Saturday, March 1, 2008

Highlights: India Budget 2008

FBT exempted on creche, employee sports facilities
Duty on two wheelers slashed from 16 to 12 pc
Tax slab for Rs 3-5 lakh would be 25 pc
TAX: exemption raised from Rs 1,10,000 to Rs 1,50,000
TAX: Women exemption threshold streched from Rs 1,45,000 to 1,80,000
TAX: Senior citizens' exemption raised from Rs 1,95,000 to 2,25,000
TAX: Coporate income tax unchanged
Hike of duty on non filter cigarettes
Excise duty reduced to 8% on water purification items
Duty taken off on naptha for production of polymers
Refigeration components to get less expensive
Reduction of excise duties on anti-AIDS drugs
Tax-GDP ratio raised at 12.5%
Step down of excise on paper and its products
Reduction of excise duties on buses, chassis
Excise on small cars stepped to 14%
Excise on pharma goods reduced to 14%
General CENVAT rate: dipped from 16% to 14%
5% cut of customs duty on some bulk drugs
Crude sulphur: duties stepped down to 5%
Relieve of duties on coral
Fiscal Deficit & Revenue Deficit: pegged at 3.1% & 1.4%.
Duties on convergence products dipped to 5%
Set top boxes: 100% exemption
COMMONWEALTH GAMES: allocated Rs 624 cr.
Steel melting & aluminum scrap: duties reduced
Peak rate of customs duties unchanged
Sixth central pay commission would submit report by March
Revenue Deficit would be 1.4 % agt Budget Estimate of 1.5%
Planning Commission to assess major schemes
PROTECT TIGER: Rs 50 cr to Natl Tiger Conservation Authority to get Rs 50 cr
Rs 75 cr for ICCR for cultural development

- Allocation for defence to be increased by 10 per cent from Rs 96,000 crore to Rs 1,05,600 crore.
- 75 lakh people to be covered by health insurance scheme.
- Allocation for Textile Upgradation Fund to be more than doubled.
- Micro, small and medium enterprises to continue to get special attention.
- Risk Capital Fund to be set up in SIDBI.
- PAN requirement to be extended to all transactions in capital market subject to a threshold.
- Rs 750 crore for upgradation of 300 ITIs in 25 districts.
- Rs 32,676 crore as subsidy to Public Distribution System.
- PDS through smart cards in Haryana and Chandigarh on pilot basis.
- Three schemes to be introduced for providing social security to unorganised sector workers.
- Sixth central pay commission to submit report by March 31, 2008.
- Rs 624 crore allocated for Commonwealth Games
- Farmers' debt to be waived
- Complete waiver of loans for marginal farmers owning land up to one hectare and small farmers owning land up to 1 and 2 hectares.
- Agricultural loans given by scheduled commericial banks, regional rural banks and cooperative credit institutions up to March - 31, 2007 and due for December 31 that year will be covered under the waiver scheme to address the problem of indebtedness.
- One time settlement of loans for other farmers.
- Agriculture loans restructured and rescheduled by banks from 2004-06 and other loans normally rescheduled under RBI guidelines will also be eligible under the waiver scheme.
- Implementation of debt waiver and debt relief will be completed by June 30 this year.
- Loan waiver scheme to involve loans liability of Rs 60,000 crore and to benefit four crore farmers.
- By loan waiver scheme, the country is discharging a deep debt and sense of gratitude to farmers, says Chidambaram.
- The corpus of rural infrastructure development fund to be raised to Rs 14,000 crore.
- More reforms needed in coal and electricity sectors to ensure double digit growth in manufacturing sector.
- Rs 800 crore for accelerated power reforms programme.
- National Fund for Transmission and Distribution Reforms to be launched.
- The loan waiver scheme will benefit three crore small and medium farmers and cover loans totalling Rs 50,000 crore.
- One crore other farmers will benefit to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore in the waiver.
- Foreign investment of 3.5 to 8 billion dollars expected for exploration and development of new oil blocks.
- Rs 7,200 crore to be allocated to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, marking an increase of 24 per cent.
- Rs 500 crore for corpus fund to subsidise all women Self Helf Groups for LIC [Get Quote] cover for permanent disability.
- A target of Rs 2.80 lakh crore for agriculture credit set for the coming year.
- Rs 20,000 crore for irrigation projects under AIPB, showing an increase of Rs 9,000 crore over last year.
- National Horticulture Mission to be given Rs 1,100 crore in 2008-09 with special focus on coconut cultivation.
- Rs 75 crore to be given to Agriculture Ministry for providing mobile soil testing laboratories in 250 districts.
- Rs 644 crore for National Agriculture Insurance Scheme, which will be continued pending evolving an alternative crop insurance scheme.
- National Plant Protection Training Institute at Hyderabad to be made autonomous body and Rs.29 crore will be allocated to it.
- A scheme of debt waiver and relief for small and marginal farmers announced.

