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What the Budget has for the housewife

Last updated on: February 27, 2010 17:59 IST

What the Budget has for the housewife

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There is a good reason for any salaried person to cheer the Budget 2010. The salary slabs for tax have been increased. But is there something for the housewife too?

Let's see how the monthly budget of a homemaker will be affected by Union Budget 2010.

Reasons to cheer

There is some good news from the Budget for the housewife in the form of support for her Budget.

1. She can ride more easily: Budget 2010 has at last heard the request from electric vehicle manufacturers. The duty on critical components required to manufacture electric vehicles has been reduced to 4%. The finished vehicles also will suffer only 4% duty.

2. She can cook faster and at a lesser cost: The aspirational housewife can cook faster as the cost of microwave ovens will be lesser. The duty has been reduced from 10% to 5% on the key component - magnetron.

The duties on pepper and asafoetida have been reduced drastically (70% to 30% and 30% to 20%, respectively).

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Image: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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3. She can buy a better phone: The duties for mobile phone accessories made in India have been reduced to zero.

4. She can shop more: Goods imported for retail sale in pre-packaged condition are exempt from special additional duty. Goods like watches, mobile phones and ready-made garments will get this exemption even if they are not pre-packed.

5. Children's parties can be more colourful: Toy balloons have been exempt from excise duty. (Have you seen the cost of some of the fancy balloons lately?!) They will be more economical now.

6. Better drinking water: Reverse osmosis-based household water filter kits will cost lesser as the duty has been reduced to 4%.

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Image: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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7. House maintenance will cost lesser: Goods under the heading medicinal and toilet preparation will suffer lesser tax at 10% from the present 16%.

8. More jewellery: Gold will cost lesser in the long run as the duty on gold ore and refines has been shifted from ad valorem rates (in %) to specific duties (Rs per gm). The tax will not go up even if the base price of gold increases in the long run.

9. More money in husband's wallet: The personal income tax slabs have been increased. Also the investment limit for tax exemption has been increased to Rs 120,000 with 20,000 in infrastructure bonds, which means more money to spend!

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Image: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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What the Budget has for the housewife

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Reasons to lament

There are some reasons why the Budget 2010 will leave lesser balance in the monthly budget for the housewife too:

1. Can't afford dropping children to school: The cost of petrol and diesel will jump due to the imposition of customs and excise duties on crude and petrol and diesel.

2. Cost of most goods will go up: The basic excise duty has been increased from 8% to 10%. This will have a compounding effect on almost all goods. Petrol prices will be increased by about Rs 2.92 per litre in Mumbai, Rs 2.71 in Delhi, Rs 3.01 in Chennai and Rs 2.80 in Kolkata.

3. Cars to be costlier: Carmakers have told that they will be increasing the prices after the higher tax rate will be implemented. Cost of cement will go up. Electricity may cost more as there is an additional duty on coal.

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Image: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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What the Budget has for the housewife

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4. TVs, washing machines, etc costlier: Almost all commodities like steel, copper, plastics, etc are going to cost more. This in turn will make all white goods including TVs, washing machines, fridges, mixies & food processors and wet grinders to cost more.

5. Holiday travel to cost more: Air travel in India competed with railways for a few years in the past. Their advantage is withdrawn by making all classes of air travel to pay service tax.

6. Toiletries to be expensive: Shampoos, other FMCG products too will cost more.

End of month for a housewife

Though the list is longer for the reasons to cheer, the housewife will be left with lesser cash in hand at the end of the month. This is because of the higher cost for most of the day-to-day goods and commodities that she will have to buy.

End of the month an average Indian housewife will have more burden on her shoulder throughout year 2010-11.


Image: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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