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Dear Nirmalaji: Reduce taxes on medicine, insurance

By A GANESH NADAR
January 28, 2021 15:01 IST
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On Monday, February 1, 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget for Financial Year 2021-2022.

Nirmalaji has asked us to send the finance ministry inputs so that the government can prepare an all inclusive Budget, one that will incorporate the needs of its people.

In a month long series, A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com speaks to Indians across the land about what their expectations from Budget 2021 are.

Archana Ramanan, 34, an MBA degree holder, used to work for an MNC -- first in India, then in the US. After she returned home, she worked as a teacher at Eurokids before choosing to stay at home.

Her husband Arvind works in a bank. They have a six-year-old son.

They live in a rented house and have no plans, at present, of buying their own home.

Here's what Archana would like to tell the finance minister:

Dear Nirmalaji,

During the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and many had their salaries cut. Personal income tax should be reduced so that people have more money to spend.

HRA, LTA and other deductions that were available in the old tax regime should be brought into the new tax regime.

Instead of giving farmers loan waivers, they should be given crop insurance; besides being an incentive to produce more, this also protects them from loss.

The cost of medicine is very high because of high taxes. The taxes on medicine, medical insurance and life insurance should be reduced.

People make investments for their old age, so taxes on investments should be reduced. Long term capital gains tax should be reduced as well. These investments help the government.

The government should spend more money on rural education. Also, healthcare facilities in rural areas must be improved.

If the Budget can have measures to improve the financial situation of women, it would be helpful.

The government should give additional tax benefits to employers who employ a greater percentage of women in their organisations.

This will help women get corporate jobs, thus improving their financial situation.

It will be a great milestone on the path to women's liberation.

Thank you.

IMAGE: Archana Ramanan. Photograph: Kind courtesy Archana Ramanan

Earlier in the series:

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com

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A GANESH NADAR / Rediff.com
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