From Manmohan Singh to P Chidambaram, here are a flashback of reformist and dream budgets.
MANMOHAN SINGH, JULY 24, 1991
* Drastically slashes license raj and quantitative restrictions on companies.
* Tax concessions for software exports, leading to creation of global giants like Infosys, TCS and Wipro.
* Easier norms for import of consumer goods, plant & machinery; peak customs duty cut from 220% to 150%.
* Begins divestment of profitable PSUs.
* SEBI given full statutory powers to regulate listed companies.
* Emphasis on rationalisation of direct tax rates, simplified procedures for better tax compliance.
P CHIDAMBARAM, FEB 28, 1997
* Maximum marginal income tax rate for individuals cut from 40% to 30%.
* Income tax rate for domestic firms brought down from 40% to 35%.
* Simplified excise duty structure; peak customs duty slashed from 50% to 40%.
* Dividend tax abolished; MAT exemption for export profits; economic criteria-based tax on urban rich.
* Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme to recover black money.
YASHWANT SINHA, FEB 29, 2000
* Modvat scheme rationalised, ad valorem rates of basic excise duty merged into a single one.
* Government equity in all non-strategic PSUs to be brought down to 26% and below; PSUs which cannot be revived to be closed down.
* No allocation of sugar under PDS for Income Tax assesses; fertilizer subsidies rationalized.
* Vows to downsize Government; introduced VRS scheme for staff in the surplus pool.
* For medium-term management of the fiscal deficit, backed a strong institutional mechanism embodied in a Fiscal Responsibility Act.
YASHWANT SINHA, FEB 28, 2001
* Major rationalization in excise duty structure to introduce a single Cenvat Rate
* Removes Surcharge on Income Tax and Custom Duty to lower tax burden on cos.
* Attempts major labour reforms by easing hiring-firing rules and making it easier for industrial units to shut down
* Acceleration of the privatisation process and restructuring of public enterprises
* FII investment limit in a company raised to 49% from 40%
P CHIDAMBARAM, JULY 8, 2004
* Announces FDI cap to be raised from 49% to 74% in telecom; from 40% to 49% in civil aviation; & from 26% to 49% in insurance
* Unveils a major tax reform that led to all states switching to a uniform Value Added Tax regime from April 1, 2005.
* Tax on long-term capital gains from securities transactions abolished
* Raises the investment ceiling for FIIs in debt funds from $1 billion to $1.75 billion
* No one with a taxable income of Rs 100,000 will be required to pay income tax