Finance Budget 2012 Highlights

By | March 16, 2012 1:40 pm

New Delhi: Today’s Budget is one of the biggest challenges of Pranab Mukherjee’s long political career and the Finance Minister set the tone for it when he described the year gone by as a “year of recovery interrupted.” He began with listing grim ground realities – the global economic scenario, the battle with double digit inflation and said it was time for tough decisions. Here are the highlights of this fiscal’s financial budget.

  • Service tax raised from 10 percent to 12 percent

  • Income tax exemption limit raised to Rs.2 lakh to provide relief of relief of Rs.2,000 for assessees in this catergory; 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.

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 borrowing 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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