Budget 2012 highlights

Prominent highlights of the Budget for 2012-13 presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha on Friday:

Prominent highlights of the Budget for 2012-13 presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Lok Sabha on Friday:

* Income tax exemption limit raised to Rs.2 lakh to provide relief of relief of Rs.2,000 for all assessees; 20 percent tax on income over Rs.10 lakh, up from Rs.8 lakh.

* Deduction of up to Rs.10,000 from interest from savings bank accounts.

* Defence to get Rs.1.93 lakh crore during 2012-13.

* Service tax rate raised from 10 percent to 12 percent to bring in Rs.18,660 crore.


* Number of proactive steps taken on black money (stashed away abroad); information has started flowing in, prosecution to be initiated; White Paper in current session.

* No change in corporate taxes but measures to enable them better access funds.

* Withholding tax on external commercial borrowings reduced from 20 percent to five percent for power, airlines, roads, bridges, affordable houses and fertiliser sectors.

* National Skill Development Fund allocated Rs.1,000 crore.

* Four thousand residential quarters to be constructed for paramilitary forces with an allocation of Rs.1,185 crore.

* National Population Register to be completed in two years.

* Excise duty raised from 10 to 12 percent.

* Cinema industry exempted from service tax.

* Branded silver jewellery fully exempt from excise duty.

* Customs duty on warning systems/track upgrade equipment for railways reduced from 10 percent to 7.5 percent.

* Import duty on equipment for iron ore mining reduced from 7.5 to 2.5 percent.

* Allocation of Rs.200 crore for research on climate change.

* Irrigation and water resource company to be operationalised.

* National mission on food processing to be started in cooperation with state governments.

* Integrated Child Development Scheme to be strengthened and restructured with allocation of Rs.15,850 crore.

* Allocation of Rs.14,000 crore for rural water supply and sanitation.

* Infusion of Rs.15,888 crore in public sector banks, regional rural banks and NABARD in 2012-13.

* Infrastructure will require Rs.50 lakh crore in 12th Plan, half of this from the private sector.

* Completion of highway projects 44 percent higher than in previous fiscal.

* External commercial borrowing of up to $1 billion permitted for airline sector.

* External commercial borrowings permitted to low-cost housing sector.

* From 2012-13, full subsidies for providing food security; in other sectors to the extent the economy can bear this.

* Hope to raise Rs.30,000 crore from disinvestments.

* New equity savings scheme to provide for income tax deduction of 50 percent for those who invest Rs.50,000 in equity and whose annual income is less than Rs.10 lakh.

* Corporate market reforms to be initiated.

* Bills on micro-finance institutions, national land bank and public debt management among those to be introduced in 2012-13.

* Addressing malnutrition, black money and corruption in public life among five priorities in year ahead.

* India's inflation structural, driven largely by agricultural constraints.

* Current account deficit 3.6 percent in 2011-12; this put pressure on exchange rate.

* Growth in 2012-13 estimated at 7.6 percent; expect inflation to be lower.

* Better monitoring of expenditure on government schemes.

* Fiscal 2011-12 year of recovery interrupted; reality turned out to be different.

* GDP growth in 2011-12 estimated at 6.9 percent; had to battle double digit inflation for two years.

* Good news: agriculture and services continued to perform well; economy is now turning around; recovery in core sectors.

* Now at juncture where it is necessary to take hard decisions; have to accelerate pace of reforms.