|On March 16, 2012, battling a tough economic situation and severe political compulsions, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee did a balancing act to present a pragmatic and realistic Union Budget for 2012-13.
For Indian economy, recovery was interrupted in 2011-12 due to intensification of debt crises in Euro zone, political turmoil in Middle East, rise in crude oil price and earthquake in Japan.
While tax payers got some relief in the form of increase in exemption and changes in income tax brackets, the Budget, as expected, was tax heavy for consumption as both excise and service tax went up from 10 per cent to 12 per cent.
For individuals, there is relief on personal income tax with the increase in exemption limit from Rs. 1.8 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh. The upper end of the 20 per cent tax slab has been raised from Rs 8 lakh to 10 lakh as Direct Tax Code (DTC) slabs have been fast-tracked. An individual with an income of Rs 10 lakh or more will pay Rs. 22,000 less in taxes.
While the direct tax proposals in the Budget will result in a revenue loss of Rs. 4,500 crore, indirect tax proposals would result in a revenue gain of Rs. 45,940 crore. Tax proposals lead to a net gain of Rs 41,440 crore. Service tax proposals alone are expected to yield additional revenue of Rs 18,660 crore.
The fiscal deficit for this year is at 5.9 per cent, much higher than the Budget estimates of 4.6 per cent. In 2013-14, it is proposed to bring it down to 5.1 per cent.
Outlays for welfare schemes have seen modest hikes as the focus is on controlling expenditure. Allocation for road transport has been enhanced by 14 per cent. Target for agricultural credit has been raised to Rs 5.75 lakh crore. Rural drinking water and sanitation has got 27 per cent rise in allocation to Rs 14,000 crore. RTE has got Rs 25,555 crore allocation, showing an increase of 21 per cent.
The government has set a target to raise Rs 30,000 crore from stake sales in public sector undertakings in 2012-13, even as it missed the target for the current fiscal by a wide margin.
Finance Minister announced a justifiable 17.6 per cent hike in its defence spending to allocate an additional Rs. 28,992 crore for 2012-13, over the ongoing year’s Rs. 1,64,415 crore defence budget. New Delhi will spend Rs. 1,93,407 crore, nearly $38.6 billion, on defence which is about 11 per cent of the entire country’s budgetary outlay for the financial year 2012-13.
In an effort to encourage investment in the infrastructure sector, the Union Budget has allowed financial institutions to raise about Rs 60,000 crore through tax-free bonds in 2012-13.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced a Rs. 1,00,000 crore increase in the agriculture credit target, boosting it to Rs. 5,75,000 for the next fiscal, and raised the outlay for farm sector by more than Rs 3,000 crore—proposals that farmers’ representatives called “encouraging” and economists “lacking in new initiatives”. The total plan outlay for the sector has been increased by 18 per cent, up from Rs 17, 123 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 20,208 crore in 2012-13.
With India set to become the youngest nation in the world by 2020, the government continued to raise education budget to reap the benefit of demographic dividend and increased allocations to the sector by 18.6 per cent in 2011-2012.
The proposed overall social sector spending is up by Rs. 30,931 crore over the Budget of 2011-2012. This represents 16.5 per cent hike, with the proposed funding going up to Rs. 218,041 crore in 2012 Budget, as against Rs. 187,110 crore in 2011-2012.
Every social sector ministry got enhanced allocations with the education sector getting the maximum raise of Rs. 9,665 crore. As against Rs. 51,772 crore in 2011, Budget 2012 proposes Rs. 61,427 crore allocation for education.
Bulk of the 2012 education Budget has gone for school literacy—Rs. 45,659 crore (a hike of 18 per cent over 2011) as against Rs. 15,458 crore for university and higher education.
India's cash-strapped airline industry got some relief, with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposing permission of external commercial borrowings worth $1 billion (around Rs 5,000 crore) for working capital requirement for a year and recommended allocating Rs 4,000 crore to the ailing national carrier Air India for 2012-13.
