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Jaitley focusses on rural, farmers� welfare

By The Assam Tribune
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NEW DELHI, Feb 29 - Marginal tax relief of upto Rs 6,600 for small tax payers, a 3 per cent hike in surcharge on super-rich, new levies on cars and SUVs and a compliance window to domestic black money holders were unveiled in the Budget for 2016-17 that envisages a huge spending of Rs 1.77 lakh crore in rural areas to address the agrarian distress.

Presenting his third Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made no changes in the personal or corporate income-tax slabs, but made costlier several items, including electricity, jewellery, readymade garments, mineral water and aerated drinks, tobacco and cigarettes by raising duties.

The Budget brought in a new 0.5 per cent Krishi Kalyan Cess on all taxable services to fund agriculture while proposing a retirement tax on 60 per cent of the pension and provident fund corpus, including EPF created after April 1, 2016.

Against expectations of incentives for industry hit by global slowdown and shrinking exports, the Budget did not offer anything major.

While deciding to stick to the fiscal deficit roadmap, he unveiled a new policy for sale of PSUs to raise additional resources, as well as tried to address lingering tax issues with one-time settlement offers.

While the revenue loss on direct taxes will be Rs 1,060 crore, his indirect tax proposal will mobilise an additional Rs 20,670 crore. Net revenue gain will be Rs 19,610 crore.

Asked about comments that the Budget was left-of-centre, Jaitley said, �it is neither left nor right, but deals with the reality of the Indian economy. It addresses sectors which need highest priority and rural areas need most attention.�

�There is a serious challenge, if not distress, in the rural sector and we have given priority to the social sector and infrastructure. This Budget is a combination of several things,� he said.

Ahead of Assembly elections in five States, Jaitley focused on plans for agriculture and farmers� welfare by providing Rs 35,984 crore on this alone. A massive Rs 87,765 crore has been allocated for the rural sector while Rs 2,000 crore will be provided for giving concessional LPG connections to BPl families.

As much as Rs 2.87 lakh crore will be given as grants-in-aid to panchayats and municipalities, while allocation for social sector, including education and healthcare has been pegged at Rs 1.51 lakh crore.

A total outlay of Rs 2.21 lakh crore has been made for infrastructure, of which Rs 97,000 crore will be in the road sector, including on rural roads.

In a bid to shore up the economy hit by global slowdown, the Budget proposes a 15.3 per cent higher expenditure at Rs 19.78 lakh crore in 2016-17, consisting of Rs 5.50 lakh crore under Plan and Rs 14.28 lakh crore under non-Plan.

The Budget provides an outlay of Rs 1,62,759 crore for defence in 2016-17, up by 13 per cent from Rs 1,43,236 crore in the revised estimates for the current year. Capital expenditure on defence has been put at Rs 86,340 crore against Rs 81,400 crore in the current year�s revised estimates.

Interest payment will account of Rs 4,92,670 crore against Rs 4,42,620 crore. Subsidies will be marginally lower at Rs 2,50,433 crore as opposed to Rs 2,57,801 crore in the revised estimates.

In relief to small tax payers, the Budget proposes to raise the ceiling of tax rebate under Section 87(A) from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5000 for incomes not exceeding Rs 5 lakh per annum. There are two crore tax payers in this category who would get a relief of Rs 3000 in their tax liability.

Those who do not have house of their own and do not get house rent allowance from employers will get a deduction of Rs 60,000 per year as against existing Rs 24,000.

First time home buyers will get a deduction of an additional interest of Rs 50,000 per annum for loan upto Rs 35 lakh, during 2016-17, provided the house value does not exceed Rs 50 lakh.

The Budget proposes to extend the presumptive taxation scheme to professionals with gross receipt up to Rs 50 lakh with the presumption of profit being half of the gross receipt.

After pursuing blackmoney abroad, Jaitley today offered a limited period compliance window for domestic holders of unaccounted income and assets to declare their undisclosed income and assets and clear past transgressions by paying tax at 30 per cent plus 7.5 per cent penalty and 7.5 per cent of interest, a total of 45 per cent.

