prominent place in the budget,” suggests Mr Krishnamoorthy.
Mr Boby wants the finance minister to “bring petrol and diesel under GST”.
“Those pensioners, who have retired from the defence forces, should be given total exemption from tax. In fact, pension must be entirely tax-free. This will not only give a big relief to them but also spell bonanza for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2019 polls,” says Mr Vijay.
“Respected Finance Minister, prior to the General Elections of 2014, the BJP had made many promises for the common man (lower & middle class citizens) of India. But no positive movement has taken place on this count. Prices of all essential commodities are on the rise. The government is also increasing taxes and enhancing banking transaction charge while advocating digital payments. Since this will be the last Budget of the present government before elections, kindly give some relief by increasing the exemption available to the common man,” urges Mr Om Prakash.
“Sir, please provide free education and medical treatment for all citizens, or at least for the poor. Please also increase income tax ceiling from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to help the middle-class,” says Mr Jayaveerapandian,
“Arun-ji, please pay attention to the retired senior citizens, who worked hard for 30 to 35 years in different government organisations and kept their savings in bank fixed deposits. Since the interest rate has been reduced from 11.50% to 6.50%, we do not earn enough interest to make two ends meet. With cost of living rising every year, how can they lead a dignified life? Please increase the interest to 12%, at least,” says Sumati.