Budget 2017 and Central Government employees demands: Confederation
The budget for the year 2017-18 was presented by the Shri Arun Jaitleyji Hon’ble Minister of Finance on 1st Feb 2017, the Central Government employees had lot of hopes of this budget especially on increasing the tax slabs and tax rates reduction, also on allowances and increasing our wages i.e. revision of the fitment formula. One more important issue of filling up of vacant post in the Central Government.
Shri Arun Jaitleyji Hon’ble Minister of Finance had not uttered a single word about Central Government employees in his budget speech of nearly two hours, even though the Central Government employees work with dedication and implement the programmes and policy of the Central Government either way of revenue collection, transportation, public service, working for the welfare of the people of the country etc. This has caused dissatisfaction amongst Central Government employees as many of the demands of the Central Government employees are not considered. The tax proposals provided only a small relief to the Central Government Employees, actually a big relief should have been provided. The Central Government employees are disappointed of the outcome of the budget.
Now let us focus main issues of the CG employees and the budget 2017-17 especially this budget is being presented after the demonetization. As stated earlier the financial position of the Central Government is very good even after demonetization. The budget 2017-18 has once again proved that the Central Government resources are very good the revenue expenditure has been at 21.47 lakh crores. The fiscal deficit will be 3.2% of GDP.
Now coming to the revenue growth of the Central Government in last four years we can observe from the financial year 2013-14 the Revenue Expenditure which was at is Rs 14.88 lakh crores the Revenue Expenditure the financial year 2017-18 which stands at 21.47 lakh crores. The fiscal deficit has also reduced from 4.8% to 3.2% of GDP in last four years. This shows that the financial status of the Central Government is very good. The growth rate of the revenue collection is about 15% annually. In fact the Shri Arun Jaitleyji Hon’ble Minister of Finance had stated the revenue collection is increasing to about 17% annually. We should be proud that your country economy is in good shape. Indian economy is a stable economy can accommodate any additional financial expenditure to be made for the welfare of Central Government employees.
The revenue of the Central Government is increasing at about 15% annually, from last three years the revenue of the Central Government has increased by 45% the expenditure towards salary of Central Government employees including the defence employees has risen only by 14.5% on wage hike due to 7th CPC and also Dearness Allowances expenditure. So total rise in pay hike is about 22%, even if allowances are released in next financial year additional expenditure is likely at just 3% as 70% of the employees don’t avail HRA which is the major allowances, which is very much less than the 45% of the revenue collection of the Central Government. So the Central Government can afford to increase our wages considerably i.e revision of fitment formula and minimum wage. The allowances should be made effectively from 1st Jan 2016.
Next on the tax slabs the Shri Arun Jaitleyji Hon’ble Minister of Finance had made announcement of the tax proposals provided only a small relief to the Central Government Employees by reducing the taxes for the slab 2.5 lakhs to 5 lakhs from 10% to 5%. This is only a very small gestures on the part of Shri Arun Jaitleyji Hon’ble Minister of Finance, actually a big relief should have been provided by way of abolishing the taxes up to Rs 5 lakhs. The expenditure loss for reduction of taxes for the slab 2.5 lakhs to 5 lakhs(1.95 crore show income between Rs 2.5 to Rs 5 lakh) from 10% to 5% is just at Rs 15,500/- crores only, if the Hon’ble Minister of Finance had announced the abolishing the taxes up to Rs 5 lakhs it could have been additional expenditure of Rs 15,000 crores only which at just half percent of the total budget revenue collections, next Rs 5 to Rs10 lakhs slab (only 52 lakh show income between Rs 5 to Rs 10 lakhs ) here also there should have been reduction in taxes from 20% to 10%, the limit of Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C for investment should have been increased upto 2.5 lakh which would have encouraged savings, all these measures could have gone a long way benefiting the Central Government employees and the salaried class employees a lot.
Today hardly 3% of the country population are paying the income tax, the rest 97% do not pay income tax. The Central Government Employees are honestly paying the taxes. A big tax relief is genuinely due for them.
One more important problem faced by the Central Government Employees is that the no filling up of the vacant post in the Central Government, nearly 4 lakhs post are vacant, even in Railway safety post of 1.41 lakh post are vacant and Income tax department post are vacant, more manpower is required for effectively collection of the taxes and implementation of the programmes and policy of the Central Government. This will also provide jobs for the youth of the country.
We sincerely hope the Hon’ble Minister of Finance would reconsider his decision and improve the taxation policy and consider the demands of the CG employees effectively in true spirit.