Trade unions demand hike in Income tax exemption ceiling to Rs 5 lakh

New Delhi: Trade union leaders on Saturday demanded an increase in income tax exemption ceiling for salaried class to Rs 5 lakh in the upcoming Budget. The income tax exemption ceiling at present is Rs 2.5 lakh.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Photo : PTI
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Photo : PTI
They also demanded that disinvestment in profit-making public sector units be stopped forthwith and budgetary support should be given for revival of potentially viable sick CPSUs. In their pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, representatives of 11 trade unions also opposed FDI in crucial sectors like defence production.

They also asked the government to take effective measures to contain inflation. A ban on forward trading in commodities and rationlisation of tax/cess/duty on petroleum products were some their other demands.

“We also expressed our serious concern and dismay over the manner the government have been pushing various major economic policy related decisions through promulgation of ordinances. In particular, we opposed the ordinance on the coal sector, insurance sector and Land Acquisition Act…We demand all such ordinances should be withdrawn forthwith,”

All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Secretary DL Sachdev told reporters after the meeting.

A joint statement by the 11 unions said, “Concrete steps must be taken to recover huge accumulated unpaid arrears which has already crossed Rs 5 lakh crore on direct and corporate tax accounts alone.”

The trade unions also suggested that the scope of the MGNREGA be expanded to agriculture operations and urban areas. They also said SIT constituted for unearthing black money must deliver visible result which is yet to be seen.

Representatives from Centre for Indian Trade Union (CITU), Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) besides All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) attended the meeting among others.