• Risk Capital Fund to be established in SIDBI
• Allocation of Rs 12,966 cr for National Highway Dev programme
• Rs 8,000 cr for accelerated power development programmes
• Ultra mega power project to come up at Tilana shortly
• NHDP to get Rs 12,956 Cr
• Banks would be bucked up to embrace total financial inclusion
• Foreign invt: Oil block exploration anticipated to get up to $8 bn
• Setting up of Coal regulator
• Health Insurance for 17 lakh families of weavers
• Approval of State data centres scheme and gets Rs 275 cr
• 1 lakh broadband-enabled common service centres to be set up in villages
• Better allocation of NHDP programme
• Power distribution to get Rs 800 cr
• Public Sector Bank: Around 288 branches to be opened in districts with minority community concentration.
• Manufacturing rate of growth planned to be doubled
• RIDF corpus to be raised to Rs 14,000 cr
• Education: 20% hike from Rs 28,674 cr to Rs 34,400 cr
• Total amount of loans being waived is Rs 50,000 cr
• Debt waiver scheme to end up by June 30
• Minority Affairs Ministers alloted Rs 1000 cr.
• Total amount of loans being waived is Rs 50,000 cr
• Debt waiver scheme to end up by June 30
• Interest subvention would prove negative for banks
• Waiver forms up to 4% of total bank loans

* NREGA scheme to be rolled out in all the 596 rural districts in the country in 2008-09.
* Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission to get Rs 6,865 crore this year against Rs 5,482 crore past year.
* Allocation for Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission to be increased to Rs 7,300 crore. Rs 200 crore for potable water in schools.
* Rs 300 crore to be set aside for desalination plant in Chennai for drinking water.
* Rs 500 crore for identifying urgent needs of development programmes of border areas like Arunachal Pradesh.
* SC, ST and minority students to continue to get special attention.
* Allocation for several schemes in North East raised from Rs 14,365 crore to Rs 16,400 crore.
* Rs 75 crore sanctioned for Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship Programme for SC/ST students pursuing M.Phil.
* Rs 230 crore will be extended as additional equity to developmental organisations looking after the welfare of SC,
* ST, socially and economically backward classes and minorities.
* Allocation for Minority Affairs Ministry to be doubled from Rs 500 crore to Rs 1,000 crore.
* Rs 540 crore for multi-sectoral development plan for minority concentration districts.
* 288 public sector bank branches to be opened in districts having minority community concentration.
* Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will be provided Rs 13,100 crore, Mid Day Meal scheme Rs 8,000 crore, Secondary education Scheme Rs 4,554 crore.
* 410 additional Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalaya to be set up in backward blocks.
* Navodaya Vidyalayas to be opened in 20 districts with special focus on regions having SC/ST concentration.
* Allocation of Rs 130 crore for this purpose. Rs.750 crore more to be given for merit scholarship to students up to 10th and 12th class.
* Mid day Meal scheme extended to upper primary level in 3479 schools. 16 central universities to be opened in 2008-09.
* Three IITs to be set up in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.
* Schools of architecture and planning in Bhopal and Vijaywada. More institutes of higher education to be opened.
* Rs 100 crore to be given to Information Technology Ministry to set up national knowledge centres.
* Allocation for NRHM increased to Rs 12,050 crore
* Rs 992 crore for national AIDS programme.
* A national programme for the elderly to be started at a cost of Rs. 400 crore.
* Rashtra Swasthya Beema Yojana to start from April one in Delhi and Haryana. Rs 30,000 for each family belonging to unorganised sector.
* Allocation for ICDS increased to Rs 6300 crore.
* Rs 85 crore sanctioned for scholarships to students pursuing science education.
* Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research to be set up at Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram.
* Agriculture credit doubled in the first two years of the government to reach Rs.2.40 lakh crore by March 2008.
* Eleventh Plan started on a robust growth.
* Gross budgetary support to be raised to Rs 2,43,386 crore, an increase of more than Rs 38,000 crore from the current level.
* Allocation for Bharat Nirman to be raised to Rs 31,280 crore.
* Twenty per cent hike in education budget this year from Rs 28,674 crore to Rs 34,400 crore.
* GDP growth slows down to 8.4 per cent during quarter ended December 31, 2007 as compared to 9.1 per cent a year ago.
* Economy grew over eight per cent over 12 successive quarters since 2005, says Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
* Growth rate of agricultre extimated at 2.6 per cent during the current year.
* Services and manufacturing sectors expected to grow by 10.7 per cent and 9.4 per cent, says Chidambaram.
* Keeping inflation under check is one of the cornerstones of the Government's policy.
* Rice production estimiated at 94.08 million tonnes, maize 16.78 mt, soyabean 9.45 mt and cotton 23.38 million bales.