— Twelfth Five Year Plan to be launched with the aim of “faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth”. Five objectives identified to be addressed effectively in 2012-13.
— GDP growth estimated at 6.9 per cent in real terms in 2011-12. Slowdown in comparison to preceding two years is primarily due to deceleration in industrial growth.
— Current account deficit at 3.6 per cent of GDP for 2011-12 and reduced net capital inflow in the 2nd and 3rd quarters put pressure on exchange rate.
— India’s GDP growth in 2012-13 expected to be 7.6 per cent +/- 0.25 per cent.
— Deterioration in fiscal balance in 2011-12 due to slippages in direct tax revenue and increased subsidies.
— Introduction of amendments to the FRBM Act as part of Finance Bill, 2012. Concept of “Effective Revenue Deficit” and “Medium Term Expenditure Framework” statement are two important features of amendment to FRBM Act in the direction of expenditure reforms.
— Endeavour to keep central subsidies under 2 per cent of GDP in 2012-13. Over next 3 year, to be further brought down to 1.75 per cent of GDP.
— Based on recommendation of task force headed by Shri Nandan Nilekani, a mobile-based Fertilizer Management System has been designed to provide end-to-end information on movement of fertilisers and subsidies. Nation-wide roll out during 2012-13.
— GST network to be set up as a National Information Utility and to become operational by August 2012.
— For 2012-13, Rs.30,000 crore to be raised through disinvestment. At least 51 per cent ownership and management control to remain with government.
— Provision regarding implementation of Advance Pricing Agreement to be introduced in Finance Bill, 2012.
— Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme, to allow for income tax deduction of 50 per cent to new retail investors, who invest up to Rs.50,000 directly in equities and whose annual income is below Rs.10 lakh, to be introduced. The scheme will have a lock-in period of 3 years.
— A central “Know Your Customer” depository to be developed in 2012-13 to avoid multiplicity of registration and data upkeep.
— Out of 73,000 identified habitations that were to be covered under “Swabhimaan” campaign by March, 2012, about 70,000 habitations have been covered. Rest likely to be covered by March 31, 2012. As a next step, Ultra Small Branches are being set up at these habitations.
— Out of 82 RRBs in India, 81 have successfully migrated to Core Banking Solutions and have also joined the National Electronic Fund Transfer system.
— Tax free bonds of Rs.60,000 crore to be allowed for financing infrastructure projects in 2012-13.
— National Manufacturing Policy announced with the objective of raising, within a decade, the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 per cent and creating of 10 crore jobs.
— External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) to be allowed to part finance Rupee debt of existing power projects.
— Target of covering a length of 8,800 kilometre under NHDP next year.
— Allocation of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry enhanced by 14 per cent to Rs. 25,360 crore.
— ECB proposed to be allowed for capital expenditure on the maintenance and operations of toll systems for roads and highways, if they are part of original project.
— ECB to be permitted for working capital requirement of airline industry for a period of one year, subject to a total ceiling of US $ 1 billion.
— Two more mega handloom clusters, one to cover Prakasam and Guntur districts in Andhra Pradesh and another for Godda and neighbouring districts in Jharkhand to be set up.
— Three Weaver’s Service Centres, one each in Mizoram, Nagaland and Jharkhand, to be set up for providing technical support to poor handloom weavers.
— Rs.500 crore pilot scheme announced for promotion and application of Geo-textiles in the North Eastern Region.
— A powerloom mega cluster to be set up in Ichalkaranji in Maharashtra with a budget allocation of Rs. 70 crore.
— Rs. 5,000 crore India Opportunities Venture Fund to be set up with SIDBI.
— Plan Outlay for Department of Agriculture and Co-operation increased by 18 per cent.
— Outlay for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) increased to Rs. 9,217 crore in 2012-13.
— Initiative of Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI) has resulted in increased production and productivity of paddy. Allocation for the scheme increased to Rs. 1,000 crore in 2012-13, from Rs. 400 crore in 2011-12.
— Rs. 300 crore to Vidarbha Intensified Irrigation Development Programme under RKVY.
