Budget 2013 Live Highlights: P. Chidambaram presents one of the most highly anticipated Indian budgets of recent years on Thursday, as the government looks to rein in a bloated fiscal deficit and restore confidence in Asia's third-largest economy.
The 2013/14 budget caps an intensive seven-month campaign by the energetic Chidambaram, who was appointed last August, to turn around India's fortunes after years of policy drift and global economic turmoil:
* Duty free limit on gold raised to Rs 50,000 in case of male and Rs 100,000 in case of female
* Duty on mobile phones above Rs 2,000 raised from one to six per cent, based on their maximum retail prices
* Excise duty on SUVs to be increased to 30 per cent from 27 per cent, SUVs registered as taxis exempted.
* Specific excise duty on cigarettes and cigars raised by 18 per cent.
* Service tax to be levied on all a/c restaurants
* Commodities transaction tax levied on non-agriculture commodities futures contracts at 0.01 per cent
* No review of income tax slabs for this year, propose tax credit of Rs 2,000 for incomes up to Rs 5 lakh.
* Surcharge of 10 per cent for individuals whose taxable income is over Rs 1 crore
* 'Nirbhaya Fund' of Rs 1,000 crore to empower women and provide safety in the wake of the Delhi gangrape incident.
* Investor with stake of 10 per cent or less will be treated as FII; any stake more than 10 per cent will be treated as FDI
* FIIs will be allowed to participate in exchange traded currency derivatives
* National Housing Bank (NHB) to set up urban housing bank fund and Rs 2,000 crore will be allocated in this regard, says FM.
* Securities Transaction Tax (STT) reduced on equity future, mutual fund.
* Education cess to continue at 3 per cent Investor Protection Fund set up by depositories will be exempt from tax
* Contributions made to central and state government health scheme eligible to tax benefit.
* Non plan expenditure pegged at Rs 11,09,975 crore for 2013-14.
* Plan expenditure pegged at Rs 555,322 crore
* Eligibility conditions for life insurance policies of persons suffering