For the foreign blackmoney holders, the total tax and penalty was 60 per cent for those came clean. � PTI

Highlights

� No change in persona� Income Tax slabs

� 4-month Compliance Window for domestic black money holders; tax, interest on them at 45%

� Relief for tax payers who earn below Rs 5 lakh; ceiling of rebate u/s 87A raised to Rs 5,000 from Rs 2,000

� Surcharge on super-rich with income of over Rs 1 cr raised to 15 per cent, from 12 pc

� House rent deduction raised from Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000

� One-time dispute resolution scheme for retro tax cases, penalty, interest waived

� High-leve� committee headed by Revenue Secretary to oversee creation of fresh liability using retro tax law

� Corporate Tax for new manufacturing units fixed at 25%

� Clean energy cess increased from Rs 200/ton to 400/ton on coal, lignite and peat

� First home buyers to get add� deduction of Rs 50,000 on interest for loan upto Rs 35 lakh; cost of house should not be more than Rs 50 lakh

� To achieve fisca� deficit of 3% of GDP by (2017-18)

� Fisca� deficit target 3.9% in 2015-16, 3.5% in 2016-17

� Revenue deficit to be 2.8% in 2015-16

� Current Account Deficit for 2015-16 at USD 14.4 billion Or 1.4% of GDP

� Forex reserves at highest at USD 350 billion

� Budget lists 9 transformative pillars including doubling farm income by 2022, infrastructure, investment, reforms

� Highest ever allocation of Rs 38,500 cr for MGNREGA

� Certain equipment for dialysis exempt from basic customs duty, excise CVD

� Govt to circulate Mode� Shops and Establishment Bill, smal� retai� shops may remain open for 7 days

� 100% rura� electrification by May 1, 2018

� Govt to pay EPF contribution of 8.33% of new employees for first 3 years.

� Start-ups to get 100% tax exemption for 3 years except MAT which wil� apply from Apri� 2016-2019

� To give statutory status to Aadhaar programme

� Infrastructure outlay at Rs 2.21 lakh cr

� Rs 35,984 crore earmarked for farmer welfare; to spend Rs 86,500 crore on irrigation in 5 years

� Rs 20,000 crore irrigation fund to be set up under NABARD

� Rs 2,000 crore for LPG connection to poor; scheme for MPG connection for women

� Stand Up India allocated Rs 500 crore

� Roads and highways allocation at Rs 55,000 crore; NHAI can issue tax free bonds.

� Long term capita� gains for unlisted companies to be Reduced from 3 to 2 years

� Rs 9,000 crore allocated to Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

� Targets 10,000 km nationa� highways, upgradation of 50,000 kms of state highways. � PTI

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Jaitley focusses on rural, farmers� welfare

NEW DELHI, Feb 29 - Marginal tax relief of upto Rs 6,600 for small tax payers, a 3 per cent hike in surcharge on super-rich, new levies on cars and SUVs and a compliance window to domestic black money holders were unveiled in the Budget for 2016-17 that envisages a huge spending of Rs 1.77 lakh crore in rural areas to address the agrarian distress.

Presenting his third Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made no changes in the personal or corporate income-tax slabs, but made costlier several items, including electricity, jewellery, readymade garments, mineral water and aerated drinks, tobacco and cigarettes by raising duties.

The Budget brought in a new 0.5 per cent Krishi Kalyan Cess on all taxable services to fund agriculture while proposing a retirement tax on 60 per cent of the pension and provident fund corpus, including EPF created after April 1, 2016.

Against expectations of incentives for industry hit by global slowdown and shrinking exports, the Budget did not offer anything major.

While deciding to stick to the fiscal deficit roadmap, he unveiled a new policy for sale of PSUs to raise additional resources, as well as tried to address lingering tax issues with one-time settlement offers.

While the revenue loss on direct taxes will be Rs 1,060 crore, his indirect tax proposal will mobilise an additional Rs 20,670 crore. Net revenue gain will be Rs 19,610 crore.

Asked about comments that the Budget was left-of-centre, Jaitley said, �it is neither left nor right, but deals with the reality of the Indian economy. It addresses sectors which need highest priority and rural areas need most attention.�

�There is a serious challenge, if not distress, in the rural sector and we have given priority to the social sector and infrastructure. This Budget is a combination of several things,� he said.

Ahead of Assembly elections in five States, Jaitley focused on plans for agriculture and farmers� welfare by providing Rs 35,984 crore on this alone. A massive Rs 87,765 crore has been allocated for the rural sector while Rs 2,000 crore will be provided for giving concessional LPG connections to BPl families.

As much as Rs 2.87 lakh crore will be given as grants-in-aid to panchayats and municipalities, while allocation for social sector, including education and healthcare has been pegged at Rs 1.51 lakh crore.

A total outlay of Rs 2.21 lakh crore has been made for infrastructure, of which Rs 97,000 crore will be in the road sector, including on rural roads.

