A thoughtful budget ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram today presented India’s 82nd budget in the Lok Sabha, saying that challenges for the country remained, but there was no need for gloom as economic reforms are on the anvil.

This is Chidambaram’s eighth budget, two short of the record 10 presented by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

Chidambaram began his speech by seeking support of all stakeholders in helping navigate the Indian economy through the current crisis. “Indian economy is today constrained by three factors: high fiscal deficit, slow growth and high inflation. My greater worry is the current account deficit,” he said and added that only China and Indonesia are growing faster than India.

Highlights of Union Budget:

• Personal Tax: No changes in tax slabs. Surcharge of 10% for income of Rs. 1 cr or more per annum for one year, applicable for individuals and corporate.

• Housing loan limit till Rs. 25 lakh — add’l Rs 1 lakh exemption for first time loan-takers.

• Rs. 50,000 cr tax free bonds allowed by select institutes.

• Pradhan Manthri Grameen Sadak Yojna II (PMGSY II) to benefit Karnataka and 3 States.

• New scheme for rural road development. Regulatory Authority to oversee road projects.

• Rs. 14,800 cr for JNNURM.

• Rs. 80,195 cr for National Rural Employment Guarantee Schemes, Indira Awas Yojna.

• New fund for urban housing to get Rs. 2000 cr and Rs. 6,000 cr for Rural Housing Fund.

• New corridor in Banglore-Mumbai industrial corridor.

• Seven new cities on Delhi-Mumbai corridor.

• All co-op banks to be brought under Central Banking System.

• All PSU banks to have ATMs at their premises.

• Watershed management to get Rs. 5,387 crore.

• Earned Rs. 1,38,403 crore due to agri exports. Rs. 27,049 crore for Agri Ministry. Rs. 500 crore for crop diversification.

• Rs. 77,236 cr for child budget.

• Rs. 200 cr for gender equality.

• Maulana Azad education foundation gets Rs. 160 cr more.

• Rs. 110 cr for the Department of Disabled Welfare.

• Rs. 37,330 crore to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare out of which new national health mission to get Rs. 21,239 crore.

• Rs. 4,727 crore for medical education, training.

• Rs. 1,069 crore to Department of AYUSH.

• Rs. 1,650 crore to AIIMS like institutions.

• Rs. 65,867 cr for HRD.

• Rs. 27,258 cr for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

• Rs. 3,983 crore for Rashtriya Secondary Education.

• Rs. 13,215 cr for mid-day meal scheme. Rs. 17,700 cr for children’s care and education.

• Rs. 15,260 crore for clean drinking water. Rs. 1,400 crore for water purification.

• 1% TDS for property sale worth above Rs. 50 lakh; agricultural land exempted.

• Luxury cars import duty at 100%. Luxury motorcycle duty at 75%. No change in customs duty of 10%.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore