It's India's chance to fly

In his first full budget since the NDA came to power last May, Arun Jaitley manages to combine the pragmatic and the political.

Updated - December 03, 2021 08:08 am IST

Published - March 01, 2015 02:03 am IST - New Delhi:

New Delhi, 28/02/2015:  Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley the day he present Union Budget-2015,in New Delhi on Saturday February 28, 2015. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

New Delhi, 28/02/2015: Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley the day he present Union Budget-2015,in New Delhi on Saturday February 28, 2015. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Allocating Rs. 70,000 crore for public spending on infrastructure to stimulate growth in the economy, Union Budget 2015-16 proposed a 5 per cent cut in corporate tax, abolished wealth tax and replaced it with an additional 2 per cent surcharge on the tax collected from the super-rich with incomes in excess of Rs. 1 crore.

Presenting the Modi government’s first full-year budget in Parliament on Saturday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the corporate tax was proposed to be lowered from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over the next four years and would go hand in hand with a rollback in sops and exemptions companies enjoyed.

“The credibility of the Indian economy has been re-established, the world is predicting that it’s India’s chance to fly. As the PM has mentioned many times — we are a round-the-clock, round-the-year government,” Mr. Jaitley said.

The budget raised excise duty and service tax rates, pushing up retail prices of several goods and services.

Mr. Jaitley left untouched personal income tax rates for 2015-16, but rewarded the middle class with a higher limit for deduction of Rs. 25,000 on health insurance premium against the existing Rs. 15,000.

The limit will go up from Rs. 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for senior citizens. The deduction of Rs. 30,000 for medical treatment spending is proposed for those over 80 years old without health insurance cover.

The proposals, said Mr. Jaitley, would not only promote health care but also enhance the savings rate in the economy.

Locally made mobile handsets, tablets, microwave ovens and packaged fruits are likely to be cheaper on reductions proposed in various duties and taxes. Mr. Jaitley proposed a 25 per cent hike in the duty on cigarettes, cigars and cheroots. The key construction industry input, cement, too is likely to become costlier.

The service tax plus education cess is proposed to be hiked from 12.36 per cent to 14 per cent which is likely to increase costs of air travel, eating out and beauty services.

budget 2015

Here are sector-wise highlights




Welfare schemes


Rural Infrastructure Development Bank Micro Irrigation Programme Targeted for farmer credit


allocated for defence (an increase of 9.87 per cent over last year)

Renewable energy

electric cars production Solar power Wind power Bio Mass Small Hydro


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