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2015 Union budget of India refers to 2015–2016 Union budget of India. The beginning of the budget printing began on 19 February 2015 with the traditional halwa ceremony. From 20 February until the presentation of budget about 100 government employees remained locked up in the North Block of the Secretariat Building, New Delhi, which houses the budget printing press, to maintain secrecy.[1] The budget was presented on 28 February by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.[2][3]

 () 2015 Union budget of India
Emblem of India.svg
Submitted byArun Jaitley, Finance Minister
Presented28 February 2015
ParliamentIndian Parliament
PartyBhartiya Janta Party
Websitewww.indiabudget.nic.in
‹ 2014
2016 ›

Contents

SummaryEdit

TaxationEdit

Personal income taxEdit

See also: Income Tax In India

There was no change in income tax slabs of individuals.[4] The wealth tax was abolished. The surcharge on individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUF), associations of persons (AOPs), bodies of individuals (BOI)s, artificial juridical persons, firms, cooperative societies and local authorities having income earning 1 crore or more, was raised from 10% to 12%.[5][6]

The permitted deduction limit was raised up to 25,000 towards health insurance for ordinary citizens, an increase from previous 15,000. For senior citizens, it was raised to 30,000 from previous 25,000. For very senior citizens, i.e. 80 or above, who don't have insurance, a deduction of 30,000 was allowed. A deduction up to 80,000 was allowed on the treatment of select very serious diseases for very senior citizens. A deduction up to 25,000 was allowed for differently-abled citizens.[7]

An additional 50,000 was permitted on the new pension scheme. Salaried employees were given the choice between Employees' Provident Fund and National Pension Scheme as their pension fund.[7][8] Investments in Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme and interest payouts were made eligible for deductions. Exemptions for transport allowances was raised from 800 to 1,600 per month, it is thus 19,200 per year. This exemption is usually given to individual salaried employees for commuting from home to workplace.[9][7]

It was announced that premature withdrawal from pension funds, if service period is less than 5 years, will result in deduction of tax at source. If withdrawal amount is more than 30,000 then 10% tax will be deducted.[10]

Corporate taxEdit

It announced that corporate tax rate will be gradually reduced from 30% to 25% over the period of 4 years, starting in April 2016. 2% surcharge was introduced on earnings above 10 crores. However, it was also announced that exemptions and incentives will also be removed.[11] It was announced that donations made to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Clean Ganga plan under corporate social responsibility will get 100% deduction.[12] The General Anti-Avoidance Rule was delayed by two years.[13] Yoga trusts were classified as charitable trusts and given tax benefits.[14]

Service taxEdit

The service tax rate was raised from 12.36% to 14%.[15] A Swachh Bharat cess was announced, under which 2% will be added on select services.[16] The service tax exemption given to mutual fund agents was withdrawn.[17] Lottery ticket sellers and chit fund agents were brought under the ambit of service tax.[18][19] Varishta Bima Yojana for senior citizens was exempt from service tax.[7]

Pre-cooling, ripening, retail packing and labelling of vegetables and fruits were exempted from service tax. Ambulance services were exempted from service tax. Visits to music concerts, amusement and theme parks were brought under the ambit of service tax. Visits to museums, zoos, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves were exempted service tax.[20]

Social security

Salaried employees were given the choice between Employees' Provident Fund and National Pension Scheme as their pension fund.[8] Two new insurance schemes and a pension fund were announced to improve the social security of the poor citizens. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana with an annual premium of 12 will provide a coverage of 2 lakh for full disability or death, and 1 lakh for partial disability. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana is a life insurance scheme with an annual premium of 330, it will pay 2 lakh in case of death. Atal Pension Yojana is a pension scheme targeted at the unorganised sector.[21]

ExciseEdit

The education cess were subsumed from central excise duty. Instead, the central excise duty rates were rounded off from 12.36% to 12.5%.[22] The clean energy cess was increased from 100 to 200 per tonne of coal.[23] It was announced that the Goods and Services Tax is expected to be implemented by 1 April 2016.[24]

The excise duty on cigarettes was increased by 25%. The excise on cut tobacco was raised from 60 to 70 per kg. The duty on plastic bags was increased from 12% to 18%. The duty on soft drinks and packaged water was increased from 12% to 18%. On cement, it increased from 900 per tonne to 1,000 per tonne. The duty was removed from compounds used in the manufacture of incense sticks.[20]

Excise duty on leather footwear was reduced from 12% to 6%. The duty on locally manufactured mobile phones, LED/LCD panels, LED lights and lamps was reduced. The duty on ambulance chassis reduced from 24% to 12.5%.[20]

