This is a unique job opportunity. You get to work long hours with no pay. You are not entitled to any leave. If you accept such an offer, your relatives and friends will definitely say, you are out of your mind. But here's a fact. Lakhs and maybe crores of women have taken up this offer. Many of them even enjoy doing this work. Yes...I am talking of the homemaker. A thankless job done by women all over India and very rarely acknowledged.
A homemakers work is often called the labor of love. Their contribution to the economy is seldom noticed and rarely paid. Now the time has come to change all this. Let me ask you a serious question. Should a homemaker be paid a salary?
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In India paying a salary to a homemaker is never discussed as it is against social customs. But take Venezuela for example. The Venezuela Government has been paying homemakers, 80% of the minimum wage since 2006. Not much, but definitely something. So can India adopt a similar approach?
1. Why a homemaker must be paid?
Let's take the case of a homemaker in a metro city. She takes care of the children and this takes the whole day. If the children were put in a daycare, it would cost Rs 12,000-14,000 a month. Take cooking for example. A homemaker has to cook depending on the preferences of her spouse, children or mother-in-law. If a cook were hired, it would cost Rs 7,000-8,000 a month.
A homemaker has to manage the maids, supervise the cleaning of the house and the washing of clothes done by the maid. She has to take care of the elderly in the house and the children when they fall ill. This work saves her husband Rs 10,000-12,000 a month.
A homemaker would teach the kids and take care of their lessons. You save money on a tutor. This could be around Rs 8,000-10,000 a month. She could even drive the kids around town for outings or even to school. This saves you the cost of a driver who could charge anywhere between Rs 7,000-10,000 a month.
A homemaker in a middle class family which resides in a metro city must get a salary around Rs 40,000 a month.
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A homemaker contributes to the development of her household and by doing so, the economy at large. It is high time the work done by homemakers is recognized as a contribution to the economy and added to the National Income. So, the Government must pay the minimum wages to a homemaker and recognize her contribution to the economy.
A homemaker can also be paid a monthly salary by her husband. This gives her financial independence and she can do whatever she wants with this money. Needless to say, she will spend this money on the development of her household.
3. Tax benefits for a homemaker
If you take a look at the current tax laws, money gifted to spouse is tax free. But, if this money is invested, the income from the investment gets clubbed to your income under Section 60. You have to pay taxes as per the income tax slab you fall under.
If this tax law is changed, it might encourage you to pay your homemaker spouse a salary.
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Take a look at what Manushi Chillar had to say in the final round of the Miss World pageant. I think a mother is of the highest respect. I don’t think it's just about cash but love and respect she gives to someone. She is the biggest inspiration in my life. Mother should get the highest respect. Be Wise, Get Rich.
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