• The Finance Minister (FM) delivered a carefully crafted budget on Thursday, 28th Feb, 2013 that sought growth.• Resisted the temptation to be populist ahead of looming state and general elections.
• Presented under the shadow of major challenges facing the Indian economy like slowdown in growth, high inflationary trends, ever increasing fiscal deficit, low saving/investment and looming threat of low credit rating.• The FM must be accredited to present a bold budget even when elections are about an year or so away.
Highlights• No changes in income tax rates or slabs.• Tax credit of Rs. 2,000 for income up to Rs. 5 lakh.• Surcharge of 10 per cent for taxable incomes above Rs. 1 crore, to augment revenue.• 5 to 10 per cent surcharge on domestic companies whose taxable income exceeds Rs 10 crore.
• For foreign companies, the surcharge will increase from 2 per cent to 5 per cent.• An additional tax break of 1 lakh on interest payment apart from the current 1.5 lakh on a housing loan of less than 25 lakh.• Rate of abatement on homes and flats of above 2,000 square feet, or costing Rs 1 crore and above, being reduced from 75% to 70%.
• Excise duty on non-taxi SUVs to be increased to 30 per cent from 27 per cent.• Custom duty on imported luxury cars has been raised to 100% from 75% now.• Custom duty on imported motorcycles with engine capacity of more than 800cc also goes up to 75% from 60% at present.
• Custom duty on raw silk has been increased by 10%.• Zero excise duty on cotton and yarn at the garment stage.• Custom duty on precious and semi-precious stones has been cut from 10 to 2%.
• Gold import duty unchanged.• Duty free gold limit increased to Rs. 50,000 for a male passenger and Rs. 1,00,000 for a female passenger subject to conditions.• Rise on excise duty from the current 1% to 6% on mobile phones costing more than Rs 2,000.
• Excise duty on marbles has been doubled to Rs 60 per square meter.• Home furnishing items such as handmade carpets or coir and jutes will be exempted form excise duty.• Custom duty on imported set-top boxes, or STBs, has been raised by 5%.• Excise duty raised by 2% to 18% in excise duty on cigarettes and cigars.
• Service tax on all A/C restaurants.• Exemption of Service Tax on copyright on cinematography limited to films exhibited in cinema halls.
SC, ST, Women and Children• Rs 41,561 crore for SC Sub Plan and Rs 24,598 crore for Tribal Plan.• 97,134 crore allocated for programmes relating to women and 77,236 crore allocated for programmes relating to children.• An additional sum of Rs 200 crore proposed to be provided to the Ministry of Women and Child Development to address the concerns of vulnerable groups, including single women and widows.
Minority• An allocation of Rs 3511 crore to Ministry of Minority Affairs, an increase of 12 per cent over the BE and 60 per cent over the RE of 2012-13. Disabled• A sum of 110 crore to the Department of DisabilityAffairs for ADIP scheme in 2013-14 against RE 2012-13 of ` 75 crore.• Eligibility cap on life insurance premiums raised to15% for policyholders with disabilities or specifiedailments.
Health and Education• 37,330 crore allocated to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.• 4,727 crore for medical education, training and research.• Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy are being mainstreamed, 169 crore allocated.• Allocation of 1,069 crore to Department of AYUSH.
ICDS• Allocation of 17,700 crore in 2013-14, an increase of 11.7 percent. The focus will continue to be on early childhood care and education.• Allocation of 300 crore in 2013-14 for a multi-sectoral programme aimed at overcoming maternal and child malnutrition. To be implemented in 100 districts during 2013-14 and in 200 districts the year after.
Drinking Water• 15,260 crore allocated to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.• 1,400 crore provided for setting-up of water purification plants in 2000 arsenic-affected and 12000 fluoride- affected rural habitations.
JNNURM• Rs 14,873 crore for JNNURM for urban transportation in 2013-14 against Rs 7,880 crore in the current fiscal.
Agriculture• 27,049 crore allocated to Ministry of Agriculture, an increase of 22 per cent over the RE of current year.• Agricultural credit kept at 7 lakh crore for 2013-14 compared to Rs 5.75 lakh crore in the current year.• Eastern Indian states to get Rs 1,000 crore allocation for improving agricultural production.
• 500 crore allocated to start a programme of crop diversification.• A provision of 307 crore made for the National Livestock Mission.• Additional provision of Rs. 10,000 crore for National Food Security Act.
Investment• Income limit for the tax-saving Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme is raised to Rs. 12 lakh from Rs. 10 lakh.• Additional deduction of interest up to Rs. 1 lakh for a person taking first home loan up to Rs. 25 lakh during the period 1.4.2013 to 31.3.2014.
Infrastructure• Infrastructure tax-free bond of Rs. 50,000 crore.• 3000 km of road projects in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar in the first 6 months.• Companies investing Rs. 100 crore or more in plant and machinery during the period 1.4.2013 to 31.3.2015 will be entitled to deduct an investment allowance of 15 per cent of the investment.
Industry• Two new major ports will be established in Sagar, West Bengal and in Andhra Pradesh to add 100 million tonnes of capacity.• Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) for textile to continue in 12th Plan with an investment target of Rs. 1,51,000 crore.
• Proposal to move from the present profit sharingmechanism to revenue sharing for oil and gasexploration.• Adoption of a policy of pooled pricing for coal.
Finance• Rs. 14,000 crore will be provided to public sector banks for capital infusion in 2013-14.• All branches of public sector banks to have ATM by 31.3.2014.• Proposal to set up India’s first Women’s Bank as a public sector bank. Provision of Rs. 1,000 crore as initial working capital.• Insurance companies can now open branches in Tier 2 cities and below without prior approval.
• All towns of India with a population of 10000 or more will have an LIC branch and one other public sector insurance company.• SEBI will simplify the procedures and prescribe uniform registration and other norms for entry for foreign portfolio investors.• Investor has a stake of 10 per cent or less in a company - treated as FII. Investor has a stake of more than 10 per cent - treated as FDI.• SMEs, permitted to list on the SME exchange without being required to make an IPO.
Others• A grant of Rs. 100 crore to 4 institutions of excellence viz. AMU, BHU, TISS Guwahati and INTACH.• All cities of population of more than 1,00,000 will be covered by private FM radio services.• Provision of Rs. 4,909 crore to modernize the postal network. Post offices to become part of the core banking solution and offer real time banking services.
Estimates• Plan expenditure - Rs. 5,55,322 crore.• Non Plan Expenditure - Rs. 11,09,975 crore.• Fiscal deficit - 4.8 per cent.• Revenue deficit - 3.3 per cent.• Revenue of 133 billion rupees through direct tax proposals and 47 billion rupees through indirect tax proposals.
Implications• Reason to cheer for first time home buyers.• Boost to the real estate and allied sectors.• Reason to be sad for car and motorcycle buyers.• Not so good news for the super rich.• Small relief for taxpayers.• Tax savings of aggregate Rs 3,600 crore approximately to 1.8 crore tax payers should be generated.
• Investment in RGESS made more attractive. It would encourage channelizing the savings of small taxpayers into the capital market.• Reason to be sad for those planning to purchase SUVs as well as for cigarette and cigar users.• Women empowerment and safety.
• Good news for gold buyers.• Analysts said the FM has quietly ensured that Indias finances are in shape and the economy gets back on track. The markets may have been unimpressed by the budget, but the “aam aadmi” walked out with a better deal.
• For an average Indian household, the impact of the budget is fairly neutral. It remains to see how many of these proposals actually convert into legislation and, thereafter, achieve their desired objective of enhancing growth development.• The budget’s impact is not going to show very soon but are chance of proving quite fruitful in the later periods.