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Income tax exemption limit increased, corporate tax rate unchanged

The government will work towards simplifying the tax structure in the next four years, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the union budget for 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

business Updated: Jul 06, 2009 13:40 IST

Income tax exemption limit increased, corporate tax rate unchanged

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed to increase the income tax exemption limit for senior citizens by Rs 15,000, for women and others by Rs 10,000 each, while keeping the corporate tax rate unchanged.

The exemption limit will now be Rs 240,000 for senior citizens, Rs 190,000 for women and Rs 160,000 for others.

Customs duty on LCD TVs slashed to 5 per cent

The government has reduced the customs duty on liquid crystal display (LCD) television sets from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

Presenting the union budget for 2009-10, the minister also said a nominal 5 per cent customs duty has been imposed on set-top boxes (STB) as the production of the devices has picked up in the country.

A set-top box is a device that enables a television set to receive and decode digital television broadcasts.

Lawyers to pay service tax from now

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee brought lawyers under the ambit of service tax in the union budget for 2009-10.

"I propose to bring certain legal services under the ambit of service tax," said Mukherjee.

Simple tax regime in four years promised

The government will work towards simplifying the tax structure in the next four years, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the union budget for 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The income tax department has also been asked to introduce the simplified version of the tax filing form Saral, called Saral 2.

Urban development allocation increased 87 per cent

The allocation for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission has been increased by 87 per cent to Rs 12,887 crore, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the union budget in parliament.

Additionally, the Indira Awas Yojna, a housing programme for the poor, has been allocated Rs 2,000 crore, while a Rs 2,000-crore special fund has been set up to finance rural housing projects.

Mukherjee also announced a Rs 3,973-crore allocation for urban poor.

1,000 villages to get Rs 100 crore

The government will allocate Rs 100 crore for about 1,000 villages with higher population of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the budget for 2009-10 in parliament.

The scheme, currently on a pilot basis, will be extended in the coming years, he said.

Mega industrial clusters be set up

The government will set up mega industrial clusters to support textile and power industries, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the union budget for 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha.

"We will set up handloom mega clusters in Tamil Nadu and a power mega cluster in Rajasthan," Mukherjee said.

Pensions enhanced for soldiers, junior commissioned officers

The government announced enhanced pensions for soldiers and junior commissioned officers that will entail additional expenditure of Rs.2,100 crores per year.

"The decision will benefit 12 lakh pensioners. The allowances for the war wounded and disabled is also being liberalised," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the budget for 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha.

Big jump in money for Commonwealth Games

The government has increased the allocation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to Rs 3,472 crore from Rs 2,112 crore in the interim budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced on Monday while presenting the union budget for fiscal 2009-10 in Parliament.

Budget allocates Rs 39,000 crore for rural jobs scheme

The government on Monday hiked the allocation for its flagship rural job scheme by 144 per cent to Rs.39,000 crores.

"I am allocating Rs 39,000 crores for NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). This is a hike of 144 per cent," Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the budget for fiscal 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha.

"NREGA is a magnificent success. The government is committed to providing a wage of Rs.100 a day to rural households in convergence with other schemes for rural areas. One hundred and fifteen pilot districts have been identified for these convergence schemes. The details will be given by the minister for rural development," Mukherjee added.

The finance minister said the government would soon publicise a draft food security (guarantee) bill and seek comments from everybody before finalising the bill. In its election manifesto earlier this year, the Congress had promised 25 kg of rice or wheat a month at Rs.3 per kg to families below the poverty line.

Government changes fertiliser subsidy method

India will change the method of subsidising fertiliser prices by shifting to a "nutrient based subsidy regime" from a "product pricing regime", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced while presenting the 2009-10 budget in Parliament on Monday.

So far fertiliser manufacturers have been subsidised so that they sell to farmers at low prices. Mukherjee said the new move would lead to "unshackling of the fertiliser manufacturing sector", and he expected "fresh investments" as well as "direct transfer of subsidies to farmers".

Panel to look at pricing of hydrocarbon fuels

A high-powered panel on pricing of hydrocarbon fuels was announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with crude oil prices once again surging in global markets.

Mukherjee said the finer points of the panel's terms of reference will be announced by Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.

The government last week had permitted oil retailing companies to raise the prices of transport fuels by Rs 4 per litre for petrol and Rs 2 per litre for diesel, while keeping pricing of cooking fuels untouched.

Allocation for export market development increased

The allocation for the market development scheme for exporters has been increased 148 per cent to Rs.124 crore, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while presenting the union budget for 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Mukherjee has also extended the interest subvention for the textile industry from Sep 30, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

Allocation for Bharat Nirman up 45 per cent

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday stepped up by 45 per cent the budgetary allocation for the flagship Bharat Nirman (Build India) programme that focuses on rural development and poverty alleviation.

More money to clean rivers, lakes

The government will raise the the allocation for cleaning India's rivers and lakes to Rs 562 crore ($110 million) in fiscal 2009-10 from Rs 335 crore last fiscal, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced while presenting the union budget in parliament.

Mentioning that the government had unveiled its National Action Plan on Climate Change last year and that eight national missions under it were being finalised, Mukherjee committed that the government would provide "necessary funds" for all the missions.

The annual economic survey had estimated that India is now spending over 2.6 percent of its GDP in having to adapt to climate change, which is affecting farm output, making droughts, storms and floods more frequent and more severe, and raising the sea level.

The minister also announced special allocations for the Indian Council for Foresty Research and Education, the Botanical Survey of India and the Zoological Survey of India.