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    Default Budget 2012 highlights

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    Prominent highlights of the Budget for 2012-13 presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha on Friday:

    * Income tax exemption limit raised to Rs.2 lakh to provide relief of relief of Rs.2,000 for all assessees; 20 percent tax on income over Rs.10 lakh, up from Rs.8 lakh.

    * Deduction of up to Rs.10,000 from interest from savings bank accounts.

    * Defence to get Rs.1.93 lakh crore during 2012-13.

    * Service tax rate raised from 10 percent to 12 percent to bring in Rs.18,660 crore.

    * Number of proactive steps taken on black money (stashed away abroad); information has started flowing in, prosecution to be initiated; White Paper in current session.

    * No change in corporate taxes but measures to enable them better access funds.

    * Withholding tax on external commercial borrowings reduced from 20 percent to five percent for power, airlines, roads, bridges, affordable houses and fertiliser sectors.

    * National Skill Development Fund allocated Rs.1,000 crore.

    * Four thousand residential quarters to be constructed for paramilitary forces with an allocation of Rs.1,185 crore.

    * National Population Register to be completed in two years.

    * Excise duty raised from 10 to 12 percent.

    * Cinema industry exempted from service tax.

    * Branded silver jewellery fully exempt from excise duty.

    * Customs duty on warning systems/track upgrade equipment for railways reduced from 10 percent to 7.5 percent.

    * Import duty on equipment for iron ore mining reduced from 7.5 to 2.5 percent.

    * Allocation of Rs.200 crore for research on climate change.

    * Irrigation and water resource company to be operationalised.

    * National mission on food processing to be started in cooperation with state governments.

    * Integrated Child Development Scheme to be strengthened and restructured with allocation of Rs.15,850 crore.

    * Allocation of Rs.14,000 crore for rural water supply and sanitation.

    * Infusion of Rs.15,888 crore in public sector banks, regional rural banks and NABARD in 2012-13.

    * Infrastructure will require Rs.50 lakh crore in 12th Plan, half of this from the private sector.

    * Completion of highway projects 44 percent higher than in previous fiscal.

    * External commercial borrowing of up to $1 billion permitted for airline sector.

    * External commercial borrowings permitted to low-cost housing sector.

    * From 2012-13, full subsidies for providing food security; in other sectors to the extent the economy can bear this.

    * Hope to raise Rs.30,000 crore from disinvestments.

    * New equity savings scheme to provide for income tax deduction of 50 percent for those who invest Rs.50,000 in equity and whose annual income is less than Rs.10 lakh.

    * Corporate market reforms to be initiated.

    * Bills on micro-finance institutions, national land bank and public debt management among those to be introduced in 2012-13.

    * Addressing malnutrition, black money and corruption in public life among five priorities in year ahead.

    * India's inflation structural, driven largely by agricultural constraints.

    * Current account deficit 3.6 percent in 2011-12; this put pressure on exchange rate.

    * Growth in 2012-13 estimated at 7.6 percent; expect inflation to be lower.

    * Better monitoring of expenditure on government schemes.

    * Fiscal 2011-12 year of recovery interrupted; reality turned out to be different.

    * GDP growth in 2011-12 estimated at 6.9 percent; had to battle double digit inflation for two years.

    * Good news: agriculture and services continued to perform well; economy is now turning around; recovery in core sectors.

    * Now at juncture where it is necessary to take hard decisions; have to accelerate pace of reforms.



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