Union Budget 2024: Old Pension Scheme to Income Tax Relief; Things in Focus

Salaries individuals are hoping for some favourable announcements

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The Union Finance Ministry is preparing to present the full Union Budget for the fiscal year 2025 in July, likely on July 23 or 24. Ahead of this, various stakeholders have urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to provide tax relief for salaried employees.

Union Budget 2024: Old Pension Scheme to Income Tax Relief; Things in Focus

Union Budget 2024 Expectations

Salaried employees have specific expectations from the upcoming budget. They are hoping for several favourable announcements, such as increased income tax rebate, the restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS), and the formation of the 8th Pay Commission. The last pay commission was formed in 2014, and its recommendations were implemented in January 2016.

   

There is also a desire to adjust income tax slabs under the old tax regime or increase the tax exemption limit for the new tax regime. To stimulate consumption, the government may consider providing tax relief for individuals earning above ₹15 lakh annually and could explore reducing income tax rates for those earning ₹10 lakh per year, as reported by Reuters.

During a recent pre-budget meeting, trade unions made significant demands. They called for halting the privatization of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), scrapping the new pension scheme, filling vacant positions in central government departments and PSUs, and ending the use of contract and outsourcing practices.

Also read: Budget 2024: Buying a Home Could Get Easier, Govt to Make This Huge Announcement

The unions emphasized the need to substantially increase the income tax rebate ceiling for the salaried class on their salary and gratuity. They also advocated for the establishment of a government-sponsored social security fund for unorganized and agricultural workers, providing them with defined universal social security schemes, including a minimum pension of ₹9,000 per month, along with other medical and educational benefits.

Furthermore, concerns were raised about the fairness of the current tax structure, pointing out that corporate tax rates have been reduced while indirect taxes burden ordinary people disproportionately. They suggested correcting this imbalance, including proposing a one percent inheritance tax on the super-rich with a ceiling, which could significantly boost budget revenues.

Additionally, industry leaders have stressed the importance of focusing on infrastructure development to sustain high economic growth.

In summary, the upcoming Union Budget is anticipated to address these expectations and concerns, aiming to support salaried employees, address social security issues, and promote economic growth through strategic fiscal measures.

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