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Expect Budget 2021 to give impetus to economy: Sanjeev Pendharkar

Sanjeev Pendharkar

Sanjeev Pendharkar

The year 2021 is being looked upon as a year of hope – hope for good health, hope for a life free of restrictions, hope for buoyancy in economy. On the economic front, stock markets are also achieving new heights with the expectation of the economy improving and a taxpayer-friendly Budget along with the introduction of two vaccines for Covid-19.

While various economic packages and reforms announced by the government in 2020 have no doubt kept the economy afloat, Budget 2021 is also being looked upon as a watershed event which is expected to lift and give an impetus to the economy.

Some of the expectations of the common man from the Budget 2021 are as follows:

1. Increase in basic income tax exemption limit and investment limit under section 80C

The basic income tax exemption limit needs to be increased from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. The immediate expectation is to reduce the tax burden of taxpayers. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone in some way or the other. Increasing the basic exemption limit will provide tax respite to individuals ..

2. Increasing section 80D limit for individuals

With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting hard and medical insurance coverage found to be inadequate for families, deduction for mediclaim coverage for non-senior citizens should be increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 and for senior citizens from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000.

3. Residential status for FY 2020-21

Due to the pandemic, the government had notified exemption of certain days for determining residency for FY 2019-20 for individuals who were stranded in India on account of the lockdown and who could not travel outside India. For FY 2020-21 also, the government should issue the necessary clarification providing relief for stranded individuals on account of the pandemic.

4. Deduction for remote working set-up

Covid-19 pandemic brought about a paradigm shift in work culture. Work-from-home (WFH) has become a necessity. Budget 2021 should introduce measures which would provide certain tax benefits for employees. For example, a standard deduction of Rs 50,000 from gross income could be provided (over and above the existing standard deduction from salary) to allow for expenditure by employees who are working from home on ergonomic chairs/furniture, computer equipment, data cards, etc.

5. Long-term capital gains on equity shares and equity mutual funds

Long term capital gains from sale of listed equity shares and equity mutual funds is tax-exempt up to Rs 1 lakh. Further, the gain above Rs 1 lakh is subjected to tax at 10% (plus applicable surcharge and cess) without benefit of indexation. The government should look at increasing the exemption limit from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakhs for retail investors.

6. Deduction for conserving environment

With climate change being inevitable and a hot topic, incentivising use of environment-friendly products such as solar heaters, solar lamps, wind energy, bio-toilets, solar mobile chargers, etc. by individuals and households has also become necessary. Just as the government incentivised purchase of electric vehicles by providing a deduction under section 80EEB of the Act for interest paid up to Rs 1.5 lakh on loans taken, the GOI may consider incentivising the purchase of the above-mentioned environment-friendly products by providing a deduction for interest paid up to Rs 1 lakh on loans taken. This will give a boost to the clean technology industry and encourage innovations.

7. Leave Travel Concession (LTC) Cash Voucher Scheme

Due to the travel restrictions, employees have not been able to avail LTC in the current block period of 2018-2021. Hence, the government introduced the LTC Cash Voucher Scheme as an alternative. The scheme allows cash equivalent to LTC fare and leave encashment to be paid by way of tax-free reimbursement, if the employee opts for this in lieu of one LTC during the block period of 2018 -2021 subject to the below conditions:

? An expenditure is incurred during the period October 12, 2020, to March 31, 2021, for the purchase of goods/services (with GST rate of 12% or more) through digital mode

? The expenditure incurred should be equal to value of leave encashment and thrice the value of the LTC fare

In case the taxpayer spends less than the required amount, the tax exemption will stand reduced proportionately.

The above measures are expected to stimulate consumption and subsequently boost the economy. However, spending three times the value of LTC fare seems high. Therefore, the government may consider reducing the spending required to twice the value of LTC fare. Also, an extension of the scheme for an additional nine months, i.e., up to December 31, 2021 (till the end of the block period of 2018-2021) may be considered.

Budget 2021 Expectations for Ayurveda:

Covid pandemic has forced everyone to do the reality check of the healthcare set up. Coronavirus has also underlined the importance of a strong and proper healthcare system.

Budget 2021 is the perfect time for the Central government to focus on Ayurvedic medicine as the Covid pandemic has made everyone aware of the importance of natural immunity. It has become imperative that some separate budget is assigned to the manufacture, procurement, and marketing of Ayurvedic Medicine.

With an aim to promote new drug discovery in Ayurveda, first-class research facilities are needed to be set up and the government should spend more on research and development in Ayurveda. We are hoping that the Government will provide funds for ayurvedic doctors, practitioners, and scholars to back research and new drug discovery. The government should boost Ayurvedic medicines in line with the Atma Nirbhar Bharat vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In our view, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) should be waived off for products having the license to be sold as Ayurvedic Medicine.

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Nagpur News

Nagpur doctor speaks on ‘Development of Homeopathic Method in Modern Medicine’ at Russia

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur
Homeopath doctor Dr Kavita Chandak recently was invited as a keynote speaker to the 33rd Scientific and practical conference at Russia.

Dr Kavita Chandak

Homeopath doctor Dr Kavita Chandak, who has two Golden Book Of World Records for treating kidney disorders and success in a case of mucormycosis in her name, recently was invited as a keynote speaker to the 33rd Scientific and practical conference ‘Development of the Homeopathic Method in Modern Medicine’ held at  RUDN University at Moscow in Russia.

