Volume 2 Issue 15 - August 01, 2004

Budget is a farce for disabled children

DNIS News Network -- The new budget has only reinforced the government’s insensitivity to disabled children. It has absolutely nothing to offer them.

The 2% education cess announced by the budget will not benefit disabled children. This is because the allocation of money goes to the department of education, Ministry of Human Resource Development and not to the Ministry of Social Justice, which handles the education of children with disabilities.

There is an obvious bias being reflected here as disabled children continue to be marginalised despite repeated pleas for inclusion.

The price reduction on wheelchairs, crutches and rehabilitation aids will not benefit 98 percent of the disabled population, which is too poor to afford anything. Merely reducing the excise duty will not solve the problem for persons from the low-income groups. Such equipment must be provided free of cost or at a highly subsidised rate.

Another point to be noted in the new budget is the nullification of the provision made in the Income Tax Act, ten years ago. According to the provision parents of disabled children would get a tax deduction, of upto 20,000 a year, on the savings they made for their child’s future. The present finance minister removed this scheme without substantial cause.

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