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Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, March 16, 2012
Following are some of the key highlights of the Union Budget 2012-13, presented by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Parliament on Friday:

* Tax burden for individuals to come down: Income tax exemption limit raised from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,00,000; 10% tax for 2-5 lakh income; 20% for 5-10 lakh and 30% beyond Rs. 10 lakh; Savings bank account interest up to Rs. 10,000 exempted from tax.

* Many services and goods to cost more: No change in corporate tax rate, but standard rate of excise duty, as also service tax rates, raised from 10% to 12%; No change in peak customs duty of 10% on non-agri goods.

* Large cars, imported bicycles, cigarettes, bidis and some imported jewellery to cost more; branded silver jewellery may get cheaper.

*Boost for capital markets: Securities Transaction Tax on cash delivery reduced by 25% to 0.1%; A new Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme to allow income tax deduction to retail investors in stocks.

* Economy expected to gain ground: GDP growth rate pegged at 7.6% in 2012-13; Subsidy Expenditure to be checked and higher tax revenues targetted; Rs. 30,000 crore to be raised from disinvestment.

* Capital boost to financial and infrastructure sectors: Rs. 15,888 crore to be provided for capitalisation of public sector banks and financial institutions; Infrastructure investment of Rs. 50 lakh crore in 12th period, with half from private sector; Tax free bonds of Rs. 60,000 crore to be allowed for financial infrastructure projects.