Two major streams of revenue generation for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in next fiscal would be sale of spectrum and disinvestment in public sector undertakings (PSUs) from which the government plans to earn at least Rs.70,000 crore.
Thanks to the cancellation of 122 telecom licences issued “illegally” in 2008, the government would auction radio waves vacated after the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment. “Rs. 40,000 crore is estimated to be from telecom spectrum auction,” Mr. Mukherjee stated in his Budget proposals.
This figure could further go up as the Department of Telecommunications plans to auction spectrum other than the one vacated by new players. It will be yet another windfall for the state exchequer, similar to the 2010 scenario where the government had collected over Rs.1.06-lakh crore from the auction of 3G and wireless broadband spectrum against the projected figure of Rs.35,000 crore.
Similarly, Mr. Mukherjee plans to generate Rs. 30,000 crore from stake sales in PSUs, despite the fact that the targets set for 2011-12 were missed. “In 2011-12, as against a target of Rs. 40,000 crore, the government will raise about Rs. 14,000 crore from disinvestment. For 2012-13, I propose to raise Rs. 30,000 crore through disinvestment,” he said, and asserted that the government would maintain at least 51 per cent ownership and management control in the PSUs.
On the other hand, Mr. Mukherjee announced various measures to help small and medium enterprises. For instance, he has proposed setting up a Rs. 5,000 crore India Opportunities Venture Fund with the SIDBI to enhance availability of equity to micro, small and medium enterprises.
In order to augment funds for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), he has proposed to exempt capital gains tax on sale of a residential property, if the sale consideration is used for subscription in equity of a manufacturing SME company for purchase of new plant and machinery. Similarly, providing relief to a large number of SMEs, it has been proposed to raise the turnover limit for compulsory tax audit of accounts as well as for presumptive taxation from Rs. 60 lakh to Rs. 1 crore.