Money Today readers write back with their feedback on the magazine's content.
With regard to the report on the Union Budget (Art of being Kind, yet Hurtful, April 2012), the finance minister has indeed been unkind to small taxpayers by raising the income tax exemption limit by a mere Rs 20,000. The increase in excise and service tax rates is the other big expense consumers will have to bear this financial year. Added to this, it was also disappointing to find that the Rs 20,000 deduction that was available on investment in infrastructure bonds last year was not extended. This is surprising in view of the massive shortfall of funds for infrastructure companies, both in the private and the public sector. The finance minister has ignored what could have been a large source of funding for infrastructure that the country so desperately needs right now.
PRABHJOT SINGH, NEW DELHI
This could indeed be a good time to look at overseas property acquisitions (On Foreign Shores, February 2012). While property prices overseas have come down substantially since the financial crisis of 2008, Indian property prices have mostly gone up. At present, there could be great realty buys overseas that were earlier viewed as out of reach, especially considering the comparative prices in some of the more popular Indian destinations, especially the metros and their suburbs.
KRISHNA JAGALARAMURDI, HYDERABAD
The story on facilities offered under savings bank accounts (Saving Grace, April 2012) shows how banks have become innovative in an attempt to attract low-cost deposits. Though savings bank rates have been deregulated, the interest rate offered is still low compared with the fixed deposit option. While account-holders should maintain the minimum balance that is required to avail the benefits offered, many make the mistake of letting large amounts lie in savings banks without opting for the sweep facility. In such situations it is the bank that gains. Whenever there is excess money in a savings account, it should be transferred to an FD or to other investments to get maximum benefit.
ASHWIN BHATI, PUNE
Noel Maye, CEO, Financial Planning Standards Board, USA, is right in saying (Interview, April 2012) that consumers do not value financial planning since they not understand its nuances. For creation of long-term financial security, one must have a plan. All of us have some example in our own lives where we have seen people suffer as they did not plan for retirement, children's education and even medical emergencies. There is a need to improve financial literacy among the population to generate interest in financial planning. It will have its benefit on the larger social fabric as well.
GAUTUM KUMAR, MUMBAI