After an announcement of demonetisation on November 8, last year, everyone is eagerly waiting for the Union Budget 2017, which will be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1. A series of populist policies are expected in the budget with experts suggesting that the upcoming Budget may provide some tax benefits for the common people to soothe the cash ban pain.
Here are five key expectations from the Union Budget 2017:
Union budget 2017 is the first budget after demonetisation, that is why it is expected to promote cashless transactions. Discounts on card payments, discounts for toll booth payments using cards, waiver of merchant discount rates when using debit cards at POS machines, etc., have already been implemented.
Additional benefits to promote people to go cashless through credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets, apps are expected to be part of the Union Budget 2017-18. Benefits for banking through payment banks are also expected.
Revised income tax slabs
It is expected that Arun Jaitley on February 1, 2017 may announce some upward revision in the income tax slabs to benefit the common tax payers in the country. The current income tax limit is Rs 2.5 lakh, and the government is expected to increase this limit to Rs 4 lakh.
Housing loan concessions
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, was announced by the government in 2015. Providing housing for all is a government agenda so that everyone is expecting for some tax concessions are provided in the Budget. The increase in the tax deduction for interest paid on housing loan is expected. Some concessions may be offered in the Union Budget 2017-18 to increase the tax benefit on payment of interest beyond the annual Rs 2 lakh, to give a helping hand to both the industry and tax payers.
Relief for farmers
Unavailability of new currency notes in sufficient numbers caused cash crunch and farmers were not able to sell their rabi crops. It is expected that farmers who were hit by demonetisation would get some additional benefits in the budget to compensate for the pain. Measures to provide greater access to cashless transaction modes in rural areas and farmers are also expected. This will make the purchase of seeds, fertilisers, and other.
Relaxations for real estate
For the major GDP contributors, real estate sector, last year was not smooth. Real Estate Regulatory Act and demonetisation caused major damages to this sector. Cash crunch made problems for both buyers, sellers, and constructors. Relaxation in income tax rate, hike in the HRA deduction limit for salaried people, measures to standardise the construction material costs are expected from the new budget.