D.N.I.S. News Network, India: With the Union Budget likely to be out in the first week of July, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has written to the Finance Minister to keep the needs of disabled people in mind while preparing the budget.
The suggestions include more job programmes for the physically disabled, greater funding to ensure existing schools have better facilities for them and increased funds for more special schools. It also demanded that all major government schemes should have special allocations for people with disabilities.
Moreover, the ministry has asked for a cess to fund the education of children with disabilities, similar to the education cess already in force. It also wants all ministries to set aside 3 percent of their allocations for people with disabilities.
Funds have also been sought for a survey to collect data on the physically disabled. Another rnajor demand included lowering the income tax rates for employees with disabilities and total tax exemption for aids and devices that are used by such persons.
Better incentives have been sought for private firms that employ people with disabilities. The ministry has said there is a need to reconsider the incentive scheme proposed in the last budget for employers who hire disabled people. The aim was to provide 100,000 jobs but the incentives were not found to be attractive.
It is noteworthy that all these demands found mention in the suggestions already sent to the Finance Minister by N.C.P.E.D.P.