Custom dutyEdit

22 components used in electronics sector were exempted from import duty.[25] Basic custom duty on magnetrons were removed. Import duty on various refrigerator components were removed. Import duty on solar water heaters was removed. Some pacemaker components were exempted.[20] Duty on imported commercial vehicle was increased from 10% to 40%.[26]

EducationEdit

A scheme called Nayi Manzil was announced which will help minority youth without school-leaving certificate to find employment.[27] Five new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) were announced for Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Assam. The setting up of second AIIMS like institution in Bihar was announced in 2015 Union budget.[28] An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will set up in Karnataka and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad will be upgraded to an IIT. Two new Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) announced for Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh.[29]

A new Post Graduate Institute of Horticulture Research and Education was announced for Amritsar. Three new National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research were announced for Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Two new Institutes of Science and Education Research were announced for Nagaland and Odisha. Two new institutes called Apprenticeship Training Institute for Women were announced for Haryana and Uttarakhand.[29]

A networked system called the Student Financial Aid Authority was announced which would monitor the allocation of scholarships and educational loans under the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram.[29]

The education budget was allocated 69,074 crore for the year 2015-16. This was a reduction from the revised estimates from 2014-15 which was 70,505 crore. The school education sector was allocated 42,219.5 crore and higher education sector was allocated 26,855 crore.[30]

InvestmentsEdit

A proposed Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, which would criminalise cash transactions of 20,000 or above for purchase of immovable properties, was announced. Permanent Account Number (PAN) was made mandatory for transactions above 1 lakh.[31] Three new gold deposit schemes were announced to reduce import of gold and monetise the gold held by citizens.[32] A gold coin with the Ashoka Chakra on the face will be created.[33] The listing of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) was made easier.[34] It was announced that foreign investments will be allowed in Alternative Investment Fund (AIF), which are pooled investments in real estate, private equity and hedge funds.[35] A simpler bankruptcy law would be created.[36] The SARFAESI Act will be expanded to cover non-banking financial institutions (NBFC) which will make it easier for them to recover non-performing assets (NPA).[37]

Other announcementsEdit

The states of Bihar and West Bengal were given special assistance packages from the centre.[38] A startup incubator programme called Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) was announced. It was allocated 1,000 crore.[39]

Revenues and expendituresEdit

The Plan Expenditure for 2014-15 was revised from 575,000 crore to 467,934 crore due to a large deficit. The Plan Expenditure for 2015-16 was set at 465,277 crore. The Non-Plan Expenditure was estimated at 1,312,200 crore, with the total being estimated at 1,777,477 crore.[40] The government expects 1,449,490 crore as tax receipts, of which 523,958 crore will go to state governments. Non-tax receipts were estimated at 221,733 crore for 2015-16.[41]

The defence budget was increased from 2.29 lakh crore in 2014-15 to 2.46 lakh crore in 2015-16, an increase of 10.95%.[42] The expenditure on healthcare was set at 33,152 crore for 2015-16, a reduction from 39,238 crore in 2014-15.[43] Tax-free infrastructure bonds were re-introduced after a gap of one year.[44]

The fiscal deficit for 2014-15 was 4.1% of the GDP. The target set for 2015-16 was that the fiscal deficit would be brought down to 3.9%. The revenue deficit target for 2015-16 was set at 2.8% of the GDP, 0.1% lower from 2014-15.[45]

ResponsesEdit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of BJP political party called the budget progressive and positive. Home Minister Rajnath Singh of BJP called the budget an important step towards building a modern India. BJP President Amit Shah praised the anti-black money measures.[46]

Mallikarjun Kharge of INC political party called the budget pro-industrialist. Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram of INC said the budget appeases taxpayers and corporates but ignores the poor. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of INC said that the budget had good intentions but lacked a proper road map.[46]

Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, thanked the Finance Minister for the special assistance package and the new AIIMS in Bihar.[47] Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam, called the budget pro-rich and pro-corporate and criticised it for the lack of benefits for North East India.[48] Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, called the budget disappointing as it lacked as special packages for Odisha, pointing that West Bengal and Bihar were granted special packages but Odisha was ignored despite facing two natural disasters in the near past Phailin and Hudhud.[49]

