Homemakers in India, mainly consisting of women, always come under the category of the worst paid or to be correct ‘not paid’ people. Although they are the ones who take care of the complete working of the ‘home ministry’, their contribution to economic development is hardly noticed or cannot be noticed. The primary reason for it is that contribution in household work is not reflected in the gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation. The ‘household final consumption expenditure’ is the only thing related to a homemaker or a housewife that is taken into account while calculating the GDP. Hence, these torchbearers of individual homes are now concerned if the Union Budget 2015 is going to do any good for some of the core issues they are currently facing.
Although there are men who help women in household work and also house husbands who are homemakers, the chunk is really small. And so when we talk about the expectations of homemakers from the Union Budget 2015, we are primarily looking at it from the women’s viewpoint. Here are a few points:
Reduction in prices of grocery items
Although the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says that the current rate of inflation is lesser than last year, there does not seem to be much improvement in the standard of living as compared to last year. According to United Nations report of November 2014, the consumer price inflation in India fell to 4.4 percent, way below RBI’s target of 8 percent. In the Union Budget 2015, homemakers are expecting that the cost of basic food products like milk, vegetables, eggs and grains will be reduced. The prices of these products had been rising over a period of time and now seem to be stagnant. A reduction in prices of daily necessary home products will be useful.
Visible tax collection system
Another expectation that homemakers are expecting from Union Budget 2015 is a visible tax collection system. They want to see the income tax and various other taxes cut from the breadwinners of their family being used efficiently. Homemakers are also expecting a positive growth in their daily lives and also in life of the nation.
Stable educational fees
Homemakers want Narendra Modi government to bring about a change in the school fees pattern for the benefit of their children. Giving quality education to their pupil is every parent’s aspiration and the heavy fee structure poses a problem. Schools charging a hefty fee usually have ample extracurricular activities for children which in turn increases exposure of the student, but many schools fail to give those facilities even with an increase in fees. (ALSO READ: Budget 2015-16: Will Narendra Modi succeed in bringing in ‘Achhe Din’ for Education sector?)
Good investment options
Today, homemakers do not see many investment options available for them. Indian housewives are expecting special investment options exclusively tailored for them in the Union Budget 2015. The next Budget should have schemes like more investment options for cash as well as gold, they feel. The women also want the investment plans to be self-operative and do not believe in depending on any other member of the family for it. There should also be awareness created about the same, so more women who are housewives could participate in the schemes.
Medical Reimbursement Limit
In the last year, the cost of medicines and hospital expenses have increased for every household, while the medical reimbursement limit for a salaried person remains the same. Reports say that the healthcare costs in India have risen by more than 500 percent since 1990. With new diseases threatening the country and without any proper medicine or vaccination for some diseases, the health of the nation needs to be taken care of well. Homemakers feel the medical reimbursement limit available to the earning members of their family – Rs 15,000 per annum – should be increased.
Edited by Shweta Parande