BUDGET IDENTIFIES FIVE OBJECTIVES RELATINGÂ TOÂ Â GROWTH, INVESTMENT, SUPPLY BOTTLENECKS,Â GOVERNANCE,Â AND REMOVING MALNUTRITION
AMENDMENT TO FRBM ACT INTRODUCED AS PART OF FINANCE BILL
CENTRAL SUBSIDIES TO BE KEPT UNDER 2 PC OF GDP; TO BE FURTHER BROUGHT DOWN TO 1.75 PCÂ OF GDP OVER THE NEXT 3 YEARS
Rs. 30,000 CRORE TO BE RAISED THROUGH DISINVESTMENT
EFFORTS TO REACH BROADBASED CONSENSUS ON FDI IN MULTI-BRAND RETAIL
INVESTMENT IN 12THÂ PLAN IN INFRASTRUCTURE TO GO UPTO RS.Â 50,00,000Â CRORE; HALF OF THIS IS EXPECTED FROM PRIVATE SECTOR
TARGET FOR AGRICULTURAL CREDIT RAISED TO RS. 5,75,000Â CRORE
NATIONAL URBAN HEALTH MISSION IS BEING LAUNCHED
UID-AADHAR TO GET ADEQUATE FUNDS FOR ENROLMENT OF 40 CRORE PERSONS
A NUMBER OF MEASURES PROPOSED TO DETER GENERATION AND USE OF UNACCOUNTED MONEY
WHITE PAPER ON BLACK MONEY TO BE LAID IN CURRENT SESSION OF PARLIAMENT
TAX PROPOSALS MARK PROGRESS IN THE DIRECTION OF MOVEMENT TOWARDS DTC AND GST
INCOME TAX EXEMPTION LIMIT RAISED FROM RS.1,80,000Â TO RS.2,00,000; UPPER LIMIT OF 20 PER CENT TAX SLAB RAISED FROM RS.8 LAKH TO RS.10 LAKH
GENERAL ANTI AVOIDANCE RULE BEING INTRODUCED TO COUNTER AGGRESSIVE TAX AVOIDANCE
STANDARD RATE OF EXCISE DUTY RAISED FROM 10 PC TO 12 PC; SERVICE TAX RATES RAISED FROM 10 PC TO 12 PC; NO CHANGE IN PEAK CUSTOMS DUTY OF 10 PC ON NON-AGRICULTURAL GOODS
FISCAL DEFICIT TARGETED AT 5.1 PC OF GDP, AS AGAINST 5.9 PC IN REVISED ESTIMATES FOR 2011-12
CENTRAL GOVERNMENT DEBT AT 45.5 PC OF GDP AS COMPARED TO THIRTEENTH FINANCE COMMISSION TARGET OF 50.5 PCÂ
The Union Budget 2012-13 presented by the Finance Minister PranabÂ MukherjeeÂ inÂ Lok SabhaÂ today identifies five objectives to be addressed effectively in the ensuing fiscal year. They include focus on domestic demand driven growth recovery; create conditions forÂ Â rapid revival of high growth in private investment;Â Â address supply bottlenecksÂ Â in agriculture, energy and transport sectors particularly in coal, power, national highways, railways and civil aviation; intervene decisively to address the problem of malnutrition especially in the 200 high-burden districts andÂ expedite coordinated implementation of decisions being taken to improve delivery systems, governance, and transparency;Â Â and address the problem of black money and corruption in public life.
PranabÂ MukherjeeÂ said that Indiaâ€™sÂ GDPÂ growth in 2012-13 is expected to be 7.6 per cent +/-0.25 per cent. He said that in 2011-12, Indiaâ€™sÂ GDPÂ is estimated to grow at 6.9 per cent after having grown at the rateÂ ofÂ Â 8.4Â per cent in each of the two preceding years. He said though the globalÂ crisisÂ Â hadÂ affected India, it still remains among the front runners in economic growth. Â MukherjeeÂ said the slowdown is primarily due to deceleration in industrial growth. Stating that the headline inflation remained high for most part of the year, the Finance Minister expressed hope that it will moderate further in the next few months and remain stable thereafter.
