Highlights of the Union Budget 2010-11 presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday:
— Net revenue gain from tax proposals at Rs 20,500 crore
— Certain accredited news agencies exempted from service tax
— Service tax to remain 10 per cent
— Increase in duty on gold and silver import
— Clean energy cess of Rs 50 per tonne to be levied on coal produced in India
— 10 per cent central excise duty on all non-petroleum products
— Structural changes in excise duties on cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos.
— Revenue loss of Rs 26,000 crore on direct tax proposals.
— 7.5 per cent duty on petrol, diesel, crude restored.
— Exempt duty raised for all non-smoking tobacco producs
— Investment linked tax deductions to be allowed to two—star hotels anywhere in the country.
— Fiscal deficit seen at 4.8 per cent and 4.1 per cent in 2011—12 and 2012—13 respectively.
— 20 per cent tax for income above Rs 5 lakh and up to Rs 8 lakh
— 30 per cent tax for income above Rs 8 lakh.
— Income Tax department ready with two—page Saral—2 return forms for individual salaried assesses
— Surcharge on companies reduced to 7.5 per cent
— Additional exemption of Rs 20,000 for long term investment in infra bonds
— Ten per cent tax slab for income above 1.6 lakhs up to Rs. 5 lakhs.
— No income Tax upto Rs. 1.6. lakhs
— National Social Security Fund created for workers in unorganised sector with allocation of Rs.1,000 crore
— Government to give Rs.1,000 for each National Pension Scheme account opened by workers in the unorganised sector
— Exclusive skill development programme for the textile sector
— Fifty percent hike in allocation for schemes for women and child development
— Rs.4,500 crore allocated for ministry of social justice and empowerment, a hike of 80 percent
— Rs.2,600 crore allocated for ministry of minorities affairs
— Rs.1,900 crore for Unique Identification Authority of India
— Rs.147,344 crore allocated for defence
— 2,000 youth to be recruited in central paramilitary forces
— Draft Food Security Bill prepared and will be put in the public domain
— Allocation on primary education raised from Rs.26,800 crore to Rs.31,300 crore
— Banking facilities to be provided to all habitations with a population of 2,000 and more
— Rs.66,100 crore allocated for rural development in 2010—11; Rs.40,100 crore for National Rural Employment Scheme; RS.48,000 crore for Bharat Nirman
— Rs.1,270 crore allocated for Rajiv Awas Yojna for slum dwellers, up from Rs.150 crore, an increase of 700 percent with the aim of creating a slum free India.
— Forty—six percent of plan allocations in 2010—11 will be for infrastructure development
— Coal Regulatory Authority to be set up to benchmark standards of performance
— Allocation for new and renewable energy sector increased 61 percent from Rs.620 crore to Rs.1,000 crore in 2010—11
— National Clean Energy Fund to be established
— Rs.200 crore allocated as special package for Goa to prevent erosion and increase green cover.
— Government committed to growth of SEZs.
— Four—pronged strategy for growth of agricultural sector.
— Rs.200 crore to be provided in 2010—11 for climate—resilient agricultural initiative.
— Involvement of private sector in grain storage to continue for another two years.
— In view of drought and floods, debt repayment period extended to June 2010.
— Five more mega food processing projects in addition to 10 existing ones.
— FDI flows in April—December 2009 $20.9 billion.
— FDI policy to be made more user—friendly with one comprehensive document.
— Apex level financial stability council to be set up for banking sector.
— Indian Banking Association to give additional licences to private players.
— Provision for further capital for regional rural banks.
— Roadmap for reducing public debt in six months.
— Implementation of direct tax code from April 2011.
— Government actively engaged in finalising structure of general sales tax regime; hopes to implement it from April 2011.
— Rs.35,000 crore raised from divestment in 2009—10; will be higher in 2010—11.
— New fertiliser policy from April 2010; will lead to improved productively and more income for farmers.
— Economy stabilised in first quarter of 2009—10; strong rebound in second quarter; overall growth at 7.2 and could be higher when Q3 and Q4 are taken into account.
— Export figures for January encouraging.
— Hope to breach 10 percent growth mark in not too distant future.
— Government set in motion steps to bring down food inflation.
— Need to review stimulus package; need to make growth more broad—based.
— India has weathered global economic crisis well; Indian economy in far better position than it was a year ago. In 2009 Indian economy faced grave uncertainty; delay in southwest monsoon had undermined agricultural production.
— First challenge now is to quickly revert to 9 percent growth and then aim for double digit growth; need to make recovery more broadbased.
— Second challenge is to make growth more inclusive; have to strengthen food security.
— Third challenge is to overcome weakness in government’s public delivery mechanism; a long way to go in this.