I would like to introduce myself as the Finance Manager of my household.
As I read the newspapers every day, I see so many expectations from so many segments. You must surely be overwhelmed.
As an FM I understand how difficult it is to handle expectations and hence this letter does not contain my expectations but my advice to you on what you can do in the Budget.
I see so many articles talking about Income Tax and the expectations to raise the Income Tax slabs.
I would say, you know better and this expectation to hike the slabs is a perennial thing that crops up every budget, raises hopes so high and mostly ends up in disappointment.
Last year, it was Mr Mukerjee and this time it’s you.
I advice, do not hike the slabs, I doubt if any homemaker really cares about taxation issues as what we are botheredis the cash flow to the house.
My advice -- Please make the tax collection systems stronger and efficient so that there is a bigger mop up and you do not have to depend on the revenue from common people like us along. Also show us projects which will ensure that the money my husband pays as tax is used to make life better for us.
Help me reduce my expenses
A penny saved is a penny earned is what I have taught my children.
I am sure you have known it all your life. Homemakers are known for their inability to ‘earn’.
But no one credits them for the savings they make after meeting the expenses.
Today, the biggest expense for our household is the school fees for children.
I can compromise on our lifestyle but cannot do so on children’s education My advice -- please announce schemes which can lead to reduction in the cost of quality education thus reducing my monthly outflow on fees.
Please strengthen the public distribution system, so that we get quality food products at affordable prices. Please announce good schemes for agriculture so that we get vegetables and grains at lower prices.
Salary for homemakers
There has been a lot of debate over husbands paying salaries to homemaker wives.
It is a highly sensitive issue and hence I would not like to explore that.
But, at the same time, I am sure you understand that a homemaker is an employee who is paid only with love and affection.
Why don’t you break that taboo and fix a monetary value for our services and make it an expense which becomes tax deductible for my husband.
You could have a fixed component common for all homemakers and a variable component based on the number of married years -- this will also help reduce the huge cost of divorces our country is facing right now.
Homemakers as part of SME sector
Every budget talks about SMEs and about supporting them.
But what about the informal SME sector that runs is so many households -- tailoring, craft, giving tuitions etc.
We contribute so much to the gross domestic product but it is never accounted.
Actually, we like it to stay that way.
But, can you announce some schemes so that housewives get better financial opportunities to render their services without actually walking out of the house.
Gold and its irony
It’s funny that when I want to buy gold I want the prices to come crashing down, but the moment I have bought it, I want the prices to skyrocket.
Today a lot of housewives invest in gold as that is one of the few investments we easily understand.
Advice -- can you announce simple yet financially effective investment schemes run by the government so we can have more liquidity?
From economics’ perspective too this will mean cash flow for the government. rather than all that money lying idle in the form of bangles and necklaces which I rarely wear.
Lower demand for gold will help rationalise the prices in the gold market and help me buy betterstuff at affordable prices.
I wrote this letter with the best intentions.
The bottomline -- take measures so that cost of food, education and shelter come down.
We don’t care if CTBT is imposed or some new form of taxation is scrapped.
At the end of the day, can you help me put more money in the saving jar at home? If you can do that, you have my vote!
Regards, The aam aadmi ki gharelu biwi
Photograph: Petar Milosevic/Wikimedia Commons