MukherjeeÂ laid emphasis on striking a balance between fiscalÂ consolidationÂ and strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals. He announced introduction of amendments to the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 (FRBM Act) as part of the Finance Bill 2012.Â He said that concept of â€œEffective Revenue Deficitâ€ and â€œMedium Term Expenditure Frameworkâ€Â statement areÂ two important features of amendment to FRBM Act in the direction of expenditure reforms. This statement shall set forth a three year rolling targets for expenditure indicators.
The Finance Minister called for a need to have a close look at the growth of revenue expenditure, particularly, on subsidies.Â Â He announced that from 2012-13Â Â whileÂ subsidies related to food and for administering the Food Security Act will be fully provided for,Â Â all other subsidies would be funded to the extent that they can be borne by the economy without any adverse implications.Â Â He said that the Government will endeavor to restrict the expenditure on central subsidies under 2 per cent of GDP in 2012-13 and over the next three years, it would be further brought down to 1.75 per cent ofÂ GDP. MukherjeeÂ said that based on recommendations of the Task Force headed by NandanNilekani, a mobile-based Fertilizer Management System has been designed to provide end-to-end information on movement of fertilizers and subsidies which will be rolled out nation-wide during 2012.Â Â He said that transfer of subsidy to the retailer and eventually to the farmers will be implemented in subsequent phases which will benefit 12Â croreÂ farmer families.
On the tax reforms, the Finance Minister said thatÂ theÂ Â DirectÂ Taxes Code (DTC) Bill will be enacted at the earliest after expeditious examination of the report of the ParliamentaryÂ Â Standing Committee. He said draftingÂ of model legislation for Centre and State Goods and Services Tax (GST) in concert with States is under progress. He added that the GST network will be set up asÂ a NationalÂ Information Utility and will become operational by August 2012.
On the disinvestment policy, MukherjeeÂ said that the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) are being given a level playing field vis-Ã -vis private sector with regard to practices like buy-backsÂ and listingÂ at stock exchange. Stating that while in 2011-12, the Government will raise about Rs.14,000 croreÂ Â from disinvestment as against a target ofÂ Â Rs.40,000Â crore, the Finance Minister proposed to raiseÂ Â Rs.30,000Â croreÂ through disinvestment inÂ Â 2012-13. He said at least 51 per cent ownership and management of CPSEs will remain with the Government.
Calling for strengthening investment environment, MukherjeeÂ said that efforts are on to arrive at a broad-based consensus in respect of decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail up to 51 per cent. He proposed to introduce a newÂ scheme calledÂ Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings SchemeÂ Â to allow for income tax deduction of 50 per cent to new retail investors who invest up toÂ Â Rs.50,000 directly in equities and whose annual income is below Rs.10Â lakh. The scheme will have a lock-in period of 3 years.Â Â Regarding capital markets, the FinanceÂ MinisterÂ Â proposedÂ to allow Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) to access Indian Corporate Bond market. HeÂ alsoÂ Â proposedÂ simplifyingÂ Â the process of Initial Public Offer (IPO).
PranabÂ MukherjeeÂ said that the Government is committed to protect the financial healthÂ ofÂ Â PublicÂ Sector Banks and Financial Institutions. He proposed to provide Rs. 15,888Â croreÂ for capitalization of Public Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks and other financialÂ institutionsÂ includingÂ NABARD. He added that a Central Know Your Customer (KYC) depositary will be developed in 2012-13 to avoidÂ multiplicityÂ Â ofregistration and data upkeep.
The Finance Minister informed that out of 73,000 identified habitations that were to be covered under â€œSwabhimaanâ€ campaign for providing banking facilities by March 2012, about 70,000 habitations have been covered while the rest are likely to be covered by March 31, 2012. He added that as a next step Ultra Small Branches are being set up at these habitations. In 2012-13, “Swabhimaan” campaign will be extended to more habitations.
Emphasizing on infrastructure and industrial development, MukherjeeÂ said that during the 12thÂ Plan, infrastructure investment will go up to Rs.50Â lakhÂ crorewith halfÂ of this expected from private sector. Stating thatÂ in 2011-12 tax free bonds for Rs.30,000Â croreÂ were announced for financing infrastructure projects, he proposed to double it to raise Rs.60,000Â croreÂ in 2012-13. The Minister proposed to allow External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) to part finance Rupee debt of existing power projects.
