Budget 2010 : New tax slabs a bonanza for taxpayers

The 2010-11 general budget today provided considerable relief to income tax payers by raising the slabs at two levels but hiked the central excise duty on non-petroleum products across the board from 8 to 10 per cent and the basic duty on crude and petroleum products besides effecting a one-rupee increase per litre on petrol and diesel.

 

The basic threshold limit for income tax exemption will remain at Rs 1.60 lakh. Under the new proposal, 10 per cent tax will be levied between Rs 1,60,001 and Rs 5,00,000, 20 per cent on incomes between Rs 5,00,001 and Rs 8,00,000 and 30 per cent above Rs 8,00,000.

 

The present income tax slabs and rates are 10 per cent for income between Rs 1,60,001 and Rs 3,00,000, 20 per cent for income between Rs 3,00,001 and Rs 5,00,000 and 30 per cent for income above Rs 5,00,001.

 

Proportionately, similar changes have been made in the taxes related to women and senior citizens aged above 65 years.

 

Mukherjee also gave another relief to individual tax payers by raising the existing limit of Rs 1,00,000 on tax savings by an additional amount of Rs 20,000 for investments in long-term infrastructure bonds.

 

Contributions to Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) have also been allowed as deductions within the overall ceiling for tax rebate besides contributions to health insurance schemes which are currently allowed as deductions under the Income Tax Act.

 

The entire opposition walked out of the Lok Sabha during the presentation of budget by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, dubbing it "highly inflationary" as he partially rolled back the stimulus by hiking the ad velorum component of excise duty on large cars and multi-utility vehicles by two per cent to 22 per cent.

 

The budget also raised the specific rates of duty on portland cement and cement clinker. The basic duty of 5 per cent on crude petroleum, 7.5 per cent on diesel and petrol and 10 per cent on other refined products is being enhanced.

 

The central excise duty on petrol and diesel is being enhanced by Re one per litre.

 

The proposals relating to customs and central excise are estimated to result in a net revenue gain of Rs 43,500 crore for the year. The proposals for service tax, in which government plans to bring in some more services, will result in a net revenue gain of Rs 3000 crore for the year.

 

While direct tax proposals are expected to result in a loss of Rs 26,000 crore for the year, those relating to indirect tax are estimated to result in a net revenue gain of Rs 46,500 crore.

 

Taking into account the concessions and measures to mobilise additional resources, the overall revenue gain is estimated to be Rs 20,500 crore for the year.

 

The budget also proposed a hike in defence expenditure from Rs 1,41,703 crore to Rs 1,47,344 crore, including Rs 60,000 for capital expenditure.

 

In the Budget Estimates for 2010-11, gross tax receipts are estimated at Rs 7,46,651 crore while the non-tax revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 1,48,118 crore.

 

Total expenditure is placed at Rs 11,08,749 crore, which is an increase of 8.6 per cent over the total expenditure in Budget Estimates of 2009-10. The plan and non-plan expenditures in Budget Estimates in 2010-11 are estimated at Rs 3,73,092 crore and Rs 7,35,657 crore respectively.

 

The fiscal deficit for 2010-11 has been pegged at 5.5 per cent and the rolling targets for 2011-12 and 2012-13 have been pegged at 4.8 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.

 

The fiscal deficit of 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2010-11 works out to Rs 3,81,408 crore. Taking into account various other financing items for fiscal deficit, the actual net borrowing of the government in 2010-11 would be of the order of Rs 3,45,010 crore.

 

In direct taxes, the Finance Minister proposed to reduce the current surcharge of 10 per cent on domestic companies to 7.5 per cent but at the same time raised the rate of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) from 15 per cent to 18 per cent of book profits.

 

In indirect taxes, Mukherjee made structural changes in the excise duty on cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, coupled with some increase in rates. He also proposed to enhance excise duty on all non-smoking tobacco such as scented tobacco, snuff and chewing tobacco.

 

In addition, he proposed to introduce a compounded levy scheme for chewing tobacco and branded unmanufactured tobacco based on the capacity of pouch-making machines.

 

Attempting to pay focused attention to agriculture and related sectors, the Finance Minister proposed to provide project import status with a concessional import duty of 5 per cent for setting up mechanised handling systems and pallet-racking systems in mandis and warehouses for foodgrain and sugar as well as full exemption from service tax for installation and commissioning of such equipment.

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