Dear Shri Arun Jaitley,
Hope my letter would find you in the best of health and spirit. Since I am a law-abiding, taxpaying citizen, please do not burden me with heavy taxes.
Our salaried classes have taken the maximum impact while my wealthy businessman neighbors or the local politician I meet after every five years have been multiplying their wealth exponentially.
I do not fancy Audis and BMWs, but please make sure I can buy a Maruti Swift for my family after working hard for over two decades. I have been told you are a great strategist and tactician! Every year we look up to the budget for some relief but are left with a bitter taste. I hope the budget pie tastes sweeter for us this time.
Please start by increasing the Tax Exemption Limit: I know you increased the tax exemption limit the last time around but there is a need for more. While increasing the personal income tax exemption limit by Rs 50,000 was good, every one of my salaried-class friends hoped for a higher increase.
House Rent Allowance Tax Limit: You know how rentals are these days. Every landlord expects a high rental for his property. The current House Rent Allowance exemption limit has not moved with time. I am hoping that you bite the bullet and offer relief to millions of salaried individuals living in a rental accommodation.
Exemption Limit on Interest on Housing Loan: I was very happy last year when you increased the tax deduction limit of home loan interest for a self-occupied property to Rs 2 Lakhs. But you know how real estate prices are, a mere increase of Rs. 50,000 in the tax exemption limit is like distributing peanuts in an area affected by famine.
Home loans are a long-term thing and most of our monthly income goes towards repayment of home loan interest rates. Please make sure the exemption limit is substantial and by the growing inflation and rising real estate prices.
Increasing the medical reimbursement Limit: I read in the newspapers a few months ago that you had undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss. With a tax-free limit of only Rs. 15,000 for my medical reimbursement bills, a common salaried man like me has no chance to undergo such an expensive surgery.
Increase the transport allowance Limit: The transport allowance granted to employees for commuting between work + Residence is tax-free to Rs 800 per month. Should the limit for transport allowances be revised upwards to at least Rs 3,000 per month, given the rising commuting costs?
Exemption Limit against Education Loan: Students currently enjoy exemptions against education loans for 8 years. Should it be made to 10 years?
Increase Education Allowance: Education allowance is currently exempted up to Rs 100 per month per child for a maximum of 2 children. Isn't there a case to change this sum to at least a minimum of Rs 1000?
I understand you may be busy with the budget preparations and would like to keep my letter short. Please take good care of your health as we wait with hope for your annual budget.
My Wish List for Budget 2015: A Salaried Man
This article is written by Mr. Biswajit Behera (A Salaried Man) from Bangalore, India.