The Finance Minister PranabÂ MukherjeeÂ announced a target of covering 8,800 km. under NHDP next year and increase in allocation of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry by 14 per cent to Rs.25,360Â croreÂ in 2012-13. He proposed to permit ECB for working capital requirements of the Airline Industry for a period of one year, subject to a total ceilingÂ Â of US dollar 1 billion to address the immediate financial concerns of the Civil Aviation Sector. He added that aÂ proposal toÂ allow foreign airlines to participate up to 49 per cent in the equity of an air transport undertaking is under active consideration.
Expressing concern over shortage in housing sector, the Finance MinisterÂ proposed variousÂ measures to address the shortage of housing for low income groups in major cities and towns including ECB for low cost housing projects and setting up of a Credit Guarantee Trust Fund.
Regarding textile sector, the Finance Minister announced setting up of two more mega clusters, one to coverÂ PrakasamÂ and Guntur districts in Andhra Pradesh and other forÂ GoddaÂ and neighboring districts in Jharkhand in addition to four mega handloom clusters alreadyÂ operationalized. He also proposed setting up of three Weavers ServiceÂ Centres, one each in Mizoram, Nagaland and Jharkhand. The MinisterÂ proposed a Rs.Â 500Â croreÂ pilot scheme in twelfth plan for promotion and application of Geo-textiles in the North East. AÂ powerloomÂ MegaÂ Cluster willÂ be set up in IchalkaranjiÂ in Maharashtra.
The Finance Minister proposed to set up a Rs.5000Â crore India OpportunitiesÂ Venture Fund with SIDBI to enhance availability of equity to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Stating that agriculture will continue to be a priority for Government, MukherjeeÂ proposed an increase by 18 per cent to Rs. 20,208 croreÂ in the total Plan Outlay for the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation in 2012-13. He said that the outlay forÂ Rashtriya Krishi VikasYojana (RKVY) is being increasedÂ toÂ Â Rs. 9217Â croreÂ in 2012-13.
Underlining importance of timely access to affordable credit for farmers, the Finance Minister proposed to raise the target forÂ Â agricultural credit to Rs. 5,75,000Â crore, which represents an increase of Rs. 1,00,000Â croreÂ over the target for the current year. He said that a short term RRB CreditÂ Â Refinance Fund is being set up to enhance the capacity of Regional Rural Banks to disburse short term crop loans to the small and marginal farmers. He added thatÂ KisanÂ Credit Card Scheme will be modified to make it a smart card which can be used at ATMs.
The Financed Minister said that in order to have a better out reach of the food processing sector, a new centrally sponsored scheme titled National Mission on Food Processing will be started in cooperation with the States in 2012-13.
The Finance Minister proposed an increase of 18 per cent to Rs.37,113crore for Scheduled Castes Sub Plan and an increase of 17.6 per cent to Rs.21,710Â croreÂ for Tribal Sub Plan during 2012-13.
Regarding food security, MukherjeeÂ said that National Food Security Bill 2011 is before Parliamentary Standing Committee. He said a multi-sectoral programmeÂ to address maternal and child malnutrition in selected 200 high burdened districts is being rolled out during 2012-13.Â Â He furtherÂ Â saidÂ that an allocation of Rs.15,850Â croreÂ has been made for ICDS scheme which is an increase of 58% and Rs.11,937Â croreÂ for National ProgrammeÂ of Mid-Day Meals in schools for the year 2012-13. He added that an allocation of Rs.750Â croreÂ is proposed for Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, SABLA.
The allocation for rural drinking water and sanitation is proposed to be increased by over 27 per cent to Rs. 14,000Â croreÂ and for Pradhan MantriÂ RoadÂ Sadak YojanaÂ by 20 per cent to Rs. 24,000Â croreÂ in 2012-13. He proposed to enhance the allocation under Rural Infrastructure Development FundÂ toÂ Â Rs. 20,000Â croreÂ withÂ Â Rs.5,000Â croreÂ exclusively earmarked for creating warehousing facilities.