— Rs. 2,242 crore project launched with World Bank assistance to improve productivity in the dairy sector. Rs. 500 crore provided to broaden scope of production of fish to coastal aquaculture.
— Target for agricultural credit raised by Rs. 1,00,000 crore to Rs. 5,75,000 crore in 2012-13.
— Interest subvention scheme for providing short term crop loans to farmers at 7 per cent interest per annum to be continued in 2012-13. Additional subvention of 3 per cent available for prompt paying farmers.
— Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme to be modified to make KCC a smart card which could be used at ATMs.
— A sum of Rs. 200 crore set aside for incentivising research with rewards.
— Structural changes in Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) being made to maximise flow of benefit from investments in irrigation projects. Allocation for AIBP in 2012-13 stepped up by 13 per cent to Rs.14,242 crore.
— A new centrally sponsored scheme titled “National Mission on Food Processing” to be started in 2012-13 in co-operation with State governments.
— Allocation for Scheduled Castes Sub Plan at Rs. 37,113 crore in BE 2012-13 represents an increase of 18 per cent over BE 2011-12.
— Allocation for Tribal Sub Plan at Rs. 21,710 crore in BE 2012-13 represents an increase of 17.6 per cent.
— Allocation of Rs. 15,850 crore made for Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) scheme, representing an increase of 58 per cent over BE 2011-12.
— Rs. 11,937 crore allocated for National Programme of Mid Day Meals in schools.
— An allocation of Rs. 750 crore proposed for Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, SABLA.
— Budgetary allocation for rural drinking water and sanitation increased from Rs. 11,000 crore to Rs. 14,000 crore representing an increase of over 27 per cent.
— Allocation for PMGSY increased by 20 per cent to Rs. 24,000 crore to improve connectivity.
— Major initiative proposed to strengthen Panchayats through Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan.
— Backward Regions Grant Fund scheme to continue in twelfth plan with enhanced allocation of Rs. 12,040 crore in 2012-13, representing an increase of 22 per cent over the BE 2011-12.
— Allocation under RIDF enhanced to Rs. 20,000 crore. Rs. 5,000 crore earmarked exclusively for creating warehousing facilities.
— 6,000 schools proposed to be set up at block level as model schools in Twelfth Plan.
— Rs. 3,124 crore provided for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) representing an increase of 29 per cent over BE 2011-12.
— Scope of ‘Accredited Social Health Activist’ – ‘ASHA’ is being enlarged. This will also enhance their remuneration.
— Allocation for NRHM proposed to be increased from Rs. 18,115 crore in 2011-12 to Rs. 20,822 crore in 2012-13.
— National Urban Health Mission is being launched.
— Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana being expanded to cover upgradation of 7 more government medical colleges.
— Proposal to establish Bharat Livelihoods Foundation of India through Aajeevika scheme.
— Allocation for Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme increased by 23 per cent to Rs. 1,276 crore in 2012-13.
— Projects approved by National Skill Development Corporation expected to train 6.2 crore persons at the end of 10 years.
— Rs. 1,000 crore allocated for National Skill Development Fund in 2012-13.
— “Himayat” scheme introduced in J&K to provide skill training to 1 lakh youth in next 5 years. Entire cost to be borne by Centre.
— In the ongoing Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme and Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme for BPL beneficiaries, pension amount to be raised from Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per month.
— To enhance access under SWAVALAMBAN scheme, LIC appointed as an Aggregator and all Public Sector Banks appointed as Points of Presence (PoP) and Aggregators.
— A provision of Rs. 1,93,407 crore made for Defence services, including Rs. 79,579 crore for capital expenditure.
BUDGET ESTIMATES 2012-13
— Gross Tax Receipts estimated at Rs. 10,77,612 crore.
— Net Tax to Centre estimated at Rs. 7,71,071 crore.
— Non-tax Revenue Receipts estimated at Rs. 1,64,614 crore.
— Non-debt Capital Receipts estimated at Rs. 41,650 crore.
