Budget 2019: ‘A big let-down’ for silvers

Author: admin

The verdict is out: Experts Harmony-Celebrate Age spoke to termed Budget 2019 ‘a big let-down’ for silvers.

The only saving grace as far as silvers are concerned is the full tax rebate up to Rs 500,000. Those above 80 years of age are already exempt up to Rs 500,000. The present move will only benefit silvers in the 60 to 80 age bracket, who were previously exempt from tax for an income up to Rs 300,000 and were taxed 5 per cent for income from Rs 300,000 to Rs 500,000. Besides this, there is absolutely nothing in the Budget for silvers.

The new pension scheme—Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Man Dhan Yojna—with an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 for the unorganised sector, is also for those who are still employed and are yet to cross over to the sunset years.

Mumbai-based economist Priya Desai, who had earlier shared with Harmony-Celebrate Age that silvers were unlikely to get any reliefs as “we hardly count as a constituency”, says, “As expected, the focus is on farmers and the middle class during election year. The budget is targeted at boosting consumption. There is absolutely no mention of silvers anywhere as far as direct tax proposals are concerned. There is no relief on any other account too. This budget is hugely disappointing for silvers.”

On the flip side, Desai believes the Budget will fuel inflation by making disposable income available in the hands of the middle class. “Silvers will bear the brunt as their income is static,” she adds. “Even the hike of TDS threshold on interest on bank and post office deposits from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 will not benefit silvers, who are already eligible for TDS exemption up to Rs 50,000.”

Meanwhile, Sailesh Mishra, founder of Silver Innings Group, who along with others working in the silver healthcare sector had written to the prime minister, finance minister and GST council seeking abolition of tax on specialised healthcare services for silvers, expressed dismay at the budget. “We were expecting abolition of GST on elder care, which is currently 18 per cent, and announcements on medical insurance. Similarly, there was an expectation that the National Old Age Pension would be raised from the ridiculous Rs 200 per month, but there has been no word on it. This is a complete blackout of silvers.”

February 2019