TODAY -

Budget 2013 Super rich to be taxed more
Source: The Sangai Express / Agencies

New Delhi, February 28 2013: Finance Minister P Chidambaram plans to get more income for the government by taxing the super-rich and the corporate sector even though he left untouched income tax rates and slabs.

But with an eye firmly on the Lok Sabha elections which are scheduled for early 2014, Chidambaram also focused on rural India while presenting Union Budget 2013-14 in Parliament on Thursday and hiked outlays for health, water and sanitation, SCs/STs and tribals and rural development.

He allowed some relief for those who earn between Rs 2-5 lakh per year by announcing that they would be granted a tax credit of Rs 2000 and left most of the items untouched by not tinkering too much with excise and customs duties.

The move to grant tax credit will benefit 1.8 crore people, he said.

Super rich will have to pay 10 per cent surcharge on incomes over 1 crore but just for one year while first time home loan customers with loans up to Rs 25 lakh get an additional exemption limit of Rs 1 lakh on interest.

Imported high end luxury cars and SUVs, cigarettes, cigars, cheerots, silver, mobile phones priced above Rs 2000, dining in A/C restaurants and set-top boxes have become costly while cotton and spun yarn will be cheaper.

"Where can I go for income except to those who earn more? There are 42800 people in the country who earn more than 1 crore per annum and I propose a 10 per cent surcharge.

I believe that there must be a little bit of Premji (Wipro Chairperson Azim Premji) in all and when I ask them to pay a little more only for a year the will do so cheerfully," said Chidambaram while presenting Union Budget 2013-14 .

The Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill will be introduced in the current Parliament session and modified General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) norms are to be introduced from April 1, 2016 .

Excise duty on SUVs has been increased from 27 per cent to 30 per cent.

Excise duty on silver manufactured from smelting zinc or lead is now four per cent while there will be 100 per cent tax on high-end vehicles, 60 per cent on important bikes above 800 cc and 25 per cent on yatchs.

There will be 5 to 10 per cent surcharge on domestic companies whose taxable income exceeds Rs 10 crore.

In the case of foreign companies, who pay a higher rate of corporate tax, the surcharge will go up from 2 to 5 per cent.

On dividend distribution tax, he proposed to raise current surcharge from 5 to 10 per cent.

First-time home buyers will get an additional deduction of interest of Rs 1 lakh for home loans above Rs 25 lakh and Rs 1.50 lakh for home loans up to Rs 25 lakh.

This will be over and above the current Rs 1 lakh deduction allowed for self-occupation.

Presenting his eighth budget, the first after coming back to Finance Ministry in 2012, Chidambaram imposed an inheritance tax of 1 per cent on transfer of immovable property of over Rs 50 lakh.

Continuing the education cess for all tax payers at 3 per cent, he promised that the new surcharges will be in force for just a year during 2013-14 .

He announced that the Ministry of Rural Development will be given Rs 80,194 crore in 2013-14 while about Rs 33,000 crore has been allotted for MGNREGA even as he cautioned that Indian economy was not out of the woods.

He announced that states which have completed Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana will be eligible for PMGSY-II, others will continue with PMGSY-I, which led to uproar from the Opposition benches.

The Agriculture Ministry has been given Rs 27,049 crore and the average annual growth rate of agriculture and allied services is estimated at 3.6 per cent in 2012-13 when 250 MT foodgrains was produced, said Chidambaram.

Admitting the Indian economy is still to get back on the track of fast growth, Finance Minister P Chidambaram while presenting Union Budget 2013-14 in Parliament on Thursday said that even though it remains a challenge but added that he was confident that the country would bounce back.

Pointing out that food inflation is also a major cause of worry, he said that government will take steps on production side to control it.

FDI, FII and external commercial borrowings are our choice and tight monetary policy is needed to contain inflation.

We have to encourage foreign investments which are in accordance to meet the economic objectives.

I have no choice but to rationalise expenditure," he said.

"Our economy has also slowed after 2010 and getting back to 8 per cent growth rate is a challenge for the country.

Achieving high growth is not a novelty, we can do it again," said Chidambaram.

Pointing that only China and Indonesia are growing at a rate faster than India, Chidamabaram added that there is no reason for gloom.

While presenting the Budget, the Finance Minister said that achieving high growth is not a novelty and India can do it again" .


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