A vast majority of salaried class people want the finance minister to raise the exemption limit of income tax to at least Rs 3 lakh and increase deductions such as medical and educational allowances in the Union Budget so that they are left with more purchasing power, as per a recent survey conducted by Assocham (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India).

The survey was conducted across 10 cities and around 25,000 employees. "Over 89% of the respondents said that the slab of tax free income has not moved up in line with real inflation," the survey stated. Also, with increasing healthcare costs, the existing tax free limit of Rs 15,000 should be increased to Rs 50,000, most of the respondents felt. Moreover, transportation allowance granted by the employer to his employee for commuting between the place of work and residence is tax free to the extent of Rs. 800 per month. This limit was fixed more than a decade ago. "This definitely needs to be revised upwards to at least Rs 3,000 per month, given the rising commuting costs across the country," added the survey.

Also, additional benefits related to housing, the deduction limit for payment of interest (on self occupied property) has remained constant at Rs 1,50,000 since 2001. There is an increase in property prices and accordingly the amount of loan. An increase in the exemption limit to Rs 2,50,000 will be a welcome change", the Assocham stated.

Keywords: salaried class people , finance minister ,income tax , deductions, medical ,educational allowances ,Union Budget , employees,tax free income , payment , interest ,business news