— Total expenditure for 2012-13 budgeted at Rs. 14,90,925 crore.
— Plan expenditure for 2012-13 at Rs. 5,21,025 crore is 18 per cent higher than BE 2011-12. This is higher than 15 per cent projected in Approach to the Twelfth Plan.
— 99 per cent of the total plan outlay met in the Eleventh Plan.
— Non-plan expenditure estimated at Rs. 9,69,900 crore.
— Rs. 3,65,216 crore estimated to be transferred to States including direct transfers to States and district level implementing agencies.
— Entire amount of subsidy is given in cash and not as bonds in lieu of subsidies.
— Fiscal deficit at 5.9 per cent of GDP in RE 2011-12.
— Fiscal deficit at 5.1 per cent of GDP in BE 2012-13.
— Net market borrowing required to finance the deficit to be Rs.4.79 lakh crore in 2012-13.
— Central Government debt at 45.5 per cent of GDP in 2012-13, as compared to Thirteenth Finance Commission target of 50.5 per cent.
— Effective Revenue Deficit to be 1.8 per cent of GDP in 2012-13.
— Exemption limit for the general category of individual taxpayers proposed to be enhanced from Rs.1,80,000 to Rs.2,00,000 giving tax relief of Rs.2,000.
— Upper limit of 20 per cent tax slab proposed to be raised from Rs.8 lakh to Rs.10 lakh.
— Proposal to allow individual tax payers, a deduction of upto Rs. 10,000 for interest from savings bank accounts.
— Proposal to allow deduction of up to Rs. 5,000 for preventive health check up.
— Senior citizens not having income from business proposed to be exempted from payment of advance tax.
— Restriction on Venture Capital Funds to invest only in 9 specified sectors proposed to be removed.
— Proposal to continue to allow repatriation of dividends from foreign subsidiaries of Indian companies at a lower tax rate of 15 per cent up to March 31, 2013.
— Investment link deduction of capital expenditure for certain businesses proposed to be provided at the enhanced rate of 150 per cent.
— Turnover limit for compulsory tax audit of account and presumptive taxation of SMEs to be raised from Rs.60 lakhs to Rs.1 crore.
— Exemption from Capital Gains tax on sale of residential property, if sale consideration is used for subscription in equity of a manufacturing SME for purchase of new plant and machinery.
— Proposal to provide weighted deduction at 150 per cent of expenditure incurred on skill development in manufacturing sector.
— Reduction in securities transaction tax by 20 per cent on cash delivery transactions.
— A net revenue loss of Rs.4,500 crore estimated as a result of Direct Tax proposals.
— Proposal to tax all services except those in the negative list comprising of 17 heads.
— Exemption from service tax is proposed for some sectors.
— Proposals from service tax expected to yield additional revenue of Rs. 18,660 crore.
— Given the imperative for fiscal correction, standard rate of excise duty to be raised from 10 per cent to 12 per cent, merit rate from 5 per cent to 6 per cent and the lower merit rate from 1 per cent to 2 per cent with few exemptions.
— Excise duty on large cars also proposed to be enhanced.
— Full exemption from basic customs duty for import of equipment for expansion or setting up of fertilizer projects upto March 31, 2015.
— Relief proposed to be extended to sectors such as steel, textiles, branded ready-made garments, low-cost medical devices, labour-intensive sectors producing items of mass consumption and matches produced by semi-mechanised units.
— Cess on crude petroleum oil produced in India revised to Rs.4,500 per metric tonne.
— Levy of excise duty of 1 per cent on branded precious metal jewellery to be extended to include unbranded jewellery. Operations simplified and measures taken to minimize impact on small artisans and goldsmiths.
— Branded Silver jewellery exempted from excise duty.
— Proposals relating to Customs and Central excise to result in net revenue gain of Rs. 27,280 crore.
— Indirect taxes estimated to result in net revenue gain of Rs. 45,940 crore.
— Net gain of Rs. 41,440 crore in the Budget due to various taxation proposals.