Budget 2018: Take-Home Salary For Women To Increase As FM Proposes Tweak In PF Law
If she goes for a word-by-word analysis of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's recently delivered Budget Speech, an Indian woman would be flattered to note the word “women” featured 10 times in his 6,600-word address to Parliament. Farmer (27), poor (21), rural (20) and agriculture (16) were other key words that marked Jaitley's about two-hour long Speech on Thursday.
In light of the fact that the number of women earning equal or more than their spouses has doubled from 21.2 per cent to 42.8 per cent between 2005-06 and 2015-16, she has come at the forefront of policy changes and decision making.
The Budget 2018-19 has done something to ensure these working women are able to save more from their salaries.
“To incentivise employment of more women in the formal sector, and to enable higher take-home wages, I propose to make amendments in the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, to reduce women employees' contribution to eight per cent for first three years of their employment, against the existing rate of 12 per cent or 10 per cent with no change in employers' contribution,” Jaitley said in his Speech.
How does this impact you?
In case you are earning a monthly basic salary of Rs 50,000, an amount of Rs 6,000 (12 per cent of Rs 50,000) is deducted as your contribution towards your provident fund savings under the current norms. A similar contribution is made by your employer. After the change in norms, your annual salary will increase by Rs 24,000 as your contribution in your PF accounted reduced to eight per cent (Rs 4,000 a month).
Considering women are often co-applicant in home-loan applications along with their spouses and equally share the burden of the debt, this increase in their take-home-salary, even if it appears paltry, would provide them some ease in running the household. Getting slightly higher take-home salary is also more beneficial since the interest rate on EPF deposits have come down to 8.65 per cent now from 8.8 per cent in 2015-16.
In a Budget where tax slabs for all categories were largely kept unchanged, there is a little reason for women to cheer.
Here is what else the Centre plans to do to make a she change:
Ministry's share: The Budget sets aside Rs 24,700 crore for the Ministry of Women and Child Development for the next financial year. Of this, Rs 16,334 crore is meant for anganwadi services.
Safety concerns: A total of Rs 500 crore will be transferred to the Nirbhaya Fund, which was set up to enhance women's safety. After that, the total amount in the fund would increase to Rs 3,500 crore. The fund came into being in 2013.
Save the girl child: The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme has got Rs 280 crore in the Budget.
Mother care: For the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Rs 2,400 crore has been set aside. The programme provides Rs 6,000 to each pregnant women and lactating mothers to compensate them for wage loss.
Lighting up: The government plans to provide free LPG connections to 80 million women below the poverty line.