Tax, health benefits in budget delight many

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel February 28, 2015 20:57

Tax, health benefits in budget delight many


The emphasis on health and several tax benefits, with no change in income tax rates and a universal social security system for all Indians, has left the public largely satisfied with the union budget presented in parliament Saturday.

“I am glad that the personal income tax rates have remained unchanged even if they haven’t gone down. It has lessened the burden on us,” Sunil Moitra, a 45-year-old central government employee, told IANS.

The tax exemption limit for health insurance was increased from Rs.15,000 to Rs.25,000 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in a bid to “encourage people to take health insurance”.

The announcement of six more AIIMS-like institutes in the country was applauded by many.

“Health is of paramount importance in one’s life and we need hospitals where the poor and underprivileged can get treatment. This is a welcome move,” said 50-year-old Ghanshyam who drives an auto-rickshaw.

With six new premier hospitals, the number of such super specialty institutes will go up to 14 in the country. In addition, the government also announced an outlay of Rs.33,152 crore for health, with special emphasis on improving the public health sector.

The hike in the prices of tobacco items, including cigarettes, paan masala and gutkha will put off youngsters, felt many.

“The increase in prices of tobacco items will act as a deterrent because people start smoking at young age due to peer pressure. But many of us have limited money, the higher cost of cigarettes will make them unaffordable for us,” said 19-year-old Yash Bhatia, a Delhi University student.

Other announcements such as a universal social security system for all Indians, especially for the poor and disadvantaged sections, Atal Pension Yojna for the economically disadvantaged and an increase in the allocation to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) funds received a thumbs up.

However, there were some who criticised the budget saying it was favouring the corporates and was anti-middle class.

“There is nothing in the budget for the middle class. The government is either favouring the rich or the poor. But those in between have been ignored,” lamented 46-year-old businessman Prakash Suri, a resident of Mayur Vihar.

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel February 28, 2015 20:57