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NFIR’s proposals for Rail Budget 2016-17

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NFIR’s proposals for Rail Budget 2016-17

National Federation of Indian Railwaymen

Dated: 05/01/2016
Shri Suresh Prabhu,
Hon’ble Minister for Railways,
Rail Mantralaya,
Rail Bhavan,
New Delhi.

Respected Sir,

Sub: NFIR’s proposals for Rail Budget 2016-17-reg.

NFIR wishes to bring to your kind notice that the Railway Ministers have made budget pronouncements for Staff Welfare, but, however the following pronouncements have not been implemented till date. Extract of pronouncements are placed below:-
Railway Budget 2009-10 
Item No. 32
“A thrust will be given under the Corporate Welfare Plan for improvement of staff quarters & colonies. During 2009-10, 6550 Staff Quarters are proposed to be constructed. 
It is proposed to Open seven Nursing Colleges on Railway land at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai (Kalyan), Chennai, Secunderabad, Lucknow and Jabalpur on Public Private Partnership model so as to facilitate the wards of the Railway employees in finding a good vocational avenue”. 
Railway Budget 2010-11 
Item No. 49 of the Budget Speech:- A new Scheme of ‘House for All’, was launched to provide residences to all Railway employees in the next ten years with the help of Ministry of Urban Development. 
Item No. 54 of Budget speech:- It is proposed to set up 50 Creches for children of 80,000 women employees and 20 hostels. Railways will also provide more numbers of community centres and stadiums. 
Railway Budget 2011-12 
* Extending medical facilities to both dependent father & mother.
* 20 additional hostels for children of Railway employees to be set up. 
Railway Budget 2012-13 
Railways is a 24×7 service available to the rail-users. To run services at this scale, the employees have to put in long hours of duty without any respite round the year and the compulsion of job creates high stress levels. I therefore intend to introduce a wellness programme for them at their places for early detection. of risk factors, prevention and early treatment of diseases caused due to high blood pressure and sugar levels, obesity and other lifestyle related ailments. 
We need to recognize the dedication, hard work and sacrifice of the staff at all levels. To minimize incidence of human error especially amongst the skilled and technical staff including loco pilots, cabin men and gangmen, it is important to ensure proper rest period for them. I am also conscious of the importance of periodic training and creation of a general environment to provide them enhanced dignity. I have also requested NID to design appropriate outfits for various categories of workforce.
Railway Budget 2013-14 
Construction of staff quarters has been hampered by funding constraints. Encouraged by the success of Ministry of Urban Development in constructing quarters through PPP mode, I propose to=adopt the same in the Railways. Yet, I have enhanced the fund allocation under staff quarter by 50% over previous year to provide Rs. 3000 crore.
Provision of hostel facilities for single women railway employees at all Divisional Headquarters. 
Considering the stress faced by loco-pilots particularly in harsh climatic conditions, it is proposed to provide water closets and air condition the locomotive cabs.
Conduct National Skill Development Programme of the Ministry of Railways to impart skills to the youths in Railway related trades at 25 locations spread across the length and breadth of the country. 
Setting up of a multi-disciplinary training institute at Nagpur for imparting training in rail related electronics technologies.
NFIR requests the Hon’ble Railway Minister to see that the Government takes steps for fulfillment of its Budget pronouncements. 
II.NFIR also requests the Hon’ble MR to consider making Budget announcements on the following:- 
(a) Provision of funds for construction/improvement of Railway Institutes, Community Halls and Holiday Homes. 
(b) Provision of adequate funds for construction of new Railway Quarters on replacement account to the extant of 100%. 
(c) Sanctioning of Cardiology Department at Northern Railway Central Hospital, New Delhi. 
(d) Road Mobile Medical Vans facility for covering all remote and inaccessible areas in Railways. 
III. NFIR alsoybrings to the notice of Hon’ble Railway Minister that the condition of Railway Quarters on Indian Railways is awfully bad and many of them deserve demolition. New Quarters are not being built adequately due to inadequate allotment of funds. Federation cites the case of Mumbai area of Western Railway wherein about 1200 Railway quarters (Type-I to Type-IV) have been dismantled by the Railway administration. However, Western Railway authorities have constructed only 447 Railway quarters which is only 37%, of total number demolished. Adequate funds need to be provided for construction of new Quarters atleast equivalent to the number demolished. Also there are over 600 Railway Quarters (Type-I & Type-II) in Mumbai area which do not have separate toilets. The Railway employees and their families living in those quarters in Mumbai are compelled to share common toilets (one toilet shared by 3, to 4 families), thus the lives of employees are miserable. 
NFIR requests the Hon’ble MR to consider the points placed above favourably and give decisions.

(Dr. M. Raghavaiah)
General Secretary

Source: NFIR

Raise saving allowance for income tax to Rs 2.50 lakh – ASSOCHAM to FM

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Raise saving allowance for income tax to Rs 2.50 lakh – ASSOCHAM to FM

Raise saving allowance for income tax to Rs 2.50 lakh; bring back standard deduction for salaried employees: ASSOCHAM to FM

As Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley begins engagements with stakeholders for the ensuing Budget for 2016-17, ASSOCHAM has recommended to the government to increase the deduction for long term savings to Rs 2.50 lakh and re-introduce the concept of standard deductions for salaried employees who can then give a boost to consumption demand and boost economic growth.

In its pre-Budget memorandum to the Finance Ministry, the ASSOCHAM has also pitched for revision of the deduction of interest on housing loans to at least Rs three lakhs from the existing Rs two lakhs and a similar limit be set for principal loan repayment from Rs one lakh at present.

“Increase in the limit of the interest and principal repayment will give a boost to the real estate sector. Present limits are extremely low,” the ASSOCHAM’s comprehensive memorandum to the government said.

Similarly, explaining the rationale for its demand for standard deduction, it said, the salary of the employees has gone up moving along inflation and other cost factors. “So in order to benefit the salaried employees the standard deductions should be reintroduced as one-third of salary or Rs 200000 whichever is less”.

Likewise, in another measure to help the salaried earning tax-payers, the chamber has suggested a depreciation allowance for them in line with the professionals. “The deduction of depreciation is allowed under the head –Business and Profession. No tax benefit is accrued to the salaried employees when they add assets. Though the assets get depreciated when owned by an employee, tax laws do not recognize this”.

In another suggestion to help the salaried employees, the ASSOCHAM said the leave encashment exemption limit for tax calculation should be raised to Rs 10 lakhs. “The current limit of Rs three lakh was notified by the CBDT way back in 1998 and needs to be raised substantially,” the chamber President Mr Sunil Kanoria said.

Similarly, the monetary limits be re-fixed for HRA/transport allowance and children education. Expenses actually incurred in respect of these items have increased manifold in the past few years. Children education allowance is presently exempt from tax up to Rs 100 per month per child for a maximum of two children. It is suggested to increase this exemption limit to Rs 1,000 per month. Also, for the salaried employees, transport allowance is presently exempt from tax up to Rs 800 per month which should be raised to Rs 3,000 per month. “The limit for transport allowance was fixed in 1988-89. It needs to be revised due to the increased cost of transportation over the years”.

The ASSOCHAM pre-Budget memorandum to the Finance Ministry also suggested that a provision may be made in the Income Tax Act that any expenditure incurred by an employees for education of under-privileged children by making payment directly to a recognised school should be allowed as deduction from salary income up to Rs 1,000 per month for maximum of two children.


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