Many people tend to overlook the position of homemakers in the Union Budget. After all, why does she need to worry? Ask your mother or wife and they will tell you how wrong you are. Now when all of us are anticipating what’s in the coming Union Budget for us, homemakers have their fingers crossed too.
Be it the price of food items or fuel, a household is impacted when anything goes even slightly up. Last year, an impressive decrease in LPG brought relief in many households. But we still have too much ground to cover such as faulty tax collection system, expensive automobiles and so on. Let’s see what Mrs. Sharma, Mrs. Gupta and other housewives are expecting from the 2015-16 budget.
Hike in Tax Slabs for Men
The most common issue underlying the fights between Mr. and Mrs. Khurana is the high taxes payable on a low income. There has been no increase in the income tax slabs and Mr. Khurana is the sole bread earner in the family of five. So what does the homemaker want? An increase in the limit of taxable interest on earnings of men.
In previous year’s budget, the tax slabs for citizen were increased to INR 2.5 lacs from meager INR 2 lacs. But if the inflation rate, higher cost of medical services and education for children is taken in, even INR 2.5 lacs falls hilariously short. Government can collect the taxes from non-tax paying shopkeepers and businessmen instead of putting the burden of revenue on common man.
Lower Cooking Gas Prices
To the joy of the homemakers, gas prices came down to the lowest of three years in November 2014. After a huge cost cutting in the cooking gas cylinders by a straight INR 113, everybody looked happy. Now, the only thing women want is to let the lower prices be stable and go more down, if possible. After all, cooking gas can never be too low-priced.
Lower Excise/Export/Custom Duties
Many homemakers think that half the problem of higher prices could be solved by bringing the excise and custom duties down. High excise and custom duties paid on raw materials, food processing, agriculture produce, vegetables, fruits, flowers, footwear, clothing, electronics and what not, is important culprit of inflation.
We get vegetables and fruits brought to us from overseas and half of these get seriously damaged in the process but still we have to buy them on inflated prices. The new budget should focus in going a little easy on the export prices of the above mentioned items.
Lower Prices of Food Items
Just yesterday, a maid-servant I know, bless her, was complaining that she hasn’t cooked Gajar-ka-Halwa this winter. This could make any Indian homemaker appalled but what to do? High prices of gas, gajar err, carrots and dairy are to be blamed here, ofcourse.
It is the responsibility of the female better half of a household to ensure good health of the family members. Healthy children make healthy citizens who generate healthy income which, needless to say, make country quite healthy. So the new budget should also pay attention to making the food items more affordable.
Lower Fuel Prices
Everything comes down to the prices of petrol, diesel and fuel gas at the end. If these prices are high then the prices of travelling and export also get high. Therefore, a price dip in the fuel is very much expected this year. A lower fuel price will work towards bringing the food prices lower too, so it is of utmost importance.
The budget of every household goes off track with unexpected inflation in the Union Budget. Though, the housewives are seriously hoping it would not happen this year, thanks to a good start at the end of last year. 2014 went away but not before giving a farewell gift in the form of higher subsidies in the gas prices. Let’s just hope for the best.
Increase in Medical Reimbursement Limit
Since the last decade, when the medical reimbursement limit of INR 15,000 was set, the costs of medications, surgery, eye care, heart care, maternity care and so on, have increased. Using the diminutive word ‘increased’ might be a colossal understatement, no offense meant to the respected Budget makers.
In the light of inflation reports, the health care costs in India have risen by more than a whopping 500% since 1990. And in view of the fact that new diseases are popping up every day and old ones are becoming hard to battle, the limit of medical reimbursement must be increased by atleast 3 times.
Special Investment Plans Only for Women
To the contrary of what the men think, women too have a resourceful mind. Ways with which they save huge bucks every month with painful bargaining and discount-stores shopping are nothing less than an art. That being said, currently there are very few worth-mention investment plans for the other half population of India which a fewer women are aware of.
The next Union Budget must contain provisions for women oriented investment schemes. The easy and affordable investment options in gold, real estate and mutual funds would be great for a start. Efforts must be made to regulate the highly unstable prices of gold.