02 March, 2021

The Rs 4.44 Lakh Deception

Decoding the finance minister’s spiel on tax savings

The Rs 4.44 Lakh Deception

The fixation with quoting a scholar in the budget speech seems to be the trend. So, when Union finance minister Arun Jaitley recited Kuchh toh phool khilaye hain humne, kuchh aur khilane hain,/Dikkat yeh hai ki raahon mein kayi kaante purane hain, I was not surprised but intrigued and started thinking about what plan he was actually going to lay out for the taxpayer. I read the quote as a warning of the thorns that we will come upon in the future than the flowers he was promising. After 90 minutes of listening to his flowery speech, there was little left to cheer for individual taxpayers. Here is why:

Income tax: Yes, he did not touch the slabs. He made every taxpayer in the country feel they were going to get rich by throwing up the figure of Rs 4.44 lakh a year, being the sum that each taxpayer could claim exemptions under by saving and investing across various instruments that link savings with tax-planning. The additional Rs 64,200 that you now need to deploy has come in with an increase in limit of deduction in health insurance premium,...

More from Narayan Krishnamurthy

Latest Magazine

March 08, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section