The Budget 2018 is scheduled for February 1. It will be the ruling NDA Government’s last full-fledged budget before the scheduled General Election in 2019. There is expectation that it will be people-friendly.

SheThePeople.TV spoke to a few women from diverse fields about what they say the budget should consider. Women spoke about issues relating to taxation for the salaried population, medical reimbursement, maternity leave, and travel.

Dr Rima Ghose Chowdhury, a senior executive in a private firm, says there should be “some relief on tax for salaried class, medical reimbursement limit to increase from 15000 pa, LTA document submission for tax relief to include foreign travel air ticket as well.

She also talks about travel. “Considering the growth of middle class and India firmly securing her position on the global map, number of foreign travels have increased a lot, we need to get the benefit for that,” she says.

Company secretary, Nidhi Selampuria, says that when it comes to maternity leave, the fact that women are now allowed six months has created an unsaid pressure on women from entering the workforce, as employers do not want to bear idle salary cost. “The government should think about it and find a solution to this,” she says

When it comes to mediclaim, Selampuria says, “15,000 per annum is the amount allowed. Most people have more dependants, and given the increasing medical cost, the limit should be increased, which is what I expect.”

On tax, she says: “To move toward, minimum governance and higher compliance among people, Government may allow a higher tax slab for 0 tax, and tax the rest. A person earning Rs 5 lac per annum, who has a family of four dependent on him, may not be able to do investments to save tax as per Section 80c (allowed limit is 1.5 lac per year of investments), and thus end up paying higher tax.”

Banking executive Leena Shirsale spoke about provident fund accounts. “PF deducted from employee accounts can be transferred as when the employee changes jobs. A lot of companies include Gratuity as part of the CTC offered to employees while hiring them. It is very well known that most employees do not complete 5 years in a organisations & thus lose on the gratuity part of the CTC. This may be made a PF or clubbed with PF and & made transferrable,” she says.

CA Reena Yadav also spoke about travel:  “Allow a travel expense, irrespective of location every year. It will boost the tourism industry. Put the limit as a percentage of salary,” she says.

She also spoke about taxation: “A person’s slab limit is as per his individual income. I hope it now also covers the individual’s dependants. If we count dependants, then almost his full salary is used up for basic necessities. Thus, the government should consider dependants for slab limit.”

“There should also be a tax deduction for education. There is a deduction for children’s education but none for self-education. I expect it should be included. So that a person can enhance themselves. This happens in many foreign countries where people are given tax deductions to enhance their skills.”

Also Read: Meenal Sinha Shares her Expectations from Budget 2018

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