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Wednesday, February 28, 2007



Highlights of Union Budget 2007-08

New Delhi, Feb. 28 (PTI): Following are the highlights of the Budget for 2007-08 presented in Parliament by Finance Minister P Chidambaram today:

* No change in personal, corporate, service tax rates
* Threshold limit for income tax exemption increased by Rs 10,000 for all assesses, giving a relief of Rs 1,000
* For women, threshold exemption raised to Rs 145,000 from Rs 135,000
* Exemption for senior citizens raised to Rs 195,000 from Rs 185,000, giving a relief of Rs 2,000 in income tax
* Deduction in medical insurance premium under Sec 80D raised to Rs 15,000, for senior citizens Rs 20,000
* Surcharge on income tax on all firms and companies with a taxable income of Rs 1 crore or less to be removed.
* Infrastructure status given to natural gas distribution network, including pipelines
* Navigation channel in sea given infrastructure status
* Exemption limit for service tax raised to Rs 800,000 from Rs 400,000 for small service providers
* Service tax net widened
* Exemption limit on banking cash transaction tax for individuals, HUFs raised to Rs 50,000 from Rs 25,000
* Dividend distribution tax rate raised to 15% vs 12.5%
* Employee Stock Options brought under Fringe Benefit Tax
* Excise duty on petrol, diesel reduced from 8% to 6%
* Fiscal deficit for 2007-08 at 3.3% of GDP
* Fiscal deficit for 2006-07 revised to 3.7% vs 3.8% budgeted earlier
* Revenue deficit for 2007-08 estimated at 1.5% of GDP from 2% for current year
* Non-Plan expenditure up by 6.5% to Rs 435,421 crore
* Allocation for education up by 34.2%
* Allocation for health and family welfare up 21.9%
* Allocation for defence increased to Rs 96,000 crore
* No change in general CENVAT rate
* Additional education cess of 1% on taxes
* Excise duty exemption on pipes used for carrying water
* Peak custom duty rate reduced from 12.5 to 10%
* Customs duty reduced on pet food from 30 to 20%; on watch dials, and umbrella parts from 12.5 to 5%
* Crude, refined edible oil exempted from additional countervailing customs duty of 4 per cent
* Import duty on sunflower oil, both crude and refined, reduced by 15 percentage point
* Customs duty reduced on medial equipment to 7.5%
* All coking coal to be fully exempt from customs duty
* Import duty cut on drip irrigation system, agricutural sprinklers and food processing machinery from 7.5 to 5%
* Rs 500 crore provided for Commonwealth Games in Delhi
* 1,396 ITIs to be upgraded into centres of excellence
* Scheme to refund employers' contribution to EPF and Employee State Insurance for disabled people

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