Assocham appeals for a women centric budget!

The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) in its pre-budget recommendation to the Finance Ministry has given various suggestions to be incorporated in the upcoming budget with the aim of making it easier for the women to join the workforce. “While we are confident about a positive multiplier effect of the leaving more money in the hands of the tax payers, a lot of women specific proposals be brought in the Budget so as to empower them economically,” the chamber President Sunil Kanoria said.

Recommendations included the raising of exemption allowed on childrens education allowance from the existing limit of Rs. 100 per child per month to Rs. 1000 per child per month up to two children and similarly raising the exemption limit of hostel expenditure allowance to Rs. 3000 per child per month from the existing Rs 300 per child per month.

Rationale behind is that these limits were set in the year 1988-89 in line with the cost of education and market prices of that time which needs to be updated as more than 25 years have been passed since then.

With the advent of nuclear families, there has been a significant increase in the number of working women due to which many families have opted for crche facilities for taking care of their children. The Chamber has suggested giving tax exemptions to crche service providers as it will help in setting up of more such facilities with affordable cost and better quality. Not only this, it has also been recommended to provide an allowance for Rs. 2500 per child per month up to two children.

Apart from the above propositions, Assocham said that medical expenses reimbursed by the employer are currently exempted to the extent of Rs 15,000 per annum, which needs to be revised significantly to at least Rs 50,000, as the limit was fixed 17 years ago and extended to retired employees as well.

Assocham has gone for an all women budget this time. These recommendations have just not only enthralled the feminists but also male chauvinists as the total earnings of the family will rise and the tax paid by the family overall will reduce. It will be interesting to see governments take on this and how many of these gets implemented in the upcoming Budget on Feb 29.

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