Dear Shri. Arun Jaitley
Hope my letter would find you in the best of health and spirit. I had read in the newspapers a few months ago that you had undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss. Sorry for my negligence but a common salaried man like me has no chance to undergo such a surgery. With a tax free limit of only Rs. 15,000 for my medical reimbursement bills, any thoughts I may have about undergoing an expensive surgery is better nipped in the bud.
While my wife believes I have put on weight, I have found a novel way for my weight loss. Since my full time job leaves me no time to join a Gym for take up an exercise program, my constant battle against the beast of inflation keeps in on my toes and fit as a fiddle. I understand that you may be partially responsible in making sure the beast is tamed, there are so many things I need your help and assistance with this year’s annual budget.
Since I am a law abiding, taxpaying citizen, please do not burden me with heavy taxes. We salaried class have taken the maximum impact while my wealthy businessman neighbours or the local politician I meet after every five years have been multiplying their wealth exponentially. I do not fancy Audis and BMWs, but please make sure I can buy a Maruti Swift for my family after working hard for over two decades. I have been told you are a great strategist and tactician! Every year we look up to the budget for some relief, but are left with a bitter taste. I hope the budget pie tastes sweeter for us this time.
Please start by increasing the Tax Exemption Limit: I know you increased the tax exemption limit the last time around but there is a need for more. While increasing the personal income tax exemption limit by Rs 50,000 was good, every one of my salaried class friends hoped for a higher increase. I was not even able to gift my children an annual holiday last year. If you can promise an increase in the tax exemption limit, I also promise to take them out to their favorite hill station this summer season.
Exemption Limit on Interest on Housing Loan: I was very happy last year when you increased the tax deduction limit of home loan interest for a self occupied property to Rs 2 Lakhs. But you know how real estate prices are, a mere increase of Rs. 50,000 in the tax exemption limit is like distributing peanuts in an area affected by famine. Home loans are a long term thing and most of our monthly income goes towards repayment of home loan interest rates. Please make sure the exemption limit is substantial and in accordance with the growing inflation and rising real estate prices.
House Rent Allowance Tax Limit: You know how rentals are these days. Every landlord expects a high rental for his property. While I have been repaying a home loan, my best friend and colleague Raman is living in a rented one. The current House Rent Allowance exemption limit has not moved with times. Some news channel analyst who claimed to be close to you claimed that there is a proposal to enhance the HRA exemption limit this time around. I am hoping that you bite the bullet and offer relief to Raman and millions of salaried individuals living in a rental accommodation.
Widening of Section 80C-I would like to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude for you for increasing the tax exemption limit under 80C was to Rs 1.5 Lakhs in the last budget. You know expenses related to my child’s education and tuition fee are covered under Section 80C. Schools have increased their fees substantially especially in Metro cities. Please make sure the scope of tax relief under section 80C keeps on widening so that we salaried individuals can live a peaceful and content life.
I understand you may be busy with the budget preparations and would like to keep my letter short. Please do take good care of your health as we wait with hope for your annual budget.
A Salaried Man