Today is budget day and the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who will be presenting his 5th Budget in Parliament, might just take into account the following proposals that were presented to him earlier by the ALIKE i.e Association of Libraries in India for increasing Knowledge & Education:
- Increasing budget allocation on all kind of libraries – central, state, district, town, city, municipal, residential…you get the idea
- Make books more affordable by removing all possible taxes on them – whether existing now or in the future!
- Give the common man a tax rebate under Sec 80C for joining libraries
- Further, exempt from income tax, library membership fees paid; if feesare paid in advance for more than a year, double the exemption limit
- Allow for deduction of income on all purchases made on any kind of device that allows for reading of books – iPads, in particular!
- Give commercial lending libraries a tax holiday for 10 years
- Exempt from tax, fully, all salaries received by employees of libraries
- Provide incentives to individuals & corporates wanting to invest in libraries, specifically, interest free loans, eligible for a complete write-off if neither loan nor interest is paid anytime
We tried our best to get in touch with the Executive Secretary of ALIKE to find out the chances of getting any of the wish list proposals passed in the budget. We were informed that more proposals were being prepared and were likely to be slipped into Mr. FM’s briefcase just as he was getting into Parliament.
More details are on the way.