The Finance Minister proposed an increase in allocation by 21.7 per cent for Right to Education â€“Â Sarva Shiksha AbhiyanÂ to Rs.25,555Â crore and by 29 per centÂ Â forÂ Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha AbhiyanÂ to Rs. 3,124Â crore. He proposed to set up a Credit Guarantee Fund to ensure better flow of funds to students.
Regarding healthÂ sector, heÂ proposed an increase in allocation for NRHM to Rs.20,822Â croreÂ in 2012-13. He also said that National Urban Health Mission is being launched.
The Finance Minister said that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has had a positive impact. He proposed an allocation of Rs.3915Â croreÂ for National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) which represents anÂ increase ofÂ 34 per cent. He proposed to provide Rs.200Â croreÂ to enlarge the corpus to Rs.300Â croreÂ of the Womenâ€™s SHGâ€™s Development Fund. He said the fund will also support the objectivesÂ ofÂ AajeevikaÂ i.e.Â Â NRLM and willÂ empower women SHGs to access bank credit. He also proposed to establish a Bharat Livelihoods Foundation of India throughÂ AajeevikaÂ which will support and scale up civil society initiatives and interventions particularly in the tribal regions covering around 170 districts.
Allocation under National Social AssistanceÂ ProgrammeÂ (NSAP) is proposed to be raised by 37 per cent to Rs. 8447Â crore. Under theÂ Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme andÂ IndiraÂ Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme for BPL beneficiaries, the monthly pension amount per person is being raised from Rs. 200 to Rs.300.
The Finance Minister announced a provision of Rs.1,93,407croreÂ forÂ DefenceÂ Services including Rs.79,579Â croreÂ for capital expenditure. He said the allocation is based on present needs and any further requirement would be met.
Addressing Governance related issues, MukherjeeÂ said adequate funds are proposed to be allocated to complete enrolments of another 40Â croreÂ persons under UID Mission. Outlining the steps taken by the Government to address the issue of black money, the Minister proposed to lay a WhiteÂ Paper onÂ Black Money in the current session of Parliament.
In the Budget Estimates for 2012-13, the Gross Tax Receipts are estimated at Rs.10, 77,612Â croreÂ which is an increase of 15.6 per cent over the Budget Estimates and 19.5 per cent over the revised estimates for 2011-12. After devolution to States, the net tax to the Centre in 2012-13 is estimated at Rs. 7,71,071crore. The Non Tax Revenue Receipts are estimated at Rs.1,64,614croreÂ and Non-debt Capital ReceiptsÂ Â at Rs.41,650crore. The total expenditure for 2012-13 isÂ budgeted atÂ Rs.14,90,925Â crore.Â Â Of this Rs.5,21,025croreÂ is the Plan Expenditure while Rs.9,69,900croreÂ is budgeted as Non Plan Expenditure.
The tax proposals are guided by the need to move towards the Direct TaxÂ Code (DTC) in the case of direct taxes and Goods & Services Tax (GST) in the case of indirect taxes.
Individual incomeÂ uptoÂ Rs.2Â lakhÂ willÂ beÂ Â freeÂ from income tax; incomeÂ uptoÂ Rs.1.8Â lakhÂ was exempt in 2011-12. IncomeÂ aboveÂ Â Rs.5Â lakh andÂ uptoÂ Rs.10Â lakhÂ now carries tax at the rate of 20 per cent; the 20% tax slab was from Rs.5Â lakhÂ to Rs.8Â lakhÂ in 2011-12.Â Â A deduction ofÂ upto Rs.10,000Â is now available for interest from savings bank accounts. Within the existing limit for deduction allowed for health insurance, a deduction of uptoÂ Â Rs.5000Â is being allowed for preventive health check-up. Senior citizens not having income from business will now not need to pay advance tax.
While no changes have been made in corporate taxes, the budget proposes a number ofÂ measures toÂ promote investment in specific sectors.Â In order to provide low costÂ funds toÂ some stressed infrastructure sectors, withholding tax on interest payments on external borrowings (ECBs) is being reduced from 20 percent to 5 per cent for 3 years. These sectors are – power, airlines, roads and bridges, ports and shipyards, affordable housing, fertilizer, and dam.
