In a budget to please the middle class, farmers and those in rural areas, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday hiked the personal income tax exemption limit by at least Rs 10,000 and abolished the 10 per cent IT surcharge, did away with the Fringe Benefit Tax but left corporate taxes untouched.
Battling effects of the global slow down and keeping in line with the Congress' poll promises, the first budget after the elections provides for cheaper food for poor, a guaranteed minimum Rs 100 a day for rural employment, massive provisions for infrastructure, farm and social sector schemes for raising the economic growth to at least nine per cent.
Mukherjee raised the personcal income tax exemption by Rs 10,000 for women and others, besides Rs 15,000 for senior citizens above 65 years and abolished Fringe Benefit Tax that would help employers in giving more benefits to employees.
But he raised the Minimum Alternate Tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent while leaving the Securities Transaction Tax largely untouched to the chagrin of industry and investors.
He, however, did away with the Commodities Transaction Tax introduced last year though it was yet to be notified.