Dr Chandak delivered two keynote sessions on the topics:
 
1VICTORY OF HOMEOPATHY IN A CASE OF SIXTH NERVE RECTUS PALSY,HORIZONTAL DIPLOPIA AND MIGRAINE
 
2) AUTISM IS A DEEP PATHOLOGY, CURED WITH A RARE MEDICINE
 
She further discussed the modern trends in homeopathy. Dr Chandak is an  international trainer and speaker who specialises in autism, psychiatric and behavioural disorders, kidney diseases and cancer.  She authored eight books and 294 health articles and recently delivered a series of international seminars in various cities of Gujarat with a Greek homeopath Dr Constantine Tsitinides where they both presented the cases of unusual pathology treated with homeopathy.
 
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Crime

Anil Deshmukh seeks court permission to visit hometown Nagpur, Delhi

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai
Former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh approached a Special Court seeking permission to visit his hometown Nagpur and Delhi.

Anil Deshmukh

Former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh approached a Special Court on Thursday seeking permission to visit his hometown Nagpur and Delhi. The Bombay High Court, while granting Deshmukh bail, had put a condition that the latter should not leave Mumbai without the trial court’s permission.

The senior NCP leader, who’s out on bail in an alleged money laundering case, was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in November, 2021 and later by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April 2022.

Deshmukh, who filed two separate pleas before the trial court through his advocate Inderpal Singh, said he was a native of Nagpur and has deep family roots there, apart from being the elected representative of an Assembly constituency in Nagpur district. In his plea, Deshmukh stated that he also needed to visit New Delhi to meet his lawyers. 

Special judge RN Rokade sought a response from the ED and CBI and adjourned the matter to February 6.

Also read: Not a populist but a fiscal consolidation budget: CAMIT Chief Dr Dipen Agrawal

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Nagpur News

Not a populist but a fiscal consolidation budget: CAMIT Chief Dr Dipen Agrawal

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Radhika Dhawad | Nagpur

Dr Dipen Agrawal

Dr Dipen Agrawal, President – Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra (CAMIT) reacting to the budget 2023 said that “Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has presented a vision document for India at 100”. In her speech she envisaged various new concepts and proposal to take forward India on its growth journey. She has attempted to provide something for everyone. Outlining the vision of central governments for technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with strong public finances and a robust financial sector, she said that this will be achieved by Jan Bhagidari and Sabka Saath Sabka Prayas.

Dr Agrawal said, the continuation of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for one more year; formation of large producer enterprises to support about 81 lakh women self-help groups; recognizing traditional artisans and craftspeople as Vishwakarma and conceptualizing new package scheme to improve the quality, scale and reach of their products; exploring untapped potential in tourism on mission mode will enable youth in fulfilling their aspirations and provide necessary imputes for growth and job creation.

It is to be seen how government works on the seven priorities ‘Saptarishi’ 1) Inclusive Development 2) Reaching the Last Mile 3) Infrastructure and Investment 4) Unleashing the Potential 5) Green Growth 6) Youth Power 7) Financial Sector identified as guiding factor, added Dr Dipen Agrawal.

The announcement regarding establishment of Digital Public Infrastructure for agriculture to provide farmer-centric solutions on host of farming related activities, massive decentralised storage capacity and government facilitated multipurpose cooperative societies, primary fishery societies and dairy cooperative societies in uncovered panchayats and villages will give boost to rural economy. Similarly establishing new nursing colleges in co-location to medical colleges established since 2014 will improve per-capita nursing staff in the country. While government is considering to introduce teachers’ training through various programs, the government should at the same time ensure that government education institutions are not under staffed. 

Dr Dipen Agrawal welcomed the announcement of PAN being made common identifier for business entities; Unified Filing Process is proposed to be set-up to avoid duplication of compliance; National Financial Information Registry to be set-up as the central repository of financial and ancillary information; the Vivad se Vishwash scheme introduced to settle MSME contractual obligations said that these steps will have long lasting positive effect to improve business sentiments.

The announcement to ensure timely payment is made to MSME, government has linked the deduction under Income Tax Act for payments to actual payment to MSMEs. However, the deduction will be allowed on accrual basis only if it is within time mandated under MSMED Act, i.e. 45 days. In its endeavor to give relief to MSME government has inadvertently created compliance hurdle for other side i.e. large scale industries, this step will have large scale tax implication for them, added Dr Agrawal.

Now days there is nothing much expected from FM on indirect tax but people eagerly wait for announcement on direct tax front. FM has disappointed common man by announcing meager increase (Rs 50000) in basic exemption limit. However, FM has given substantial relief to middle-class individuals by increasing rebate limit from 5.00 lakhs to 7.00 lakhs. Similarly high net-worth individuals will be benefited by reduction in highest surcharge limit from 37% to 25%.

Overall, I see this budget as intelligent budget that focuses on key areas of infrastructure, employment while keeping fiscal deficit on track and on scale of 10, I give 7 points for 2023 Budget.

Also read: 12-yr-old Nagpur boy dies after trying to imitate a deadly YouTube video

Also watch: Lesser know facts about India’s Union Budget

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