Well Mr FM, I will have to advise women-folk to fetch their glasses — the ones they rest on their noses and also the ones they hold in their hands to figure out how the Union budget 2015 works for them.
Ok Ladies, to get you started, let me start with the bad news: there is an increase in service tax. That means that your next kitty party has to be at a more modest eatery. But then, darlings, the beauty treatments will also be more expensive too. You’d better call the girls over for a home-cooked meal. Now that you cannot afford that lavender and sugar manicure, get those hands busy chopping, cutting and sautéing and host the party at home!
Yes, and with that money you save, you must invest in the pension scheme now since the tax deductible limit has increased by Rs. 50,000/-.
Now, now, don’t lose heart. Take a deep breath and gulp down some of that Chardonnay.
There are some things to look forward to –
Infrastructure investment is up by Rs, 70,000/- crore. You can expect better roads to drive on. The only flipside is that you will not be able to blame the roads for your driving skills. Tch, tch.
There is a minor savings in tax with the transport allowance increasing from Rs. 800/- to Rs. 1600/- per month. You could buy some peanuts with that. Or maybe, that plastic hand-fan you always wanted!
Another sop which helps working women is that the employee contribution to Employee Provident Fund may become optional. This means that you will have more money at your disposal and you can choose what to do with it. You might want to put it in other schemes or just blow it up on a pair of shoes since you don’t have one in that shade of tomato-red-chilly-honey that Tara has.
The health insurance premium deduction has increased from Rs.15,000/- to Rs. 25,000 annually accruing us a tax saving of Rs. 3000/-. Let’s not take our health lightly.
There is promise of five more AIIMS, and two more IIMs. Make sure you enrol your children in one more coaching classes as soon as possible.
The FM has also announced setting up of a Rs.1000/- crore tech start-up fund. Ladies, this is the time to set up shop. Get those entrepreneurial juices flowing and take the plunge!
In fact, with corporate tax now to be brought down from 30% to 25% over four years, women entrepreneurs can hope to maximise their gains.
The FM is also aiming to limit retail inflation to 5%. So, hopefully apples will not have a six monthly price trajectory of Rs 125 / 150/ 175 / 225 / 275 per kg. Till it reaches a point when we need to do away with ‘apples’ entirely and change the syllabus for LKG – ‘A for Arun Jaitley, B for Budget’ and so on.
I am happy with the additional Rs.1000/- crore being added to the Nirbhaya fund. I really look forward to safer cities and towns for women.
And, finally, what makes me rub my belly with satisfaction is that additional 2% surcharge on the ‘super rich’. How is that, babe-in-Jimmy-Choos? Pinches, doesn’t it?!
An abridged piece from this article was carried by Deccan Chronicle