- Special attention, more funds for North East
- Science scholarships for young learners
- Inflation will be kept under check
- Jawaharlal Navoday Vidyalaya to be set in 20 new districts for SC/STs
- Healthcare allocation to be raised by 15%
- Bhopal and Tripura to get one IIScR each and 2 colleges of art
- 3 IITs to be set up in Bihar, AP, Rajasthan
- 16 Central universities to be set up
- 6000 model high schools to be started
- Science scholarships for young learners
- Inflation will be kept under check
- More allocation for polio and AIDS
- Health covers of Rs 30000 for workers in unorganised sectors
- Education sector gets a boost
- Agri credit doubled in first two years
- Bharat Nirman allocation to go up to Rs 31,280 cr from Rs 24,603 cr
- Gross Budgetary support to be Rs 24,3386 cr about Rs 38,286 cr more than 2007-08
- Agriculture credit to touch 2,40,000 cr in 2008
- Focus on achievement of self-sufficiency in food grain
- Soyabean output to be 9.45 mn tonnes
- Maize production to be 16.78 mn tonnes
- Rice production to be 94.08 mn tonnes
- Total agri production to be 219.32 mn tonnes at all time high
- Agriculture disappointing at average annual growth of 2.6%
- Keeping inflation under check to be on focus
- Focus on management of supply side of food, market, capital inflows next year
- India has registered a growth of over 8%$ for 12 successive quarters till Dec 2007

Border area development gets Rs 500 cr
Anti-Polio drive gets Rs 1,042 cr
Hospital sector likely to gain Interest subvention has been increased in the year 2007-08
Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission would be alloted Rs 6,865cr
Development of agri-credit has been impressive
Minority Affairs Ministry fund raised to Rs 1,000 cr
Setting up of 288 PSU bank branches in minority districts
Rs 540 cr to be given for the development plan for minority districts
LIC would entail all women SEGs
Rs 200 crore to be given for potable water in schools
Rural health services would be alloted Rs 12,050 cr for its development

National rural employment guarantee
Agricultural credit to reach 2.4 lakh cr by
Mid-day meal scheme covers 11.4 cr
Balancing supply side issues most important
Govt will monitor foreign fund flows
Downside risks increased worldwide
RBI to take measures to monitor capital
Agricultural growth for whole year
Services and manufacturing to drive
Confident of maintaining
GDP at 8.4% Manufacturing at 9.3%
Q4 farm growth at 3.2% vs 3.4%
Q3 GDP growth 8.4% vs 9.1%
Grant concession on group housing projects
Scrap 12% service tax on residential units
Allow FDI in smaller units, simplify FDI
Seeks uniform excise duty for cars, SUVs
Cut excise duty on 2-wheelers to 12% from
Only small cars presently subject to
Excise duty on bigger cars & SUVs currently
Reduce customs duty on natural rubber, basic
Exemption from basic customs duty on
Duty free import of goods required for
Cut excise duty on finished steel pdts
Scrap 5% customs duty on imported coke
Scrap 5% customs duty on import of scrap
Reduce customs duty on copper from current 5%
Cut import duty on nickel from 5% to 2%
Increase in import duty on ferro alloys
Increase export taxes on key raw
Infrastructure status & tax exemptions for
Increase in export tax on iron ore from 10%
Presently licence fee varies between 6-10%
Extension of tax holiday under 80 IA
Customs duty exemption for internet/broadband
Extension of tax holiday beyond FY'10
Genuine business expenditure to be
BPO companies to be brought on par with
Removal of excise duty on packaged software
Cut customs duty for 'gaming industry'
Budget expected to focus on farm sector
Peak import duty likely to be
No change to capital gains tax likely
Cut in surcharge, corporate tax from
Current cess of 3% may stay
Cut in excise duty on power equipment
Allow housing finance companies to
35% abatement on peak excise duty
Extend tax holiday to 10 years on oil &
Rupee appreciation continues to be a
Power, roads and ports need urgent attention
Exemption limit in personal taxes may
Incentives for development of
Increase investment in rural housing,
Increase allocation to power and rural
Bullish on alternate energy
Extend tax benefits to UMPPs under
Greater focus to be on agriculture &
Tax exemptions on power infrastructure
Issue Vidyut Vikas Patra as small
Slight increase in STT likely
Rupee appreciation affected exports
Fresh capacity creation required in
Need to develop mechanisms for infra
Agri/forestry/fishing to grow at 2.6% in
Better targeting of food and fertilizer
Capital inflows expected to be robust
Trade deficit to continue to widen
Monetary policy has to address changes in
Domestic supply management critical to
Increase tax exemption on interest income
Budget may address credit concern for
No major deviation expected from
Grant tax incentives to power venture funds
Channelize domestic savings into power
Extend income tax benefits under
Removal of tax on money borrowed
Separate license for health insurance
Allow ECB/FCCB borrowings under
Infrastructure status for hospitals
Increase in health spending allocation
Employment guarantee may be extended to 100
Extending Rural Employment Guarantee
Budget to have heavy focus on farm sector
Structured write-off plan for existing
Higher subvention to banks for lending to
Left demands reduction of farm loans rates to
Rural development through the Bharat
CST due to be reduced further
Revenue & fiscal deficit target within
Capital inflow has put pressure on prices
Capital inflows have spurted to 4%
Surge in capital inflow to continue
Need to address persistent institution
Heightened urgency to augment and
Need for comprehensive simple and clear