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Union Budget 2011:

(Air travel, eating out become dearer)

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee presented Union Budget 2011 in
Parliament today.

OVERVIEW: Budget estimates for 2011-12 projects Rs 9,32,440 crore - an increase


of 24 per cent.
Expenditure in 2011-12 is estimated at Rs 12,57,729 crore, an increase of 13.4%.

Revenue deficit fixed at 2.3% in revised estimates of 2010-11 and 1.8% in 2011-12.

Tax reductions to result in revenue loss of Rs 11,500 crore

INFLATION: The finance minister opened his speech with reference to inflation
saying that food inflation came down from 20.2% last year to 9.3% in January 2011
but it was still a matter of concern. "Government's principle concern is high food
prices... food prices were high for cereals, there was a spurt in prices of onions and
milk," he said. ( Inflation remains principal concern, to fall next year )

AGRICULTURE: In what may be a big relief for farmers, the FM said credit flows
to farmers will be raised from Rs 3.75 lakh crore to Rs 4.75 lakh crores and the
allocation under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana will be raised from Rs 6755 crore in
the current year to Rs 7860 crore. ( Farm loans at 4%; credit target raised to Rs
4,75,000cr )

An additional Rs 300 cr will be provided to promote pulses cultivation in rain-fed


areas and another Rs 300 cr to promote farm product cultivation.

In joy for anganwadi workers, their remuneration is being raised from Rs 1500 to Rs
3,000 per month. Anganwadi helpers will get Rs 1,500 from Rs 750, Pranab said. (
Social spending to be raised by 17% )

Old age pension to persons of over the age of 80 will be raised from Rs 200 to Rs 500.

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HEALTH: 20 percent hike in health budget for 2011-2012. (Finance minister
announces 20 per cent hike in health budget)
( Healthcare industry fumes at Budget)

DEFENCE: The finance minister has allotted Rs 1.64 lakh crore for defence saying
that more will be given if required. (11% hike in defence allocation)

Rs 9 lakh compensation will be given to men of defence and central paramilitary


forces for permanent disability and on being discharged from service. (Rs 9 lakh
disability compensation for defence personnel)

INCOME TAX: No change in tax slabs has been proposed. The tax exemption limit
for general category has been raised from Rs 1,60,000 to Rs 1,80,000. ( Tax limit
enhanced from Rs 1,60,000 to Rs 1,80,000)

No change in tax exemption limit for women.

For senior citizens, exemption age limit has been reduced from 65 to 60. Their tax
exemption limit will be Rs 2,50,000.

Apart from this, a new exemption bracket has been created for those above 80 years of
age. Their tax exemption limit will be Rs 5,00,000.

Surcharge for companies cut to 5 per cent, from 7.5 per cent. (Corporate Tax
surcharge reduced to 5%)

A new revised income tax return form 'Sugam' to be introduced for small tax papers.

DIRECT TAX: The FM announced that Direct Tax Code will be implemented from
April, 2012 and the Goods and Services Tax Bill is to be introduced in Parliament this
year. ( Direct Taxes Code to be implemented from April 1, 2012 )
Goods and services tax bill in budget session: Pranab Mukherjee

SERVICE TAX: Service tax widened to cover hotel accommodation above Rs 1,000
per day, A/C restaurants serving liquor, some category of hospitals, diagnostic tests.

Service tax on air travel increased by Rs 50 for domestic travel and Rs 250 for
international travel in economy class. On higher classes, it will be 10% flat. ( Service
tax on air travel increased )

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EXCISE AND CUSTOMS DUTY: There is a proposal to introduce self-assessment
of customs duty wherein importers and exporters will themselves assess payment of
duty.

There will be change in excise duty. The standard rate of central exercise duty will be
maintained at 10%. A 1% central excise duty on 130 items entering the tax net. Basic
food and fuel and precious stones, gold and silver jewellery will be exempted and
there will be no change in CENVAT rates. (Excise duty retained at 10%, more items
to be taxed)

A new scheme is to be introduced for refund of service tax on the lines of drawback of
duties, he announced. Also, capital investment in fertiliser production will be
considered as infrastructure sub-sector, Pranab said.

Tax-free bonds of Rs 30,000 cr will be issued for infrastructure development which


will cover Warehousing Corporation, NHAI, IRFC and HUDCO.

EDUCATION: A Rs50cr grant is being allocated to Aligarh Muslim University


centres in Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala. Also, the
government has decided to allot Rs 200 cr to IIT Kharagpur. ( 24% hike in allocation
for education )

GROWTH: Predicting growth patterns over the next fiscal, Pranab said the overall
economic growth in the current fiscal was expected at 8.6 %, agriculture growth at 5.4
%, industry at 8.1 % and services 9.3 %. In the next fiscal, economic growth was
likely to be 9%, he said. ( Economy grew 8.2% in last 2010 quarter )

Pranab said India raised foreign institutional investor limit in 5-year corporate bonds
for investment in infrastructure by $20 billion.

The government, he said, aims to provide Rs 201.5 billion capital infusion in state-run
banks in 2011-12 and Rs 3 billion for 60,000 hectares under palm oil plantation

"I see Budget 2011-12 as transition towards more transparent and result-oriented
economic management," he said adding that stronger fiscal coordination was needed.

He said that corruption continued to be deterrent in the country's development and had
to be fought extensively.

Pranab Mukherjee said the government plans to create a Women Self Help Group

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development fund with a corpus of Rs 500 crore. There is also a proposal to increase
rural housing fund to Rs 3,000 crore. ( Low-cost housing loans of Rs 15 lakh to get
1% interest sop )

He also announced benefits for Below Poverty Line families by allowing direct
transfer of subsidies in kerosene and LPG for such individuals.

Also, NABARD capital base will be strengthened and Rs 10,000 cr will be provided
to it as short term credit fund.

Pranab announced the formation of Indian micro finance equity with SIDBI at Rs 100
crore. Another Rs 6,000 cr will be given to public sector banks to maintain capital-to-
risk assets ratio norms, he said. ( Rs 500 cr for Regional Rural Banks )

A budget allocation of Rs 100 cr has been made for Ladakh and Rs 150 cr for Jammu
for implementation of projects identified by taskforce.