In a bid to shore up the economy hit by global slowdown, the Budget proposes a 15.3 per cent higher expenditure at Rs 19.78 lakh crore in 2016-17, consisting of Rs 5.50 lakh crore under Plan and Rs 14.28 lakh crore under non-Plan.

The Budget provides an outlay of Rs 1,62,759 crore for defence in 2016-17, up by 13 per cent from Rs 1,43,236 crore in the revised estimates for the current year. Capital expenditure on defence has been put at Rs 86,340 crore against Rs 81,400 crore in the current year�s revised estimates.

Interest payment will account of Rs 4,92,670 crore against Rs 4,42,620 crore. Subsidies will be marginally lower at Rs 2,50,433 crore as opposed to Rs 2,57,801 crore in the revised estimates.

In relief to small tax payers, the Budget proposes to raise the ceiling of tax rebate under Section 87(A) from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5000 for incomes not exceeding Rs 5 lakh per annum. There are two crore tax payers in this category who would get a relief of Rs 3000 in their tax liability.

Those who do not have house of their own and do not get house rent allowance from employers will get a deduction of Rs 60,000 per year as against existing Rs 24,000.

First time home buyers will get a deduction of an additional interest of Rs 50,000 per annum for loan upto Rs 35 lakh, during 2016-17, provided the house value does not exceed Rs 50 lakh.

The Budget proposes to extend the presumptive taxation scheme to professionals with gross receipt up to Rs 50 lakh with the presumption of profit being half of the gross receipt.

After pursuing blackmoney abroad, Jaitley today offered a limited period compliance window for domestic holders of unaccounted income and assets to declare their undisclosed income and assets and clear past transgressions by paying tax at 30 per cent plus 7.5 per cent penalty and 7.5 per cent of interest, a total of 45 per cent.

For the foreign blackmoney holders, the total tax and penalty was 60 per cent for those came clean. � PTI

Highlights

� No change in persona� Income Tax slabs

� 4-month Compliance Window for domestic black money holders; tax, interest on them at 45%

� Relief for tax payers who earn below Rs 5 lakh; ceiling of rebate u/s 87A raised to Rs 5,000 from Rs 2,000

� Surcharge on super-rich with income of over Rs 1 cr raised to 15 per cent, from 12 pc

� House rent deduction raised from Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000

� One-time dispute resolution scheme for retro tax cases, penalty, interest waived

� High-leve� committee headed by Revenue Secretary to oversee creation of fresh liability using retro tax law

� Corporate Tax for new manufacturing units fixed at 25%

� Clean energy cess increased from Rs 200/ton to 400/ton on coal, lignite and peat

� First home buyers to get add� deduction of Rs 50,000 on interest for loan upto Rs 35 lakh; cost of house should not be more than Rs 50 lakh

� To achieve fisca� deficit of 3% of GDP by (2017-18)

� Fisca� deficit target 3.9% in 2015-16, 3.5% in 2016-17

� Revenue deficit to be 2.8% in 2015-16

� Current Account Deficit for 2015-16 at USD 14.4 billion Or 1.4% of GDP

� Forex reserves at highest at USD 350 billion

� Budget lists 9 transformative pillars including doubling farm income by 2022, infrastructure, investment, reforms

� Highest ever allocation of Rs 38,500 cr for MGNREGA

� Certain equipment for dialysis exempt from basic customs duty, excise CVD

� Govt to circulate Mode� Shops and Establishment Bill, smal� retai� shops may remain open for 7 days

� 100% rura� electrification by May 1, 2018

� Govt to pay EPF contribution of 8.33% of new employees for first 3 years.

� Start-ups to get 100% tax exemption for 3 years except MAT which wil� apply from Apri� 2016-2019

� To give statutory status to Aadhaar programme

� Infrastructure outlay at Rs 2.21 lakh cr

� Rs 35,984 crore earmarked for farmer welfare; to spend Rs 86,500 crore on irrigation in 5 years

� Rs 20,000 crore irrigation fund to be set up under NABARD

� Rs 2,000 crore for LPG connection to poor; scheme for MPG connection for women

� Stand Up India allocated Rs 500 crore

� Roads and highways allocation at Rs 55,000 crore; NHAI can issue tax free bonds.

� Long term capita� gains for unlisted companies to be Reduced from 3 to 2 years

� Rs 9,000 crore allocated to Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

� Targets 10,000 km nationa� highways, upgradation of 50,000 kms of state highways. � PTI

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