Union Budget eyes upon result oriented economic management system

Monday, February 28, 2011

NEW DELHI - Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said that the Union Budget is a transition towards a more transparent and result oriented economic management system in India.

Presenting the budget 2011-12 in the Lok Sabha today, Mukherjee said: “Huge differences between wholesale and retail prices are at the expense of remunerative prices for the farmers and competitive prices for consumers.inance Minister announced a number of measures to strengthen the agricultural sector particularly in the areas of pulses, vegetables and oil palm .

He announced Rs. 300 crore expenditure to promote 60,000 pulses villages in rain fed areas for increasing crop productivity and strengthening market linkages.

He also proposed to spend Rs. 300 crore to promote oil palm plantation in 60,000 hectares and Rs. 300 crore for the initiative on vegetable cluster.

Underlining the need to strengthen Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Mukherjee proposed to provide Rs. 6000 crore to maintain tier 1 capital to risk weighted asset ratio.

He also proposed to infuse Rs. 500 crore into Regional Rural Banks (RRB .

A Women’s Self Help Groups Development Fund with a corpus of Rs. 500 crore is proposed to be created. He also proposed to create a micro finance equity fund of Rs. 100 crore with Small Industrial Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for providing equity to smaller micro finance institutions. Rs. 3000 crore will be provided to NABARD to help handloom weaver cooperative societies to become financially viable.

Turning to the direct taxes, Mukherjee proposed to increase the exemption limit for general category individual tax payers by Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1,80,000 per year.

“This will provide a uniform tax relief of Rs. 2000 to every tax payer of this category. The benefit for senior citizens will now be available at 60 years of age and the exemption limit will go up from Rs. 2,40,000 to Rs. 2,50,000. Those who are 80 years and above have been brought under a new category called very senior citizens and the exemption limit in this category will be Rs. 5 lakhs,” he added.

Turning to indirect tax, Mukherjee said that there are 370 items that enjoy the exemption from Central Excise Duty but are chargeable to VAT.

He proposed to withdraw the exemption on 130 of these items. The remaining 240 items would be brought into the tax net when GST is introduced.

He further said the proposals on direct taxes are estimated to result in a revenue loss of Rs. 11,500 crore while those on the service tax will yield Rs. 4000 crore more.

He reiterated that the Government is committed to retain at least 51 percent ownership and management control of the CPSUs. (ANI)

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