TAX FOR THE RICH:India recently joined the ranks of many Western countrieswith talk of raising taxes for wealthy individuals.A surcharge is a tax on tax. For instance, if your taxliability for a year is 10,000 rupees ($185), the surchargewould be a tax on 10,000 rupees.
Tax consultants expect a surcharge of around10%, which in this case would translate to 1,000rupees. Thus, the individual’s total tax liability would be11,000 rupees ($203). The Budget left tax slabs and tax rates unchanged butproposes a Rs 2,000 tax credit to those whose taxableincome is up to Rs 5 lakh. The credit, given to those in the lowest taxbracket, increases their tax exemption limit from Rs 2lakh to Rs 2.2 lakh.
The Budget has also not changed the tax rates for seniorcitizens (60-80 years) and very senior citizens (80 years andabove). So, all men, women and senior citizens with taxable incomeof less than Rs 5 lakh will save Rs 2,000 in 2013-14. The rates for those in higher income brackets have not beenchanged, except for those with taxable income of more thanRs 1 crore.CONTINUES
Railway Minister concludes his budget speech• 67 new express trains to be introduced; 27 passengertrains, 8 DEMUs• 10% reservation for women in RPF• Internet booking to be provided from 0030 hours to 2330hours• Special A/C coaches ‘Anubhuti’, to be introduced• SMS alert service being rolled out shortly to intimatepassengers about reservation status• Free Wi-Fi facility to be provided in select trains• Plan to allow e-ticketing via mobile phoneRailway budget plans
Diesel price hike added Rs 3,300 crore to fuel bill ofRailways Railway revenues to show a balance of Rs 12,506 crore in2013-14 Electrification of 1,200 km to be completed this year 72 additional suburban services in Mumbai and 18 inKolkata An independent Rail Tariff Authority has been formalised Operating ratio expected to improve to 87.8 per cent in2013-14 from 88.8 per cent in the current fiscal
Health and EducationHealth for all and education for all remain ourpriorities.Allocated `37,330 crore to the Ministry of Health andFamily Welfare. Of this, the new National Health Missionthat combines the rural mission and the proposed urbanmission will get `21,239 crore, an increase of 24.3 percent.Rs.`4,727 crore for medical education, training andresearch.
Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy are beingmainstreamed through the National Health Mission. Theyallocate `1,069 crore to the Department of AYUSH.The six AIIMS-like institutions have admitted their firstbatch of students in the academic session that commenced inSeptember 2012. The hospitals attached to the colleges willbe functional in 2013-14. They plan to provide a sum of`1,650 crore for these institutions.
Drinking WaterClean drinking water and sanitation have a numberof beneficial externalities. The budget allocate `15,260crore to the Ministry of Drinking Water andSanitation, as against the RE of `13,000 crore in thecurrent year.There are still 2,000 arsenic- and 12,000 fluoride-affected rural habitations in the country. So they planto provide `1,400 crore towards setting up waterpurification plants.
Rural DevelopmentThe Ministry of Rural Development steers a number offlagship programmes. We estimate that they will be able tospend `55,000 crore before the end of the current year, andthey plan to allocate `80,194 crore in 2013-14, marking anincrease of 46 percent. MGNREGS will get `33,000crore, PMGSY will get `21,700 crore, and IAY will get `15,184crore.
Agricultural CreditAgricultural credit is the driver of agricultural production.We will exceed the target of `575,000 crore fixed for 2012-13.For 2013-14, They increase the target to `700,000 crore.The interest subvention scheme for short-term crop loans willbe continued and a farmer who repays the loan on time will beable to get credit at 4 percent per annum. So far, the scheme hasbeen applied to loans extended by public sector banks, RRBs andcooperative banks.
Road ConstructionGovernment has decided to constitute a regulatoryauthority for the road sector. Bottlenecks stalling roadprojects have been addressed and 3,000 kms of road projectsin Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan andUttar Pradesh will be awarded in the first six months of2013-14.
SavingsIncreasing savings and their optimal allocation for productiveuses lead to higher economic growth.• Firstly, the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme will beliberalised to enable the first time investor to invest in mutualfunds as well as listed shares and she can do so, not in one yearalone, but in three successive years. The income limit will beraised from `10,00,000 to `12,00,000;
• Secondly, a person taking a loan for his first home from a bankor a housing finance corporation upto `25,00,000 during theperiod 1.4.2013 to 31.3.2014 will be entitled to an additionaldeduction of interest of upto `100,000. This will promote homeownership and give a fillip to a number of industries likesteel, cement, brick, wood, glass etc. besides jobs to thousandsof construction workers.
• Thirdly, in consultation with RBI, I propose tointroduce instruments that will protect savingsfrom inflation, especially the savings of the poorand middle classes. These could be InflationIndexed Bonds or Inflation Indexed NationalSecurity Certificates. The structure and tenor ofthe instruments will be announced in due course.
PortsTwo new major ports will be established in Sagar, WestBengal and in Andhra Pradesh to add 100 million tonnes ofcapacity.In addition, a new outer harbour will be developed in theVOC port at Thoothukkudi, Tamil Nadu through PPP at anestimated cost of `7,500 crore.When completed, this will add 42 million tonnes ofcapacity.
SportsSports of all kind deserve our support. We havemany sportsmen and sportswomen but few coaches.Hence, they propose to set up the National Institute ofSports Coaching at Patiala at a cost of `250 crore over aperiod of three years.