Wednesday, June 22, 2011

STOP "meal vouchers" like Ticket Restaurent, Sodexo, etc

Consider the cycle:

  • Employer has to buy these Meal Voucher from companies like Sodexo, by paying a commission.
  • Employee has to use it for food purchase. Many employees bring food from home. So these Meal Vouchers are being used to buy things from Malls / Shops.
  • By law these Meal Vouchers should be used only to buy food items but many Malls / Shops accept for buying soap, perfume, brooms, etc. I mean for almost everything.
  • Now the shop guy has to collect these Meal Vouchers & return it to the company like Sodexo to get his money back. Sodexo charges him commission.

Now think again ? Who benifited the above transaction ? Employer ? Employee ? Shop / Mall owner ?

  • No, only companies like Sodexo. They got comission for circulating the Meal Vouchers from end-to-end.

I was in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand last week. No IT company there. But I was shocked to see a few shops with the sticker that they accept Meal Voucher !

LIC has started a policy. Every employee who come to office before 10:30 AM gets a Meal Voucher of Rs. 150/- for that day. If an employee comes late, he / she looses the mean Voucher for that day.

  • Athey crazy ? There are some 3000+ branches of LIC all-over-india.
  • Is this a plan for companies like Sodexo to spread their business to all small towns ?

Mind it ! This has become a BIG BIG economy in all metro cities like: Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc.

  • Neighborhood "kirana" shops have started charging 6% comission if you have to use the Meal Voucher.
  • Or you have to go to the neareast Big Bazaar by spending Rs. 50/- for Auto to use the Meal Voucher.
  • Now Big Bazaar knows that you will be using Meal Voucher & has increased the price of the items to adjust for the comission that Big Bazaar has to pay to Sodexo.
  • You & me, we end up paying extra so that Sodexo makes money.

But the entire issue has a simple solution:

Income Tax India rule shoudl be amended saying Rs. 50/- per meal is tax exempted & thus every employee should get additional tax exemption of Rs. 3000/- per month or Rs. 36000/- per year.

  • Is this very difficult to calculate while we calculate our yearly tax ?
  • Same way, the employer also gets its 5% tax exemption in the yearly calculations.

THINK ! How much of paper will this country save ? How much of "waste" of money will we save ?

SUPPORT this & help me to spread the same. Pass this to ALL your friends.

Next -- an on-line petition to Finance Minister asking him to review this policy. If this does not work a PIL in Supreme Court of India.

Lets FIGHT & STOP this "waste" !!!