- Service tax on air travel hiked
Service tax on air travel increased by Rs 50 for domestic travel and Rs 250 for international travel in economy class. On higher classes, it will be 10 per cent flat.
- No additional resources from taxes
The additional exemptions in direct taxes are expected to cost the government Rs 11,000 crore in the form of lower revenues. However, this will be offset by about the same amount of additional revenues from indirect taxes. Hence, the government expects to make no additional money from taxes.
- Defence budget hiked to Rs 1.54 lakh crore
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India's defence budget for 2011-12 had been hiked to Rs 154,415 crore This will mark an over 4 per cent increase from the 2010-11 allocation of Rs 147,344 crore. The capital expenditure for defence in 2011-12 would be scaled up to Rs 69,199 crore, up from the Rs 6 0,000 crore in 2010-11.
- 1 per cent central excise duty on 130 items
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has proposed a nominal one per cent central excise duty on 130 items that will now enter the tax net. Basic food and fuel and precious stones, gold and silver jewellery will be exempted.
- Excise duty rollback stays; corporate tax surcharge reduced
The Excise duty rollback offered earlier as a stimulus for spending has not been reversed. Excise tax of 1% will be imposed on 130 items. Basic foods remain exempted from excise duty. The lower rate of excise duty climbs form 4% to 5%. Central excise duty and service tax remain at 10%. Corporate tax surcharge reduced to 5% from 7.5%. But MAT has been increased to 18.5%.
- Income-tax exemption limit raised to Rs 1.8 lakh from Rs 1.6 lakh
All tax-payers in the category will see their taxes lowered by Rs 2,000. Senior citizens' threshold age lowered to 60 from 65. New category of very senior citizens introduced with a threshold age of 80, and an exemption limit of Rs 5 lakh.
- Fiscal deficit down to 5.1 per cent; 2011-12 target: 4.6 per cent
The targets for the next two years are 4.1 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively. Higher than anticipated non-tax revenues from 3G spectrum sale helped beat the target in 2010-11. Will more disinvestment in the public sector do the trick in the future?
- Income tax e-filing to be made easier
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has proposed relaxing of norms for e-filing of income tax, to make it easier for the common man to file his tax returns without having to visit the Income Tax office.
- Rs 1,000 crore fund to build judicial infrastructure
To speed up justice in the country Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed a fund of Rs 1,000 crore to build judicial infrastructure.
- Age reduced for BPL pension eligibility
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has announced the reduction of age eligibility for BPL pension from 65 years to 60 years.
- Rs 8000 crore assistance for North Eastern states
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has allocated Rs 8000 crore for the North Eastern states for FY 2011-12, of which Rs 5400 crore is one-time special assistance.
- Rs 52,000 crore for education
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has allocated Rs 52,057 crore to the education sector for FY 2011-12. Rs 21,000 crore to be allocated to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
- Optical fibre network to connect colleges
An optical fibre network will connect institutions of higher learning across the country to each other.
- Food storage capacity to be augmented
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced 15 more mega food parks to be set up in 2011-12. Of the 30 sanctioned in previous fiscal, 15 have been set up.
- Broadband Internet for rural India
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has announced broadband Internet connections for Panchayats to connect rural India to the World Wide Web.
- Black money: 5-fold strategy implemented
No specific measures have been implemented to sniff out black money or offenders. Only a statement of intent, supported by a policy-led approach has been made.
- Rs 6,000 crore for public sector banks
Rs 6,000 crore to be given to public sector banks to maintain capital-to-risk assets ratio norms.
- Financial sector reforms to move forward
New bills for reforms the financial sector to be introduced on the current session of Parliament including Insurance Amendment Bill, LIC Bill, Pension Development Authority Bill, Banking Laws amendment Bill and SBI subsidiaries Bill.
- Bharat, not India, is the focus of Government spending
More funds for farmers, easier housing finance, domestic fuel and fertilizer subsidies, and a wide range of schemes for the agrarian community point the way to using the Government's money for benefiting this huge electorate and improve its standards of living.
- Housing loan limit hiked
Housing loan limit raised to Rs 25 lakh for priority sector lending. 1 per cent interest on subvention on home loans up to Rs 15 lakhs.
- Foreign portfolio investment in mutual funds
Portfolio investment would be permitted in SEBI registered mutual funds from foreign subscriptions.
- FY12 disinvestment target: Rs 40,000 crore
The government's disinvestment strategy is back with a bang. If the target is reached, it will boost the primary markets, while shoring up government finances and help it attack the deficit.
- Key statistics signal a buoyant economy
Real GDP growth: 8.6 per cent. Agriculture: 5.4 per cent. Industry: 8.1 per cent. Services: 9.2 per cent Exports up 29.4 per cent (Apr-Jan). Imports up 17.6 per cent (Apr-Jan). However, the composition of the current account deficit remains a concern.
- Direct Tax Code Bill coming next financial year
Direct Tax Code Bill is likely to be passed by Parliament in the next financial year after getting the Standing Committee report.
- Direct transfer of kerosene, LPG subsidy to people
People below the poverty line will get the subsidies directly, to ensure they are the real beneficiaries. A committee under Nandan Nilekani will work out the modalities.
- Showing the road to a simpler future
The new direct tax code, the consolidated Goods & Services Act, procedural simplifications and extensive use of infotech will make life easier for both business and consumers.
- Food inflation down, but still a matter of concern
Total food inflation was down from 20.2 per cent last year to 9.3 per cent in January bit is still a matter of concern, says Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
- GDP rises 8.2 per cent in December 2010 quarter
GDP rises by 8.2 per cent for the December 2010 quarter as against 7.3 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.
- Budget 2011 theme: miles to go before we sleep
Resources are not the constraint, but implementation is crucial. The three imperatives are double-digit growth, inclusive development and better public distribution.
Full text: Pranab Mukherjee's Budget speech