02 March 2011

Brief synopsis of the Finance Minister's Budget for 2010-11 : Main points and highlights

The main impetus of the budget is to improve the growth rate and get it to 9 percent in the near term and to a double digit rate in the medium to longer term. The other two areas of focus are Infrastructure development especially in Rural India and Improving Governance by shoring up Systems and bringing stricter control on institutions.
10 Indians share their budget expectations 
Key points of the budget:
The government is very keen on ensuring that inflation is curbed and food security is ensured for all citizens.
Food items: Since inefficient distribution has been found to be the culprit for the sky rocketing of food prices, the FM has proposed to focus on reducing Production and Distributions bottlenecks. Food, vegetables, Meat etc will show an easing of prices in the medium term future.
Education: A higher allotment of funds in the form of over 24% hike as compared to last year for the Education Sector.

Full Coverage: Budget 2011

Income tax: More modernization of the taxation system is being mooted. A new form called "SUGAM" will make it easier for small tax payers to file their returns.
A miniscule hike of Rs 20000 in the exemption limit for tax payers has been introduced. The older citizens can feel happy as the FM has decrease the income tax "senior citizen" definition from age 65 to age 60 thus giving a big benefit to those born between 1946-1951. And for those who survive all the hardships of life and lvie to be over 80 they get a higher limit!!
IT sops in budget; air travel, health check-up to be costlier
Deduction of Rs 20000 for infrastructure bonds has been retained.
The direct taxes code which has been proposed to be implement from Aril 1, 2012. This has been in the offing for quite some time and is expected to make taxation simpler. The wait continues.
Sharad Pawar hails Budget as farmer-friendly
Direct transfer of Cash subsidy to be given to people below poverty line so that delivery of Kerosene, LPG and fertilizers happen in a more efficient and accountable manner
Selling off PSU's: Continuing the focus on divesting government stakes in Public Sector Undertakings the FM has proposed to look at raising Rs 40000 Crores from divestment in 11-12
Foreign Investment: The business environment is set to improve for Foreign companies as the government is looking at further liberalizing the FDI policy. More Foreign Direct Investment can only be good for the economy. Way to goĆ¢€¦
Investment in infrastructure will go up since FII investment in corporate bonds has been raised. Better roads, Bridges are on their way.
Housing Loan: Loan limit has been enhanced to Rs 25 Lakh for housing under priority sector lending. Interest subsidy (subvention) of 1% on housing loan has been liberalized. People in the lower financial spectrum to get benefit from Mortgage Risk Guarantee Fund.
Agriculture: Higher allotment uinder Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana of Rs 7860 Crores could see more support for the agriculture sector. Special focus on Vegetables in the form of Rs 300 crore for Vegetable initiative. Agriculture credit too raised to Rs 475, 000/- crores. Happier farmers could mean lower prices for the common man. Focus on Cold Chains and Storage could also lead to efficiency and in return reduction in prices and better quality vegetables reaching our kitchens.
Infrastructure is King: Rs 214000 Crores has been allotted for infrastructure for 2011-12. An increase of over 23% over the last year. We can see better highways and transport systems in the near future which could lead to reduction in inflation in the longer term.
Bring the money back: As expected the FM has taken note of the hue and cry over Black Money. Many new initiatives have been mooted to bring back black money in circulation.
Air travel and Medical aid to cost more: Service tax on air travel has been hiked. Hospitals with over 25 beds will have to pay tax on all services. So those posh hospitals could be giving you higher bills in the coming year.
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