In their note on Budget 2007 submitted to Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the Left parties have asked him to provide some relief to the salaried employees by reintroducing the standard deduction in income tax for them that was withdrawn in the last year’s budget.They have also proposed that senior citizens be provided with tax relief.
“The withdrawal of standard deduction of salaried employees along with the raising of the basic income tax exemption limit to Rs 1,50,000 made in Budget 2006-07 have put the salaried employees in a disadvantageous position compared to the businessmen,” states the note of proposals and suggestions made by the Left parties on the forthcoming Union Budget.
It was pointed out that while businessmen could show expenditures like travel and depreciation as business activities, the salaried employees could not could not claim exemption on these accounts.This could be corrected through reintroduction of standard deduction for the latter, the note stated.
The document released by the CPI-M on Sunday also proposed formulation of a sub-Plan allocating 15 per cent of total resources on all development programmes for minorities, especially Muslims.The Left parties asserted that it should also be ensured that 15 per cent of priority sector lending by banks goes to Muslims.The Finance Ministry has already asked banks to consider this proposal.
It observed that the third Budget of the UPA Government was going to be presented at a time when the people of India were suffering due to rising prices of essential commodities, especially food items.
“The 6 per cent plus inflation rate surely cannot be justified by the 8 per cent GDP growth rate being experienced in India today , since developing countries like China have succeeded in holding inflation at much lower levels despite having a higher GDP growth rate than India,” the note said.
Being the first Budget of the 11th Five Year Plan , Budget 2007-08 should accord topmost priority to addressing issues concerning agriculture and food management, it emphasised.