Pune: City-based tax experts have appreciated the proposal in the Union Budget providing relief to the salaried class. The Finance Minister proposed a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 in lieu of transport allowance and medical reimbursement, entailing a revenue sacrifice of Rs 8,000 crore. Senior citizens will not need to pay tax on interest on fixed deposits (FDs) if it is less than Rs 50,000 in a financial year. The current threshold is Rs 10,000.
The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) had organised a live budget screening at Hotel Crown Plaza. The experts included Nitin Chalke, Chairman, CII Pune, Jyotsna Sharma, CFO of Sandvik Asia Pvt Ltd and convenor of CII, Pune, Anil Patwardhan, President, Hinjawadi Industrial Association (HIA), Sandip Mukherjee, Partner, Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP.
Chalke said, “Union Budget 2018 is a balanced, responsible budget, taking forward the pro-growth agenda, which the government has been following. It is trying to balance the social, infrastructural and economic needs of the country, while maintaining fiscal discipline. It tries to create a foundation for a sustained growth. We welcome the planned infrastructure spending on roads, railways, airports. A renewed focus on agriculture and allied sectors is expected to aid overall consumption. MSMEs will be benefited due to tax measures and access to capital,” he said.
Mukherjee said, “This is a progressive budget. It is trying to focus on sectors, which needed immediate attention, one of them being senior citizens. There are some good proposals on increasing medical insurance, health insurance, introduction of standard deduction of individual taxpayers.”
“This is a progressive budget. The investment happening in infrastructure is much required. A continued focus is on this, whether it is capacity creation on railways, roads or airports. The focus was also on MSMEs,” said Anil Patwardhan, President, HIA.
“Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 per annum for salaried individuals seems to be a nominal benefit, as the current tax-free limit for medical expense reimbursement of 15,000 per annum and transport allowance exemption of Rs 1,600 per month is any way leading to a total tax-free salary of Rs 34,200 per month,” said Alok Agrawal, Senior Director, Deloitte India.