Indian stock index SENSEX gained 140 points on the day of budget announcement.[50] Kishore Biyani, CEO of Future Group, said new service tax rate may discourage consumption.[51]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'Halwa ceremony' marks beginning of budget printing process". The Hindu Business Line. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  2. ^ "India budget to boost investment". BBC News. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Key Features of Budget 2015-2016" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Budget 2015 Overview: No change in rate of personal tax; mediclaim, pension exemption limits hiked". Zee News. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Budget 2015: Tax hike for Super Rich". Zee News. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Budget 2015: Curtains on wealth tax, extra 2% surcharge on super-rich". Hindustan Times. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "Budget 2015: Tax exemptions for middle class". Zee News. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Budget 2015: EPF or NPS, employees get more choice". Live Mint. 28 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Transport allowance to be tax-free for up to Rs 1,600 per month". Hindustan Times. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Arun Jaitley makes big push towards social security reforms in Budget 2015". Business Today. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  11. ^ "India to cut corporate tax to 25% over four years". Rediff. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Budget: Tax sops likely for investments in Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga". Zee News. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Budget 2015: Wealth tax abolished; applicability of GAAR deferred by two years". The Economic Times. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Budget 2015 - Baba ray: Yoga gurus can now exhale". The Times of India. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Budget 2015: Service tax hike likely to hit overall consumption". The Economic Times. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Swachh Bharat Cess not on all services: Centre". Deccan Herald. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  17. ^ "Service tax exemption to MF agents withdrawn". The Times of India. 4 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Budget 2015: Now chit fund foremen to pay service tax". The Economic Times. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Lottery sellers now under service tax ambit". The Hindu. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d "Union Budget 2015-16: Smoking, eating out, air travel to be costlier". The Hindu. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  21. ^ "Govt announces details of new insurance, pension schemes". Business Line. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Budget 2015: Moving on GST; education cess to be subsumed in central excise, says government". The Economic Times. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Budget 2015 lukewarm to the green energy sector". Forbes India. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  24. ^ "Budget 2015: Implementation of GST in April 2016, a reality or mirage?". The Economic Times. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  25. ^ "For 'Make in India': No basic custom duty on 22 items". Hindustan Times. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  26. ^ "Union Budget 2015: Customs duty on commercial vehicles raised to 40% from 10%". Moneycontrol. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  27. ^ "Nayi Manzil is a step in right direction". The Times of India. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  28. ^ "Budget 2015: More AIIMS, IIT and IIMs, Announces Finance Minister Jaitley".
  29. ^ a b c "Over 2 per cent cut in education budget; new IITs, IIMs to be set up". The Economic Times. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  30. ^ "Budget 2015: Focus shifts to higher education". Live Mint. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  31. ^ "Benami property bill soon, PAN needed for over Rs 1 lakh purchase". Zee News. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  32. ^ "Budget 2015: India to introduce gold deposit accounts, no mention of import duty". The Economic Times. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  33. ^ "Ashoka Chakra gold coin soon". The Hindu. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  34. ^ "Union Budget 2015: REITs listing set to become easy, with smoother investor exits". The Economic Times. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  35. ^ "De-jargoned: Alternative investment funds". Live Mint. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  36. ^ "Budget 2015: A comprehensive bankruptcy code like US style Chapter 11". The Economic Times. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  37. ^ "SARFAESI Act to cover NBFCs". The Hindu. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  38. ^ "Budget 2015's poll pitch: Special assistance for Bihar, West Bengal". India Today. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  39. ^ "Budget 2015: Rs. 1,000-Crore Fund Announced for Tech Startups, Entrepreneurs". NDTV. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  40. ^ "Budget cuts Plan spending for current fiscal by Rs 1 lakh crore". DNA India. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  41. ^ "Budget 2015 At a glance (Revenues)" (PDF). Government of India. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  42. ^ "Indian defence budget hike will create new edge of tension: Pakistani media". The Economic Times. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  43. ^ "Budget 2015: 5 more AIIMS, tax exemption limit in health care premium increased". DNA India. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  44. ^ "Comeback kings: Arun Jaitley ushers in tax-free infra bonds again". The Financial Express (India). 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  45. ^ C. Rangarajan (1 March 2015). "Many hits in Budget, but fixing fiscal deficit is a miss". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  46. ^ a b "Union Budget 2015 reactions: BJP lauds Jaitley's 'clear vision', Congress terms it 'dhanwapsi' to corporates". Zee News. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  47. ^ "Budget 2015: Nitish Kumar thanks Centre for special financial assistance, AIIMS". The Economic Times. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  48. ^ "Union Budget 2015 pro-rich, pro-corporate, nothing for Assam and North-East: Tarun Gogoi". The Economic Times. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  49. ^ "Odisha ignored in budget, says Naveen Patnaik". The Hindu. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  50. ^ "Budget: Sensex Ends 140 Points Higher; Nifty Above 8,900". NDTV. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  51. ^ "Budget 2015: Middle-class consumers feel the pinch as FM Arun Jaitley raises duties and service tax". The Economic Times. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.

Further readingEdit