Investment linked deduction of capital expenditure in some businesses is proposed to be provided at 150 per cent as against the current rate of 100 per cent. These sectors include cold chain facility,Â warehousesÂ Â for storingÂ food-grains, hospitals, fertilizers and affordable housing. Bee keeping, container freightÂ and warehousing for storage of sugar will now also be eligible for investment linked deduction.
The budget also proposes weighted deduction for R&D expenditure,Â agri-extension services and expenditure on skill development in the manufacturing sector.
For small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the turnover limit for compulsory tax audit of accounts as well as for presumptive taxation is proposed to be raised from Rs. 60Â lakhÂ to Rs. 1Â crore. In order to augment funds for SMEs,Â Â saleÂ of residential property will be exempt from capitalÂ gains tax, if the proceeds are used for purchase of plant and machinery, etc.
A General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) is being introduced in order to counter aggressive tax avoidance. Securities transaction tax (STT) is being reduced by 20 per cent on cash delivery transactions, from 0.125% to 0.1%. Alternative Minimum Tax is proposed to be levied from all persons, other than companies, claiming profit linked deductions.
The Finance MinisterÂ has proposedÂ a series of measures to deter the generation and use of unaccounted money. In the case of assets held abroad, compulsory reporting is being introduced and assessmentÂ uptoÂ 16 years will now be allowed to be re-opened.Â Â Tax will be collected at source on trading in coal, lignite and iron ore; purchase of bullion orÂ jewelleryÂ above Rs. 2Â lakhÂ in cash; and transfer of immovable property (other than agricultural land) above a specified threshold. Unexplained money, credits, investments, expenditures etc. will be taxed at the highest rate of 30 per cent irrespective of the slab of income.
The Finance Minister has made an effort to widen the service tax base, strengthen its enforcement and bring it as close as possible to the central excise. A common simplified registration form and a common return are being introduced for central excise and service tax.
All services will now attract service tax, except those in the negative list.Â Â The negativeÂ listÂ Â hasÂ 17 heads and includesÂ Â specified services provided by the government or local authorities, and services in the fields of education, renting of residential dwellings, entertainment and amusement,Â Â public transportation, agriculture and animal husbandry. A number of other services including health care, and services provided by charities, independent journalist, sport persons, performing artists in folk and classical arts, etc. are exempt from service tax.Â Â Film industry also gets tax exemption on copyrights relating to recording of cinematographic films.
Service tax rate is being increased from 10 per cent to 12 per cent, with consequential change in rates for services that have individual tax rates. The standard rate of excise duty for non-petroleum goods is also being raised from 10 per cent to 12 per cent. No change is proposed in peak rate of customs duty of 10 per cent on non-agricultural goods.
The Budget offers relief to different sectors of economy, especially those under stress. Import of equipment for fertilizer projects are being fully exempted from basic customs duty of 5 per cent for 3 years. Basic customs duty is also being lowered for a number of equipment used in agriculture and related areas.
In the realm of infrastructure, customs relief is being given to power, coal and railways sectors. While steam coal gets full customs duty exemption for 2 years (with the concessional counter-veiling duty of 1 per cent), natural gas, LNG and certain uranium fuel get full duty exemption this year. Different levels of duty concessions are being provided to help mining, railways, roads, civil aviation, manufacturing, health and nutrition and environment. So as to help modernization of the textile industry, a number of equipment are being fully exempted from basic customs duty, and lower customs duty is being proposed for some other items used by the textile industry.
Customs duty is being raised for gold bars and coins of certain categories, platinum and gold ore. CustomsÂ duty isÂ to be imposed onÂ coloured gem stones. Excise duty on certain categories of cigarettes andÂ bidis, panÂ masalaÂ and chewing tobacco is being increased. Customs duty is being increased onÂ completely built large cars/ SUVs/ MUVs of value exceeding $40,000.
SilverÂ jewelleryÂ will now be fully exempt from excise duty.Â Unbranded preciousÂ metalÂ jewelleryÂ will attract excise duty on the lines of branded jewellery. Operations are being simplified and measures taken to minimize impact of this provision on small artisans and goldsmiths.
While direct tax proposals in the Budget will result in a net revenue loss of Rs.4,500 crore, indirect taxes will result in a net revenue gain of Rs.45,940Â crore. Thus, the tax proposals will lead to a net gain of Rs.41,440 crore.
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