Getting married? Mind your money

Wedding services will now be taxed, as a result of the Union Budget. A report in Mint (yes, I finally got it) states that a service tax of 12.36% will be levied on wedding planners and other service providers in this industry. So far, weddings have remained off the tax net, because of the religious ceremonies involved. But, as we know, religious matters todays constitute only a fraction of the whole wedding show (rather like a big banner Bollywood production).

I think this is great idea to curb the unnecessary exhibition of wealth that people do at weddings. At the bottom of it all, the economics come into play. Weddings are no longer limited to their social or religious functions, but have become financial activities. Therefore, the tax makes sense. Maybe, once people are made accountable for their expenses, they will think twice before lavishly indulging in every fantasy money can buy.

In fact, I think the government should create a mechanism for auditing wedding expenses and correlating that with the income of the family. Maybe the income tax department should have a special wing to monitor wedding expenses.

Since money is a root cause of dowry and the status of women (not the root cause, just one of many) in India, state intervention in such matters should not hurt. If the rich can afford extravagant weddings, they can afford to pay tax. And as for the not-so-rich; they will be discouraged from borrowing for affording unnecessary wedding expenses or acquiring the money illegally.
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Atif said...

you are putting too much on Govt.This is something a Govt. can not stop. Rich will always find means to avoid the tax, as they are doing now, it is the middle class who will have to bear the most.
Root cause lies in the societal pressure. I had seen a note from President Kalam. According to him, all these start from our homes. if as an individual, everybody just says no to these evils,it will stop.
we all should start doing and put pressure in our family, freinds and neighbours to stop this and go for nicer, sober weddings.

Anonymous said...

Lavish display of wealth has become a part of the society. I am not sure if this can reduce the spending but at least the govt. is concerned! Something is better than nothing

Hill Goat said...

The footnote tells me you still havent gotten over with the dowry business, huh :)
Remember, tt takes all kind of people to make the world and nice ones are in a minority. Wow, I am sounding like the Chachi in you -- well, almost.

Zaigham Hasan said...

Grand Wedding Parties are just the demonstration of wealth.

No, Ms Tarana, you are wrong!

Most of the people have misconceptions about Grand Celebrations (of wedding or any other celebration for that matter).

Is Grand Celebration a demonstration of wealth and nothing else?
Actually two answers, Yes and No.

Yes, because it has some element of demonstration. And No, because that’s not the only objective. There are many more objectives (intentions) associated with it.

These celebrations or parties provide several social interaction opportunities of different kinds. These enhance the networking and open new business avenues. The show of wealth attracts more wealth and wealthy people become wealthier. We the poor don’t think like this or never reach at that threshold where we can actually start effective demonstrations which can bring good returns. Unfortunately this prevents us from getting closer to those opportunities and eventually left not-benefited from it, resulting in cursing rich people for our failure. Arun of Liz (an Ex of Imran’s Ex’s Ex) is not a moron, but a businessman. A gift of diamond choker worth £8,500 given to Elizabeth would definitely bring better returns.

Apart from above there is some element of emotion also, which only emotional people can understand. A parent or both who have very strong emotions would like to spend extravagantly on their daughter or son. Now-a-days everything is a function of money including emotions. This is the real TOE (Theory of Everything) not the one which belongs to Quantum Physics.

Govt. would never stop spending (on gifts) because many industries depend upon it and when the spending are not there, the growth of economy will become slower. We can only try and limit the spending to our capacity…

Zaigham Hasan said...

For you this could be an evil but for some segment this is an opportunity. There are some businesses that run only on networking. Thats why you find many party animals from our film industry (Sorry for not using using Bollywood as I hate this word).

Tarana Khan said...

Your point of view makes sense from the economic angle and I am sure you would oppose any sort of legislation which would come in the way of this covert business networking opportunity. I get your point. But how do you explain this to the aam aadmi - cliched as it may sound? I cannot help but stand by my point that weddings are a show of wealth, for whatever ends.

Zaigham Hasan said...

If some one has money and wants to throw it then why should you worry about it? As long as its not harming you, you should not.

As far as the question of showing off is concerned, try and device some ways which can make people reach at threshold where they can simply get returns from showing off.

Parties are the events where people enjoy. In today's stressful lives (of course because of the Money my TOE), why do you want to put restrictions on enjoyment or entertainment. Enjoyment cannot be achieved without spending (provided you are not a miser and get your kicks from misery).

Live life to the fullest without worrying about loosing your money. And beware of any thing which is against morality.

Tarana Khan said...

I am not afraid of splurging my money if I have it. But if someone who does not have that kind of money is expected to match the standards set by me, then I am doing something undesirable.

Zaigham Hasan said...

No society can set standars without your will.

Otherwise, Dr. Kalam's statemet (in Atif's comment) will become futile.

You have full control over YOUR standards. Teach them to Choose from the many who have respect for Values, Women, Religion and other Moralities and not from the rest of the world who think in terms of money.

Zaigham Hasan said...

Aam Aadmi :
Aam aur Aadmi jabtak latkay rahte hain patthur Khaate hain.

Gugan said...


the objective of levying service tax on weding planners and other seervice providers is not to curb any unnecessary exhibition of health!!its only to fill govt's coffer!rest is all incidental!!
and that's y it has been able to collect a whooping 30000 crores under service tax!!its just targeting services that can throw up so much money!!!


Zaigham Hasan said...

I have a solution to your problem.

"Diamond cuts Diamond"

e-mail to chhotashakil (the infamous dubaiwalla underworld don) informing him about the people who are overspending.

A phone call or two will be enough to prevent them from showing their wealth off.

Tell me what you think about this post!


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