Here are some of the highlights from the Union Budget 2012, tabled in the Indian Parliament this morning by Pranab Mukherjee, Union Minister of Finance.
* National Manufacturing Policy announced with the objective of raising, within a decade, the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 percent and creating of 10 crore jobs.
* Proposal to extend the sunset date for setting up power sector undertakings by one year for claiming 100 percent deduction of profits for 10 years.
* Proposal to tax all services except those in the negative list comprising of 17 heads.
* Basic customs duty proposed to be enhanced for certain categories of completely built units of large cars/MUVs/SUVs.
* Excise duty on large cars also proposed to be enhanced.
* Relief proposed to be extended to sectors such as steel, textiles, branded readymade garments, low-cost medical devices, labour-intensive sectors producing items of mass consumption and matches produced by semi-mechanised units.
* Concessions and exemptions proposed for encouraging the consumption of energy-saving devices, plant and equipment needed for solar thermal projects.
* Concession from basic customs duty and special CVD being extended to certain items imported for manufacture for hybrid or electric vehicle and battery packs for such vehicles.
* Exemption limit for the general category of individual taxpayers proposed to be enhanced from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,00,000 giving tax relief of Rs. 2,000.
* Full exemption from basic customs duty on LCD and LED TV panels, and parts of memory card for mobile phones.
* Customs duty on warning systems/track upgrade equipment for railways reduced from 10 percent to 7.5 percent.
* Our MSME sector is fertile ground for the production of low-cost medical devices. In order to provide impetus to this sector, I propose to reduce basic customs duty to 2.5 percent with concessional CVD of 6 percent on specified parts, components and raw materials for the manufacture of some disposables and instruments. Full exemption from basic customs duty and CVD is also being extended to specified raw materials for the manufacture of coronary stents and heart valves. These concessions would be subject to actual user condition.
* To promote investment in R&D, it is proposed to extend the weighted deduction of 200 per cent for R&D expenditure in an in-house facility beyond March 31, 2012 for a further period of five years.
* Kisan Credit Card (KCC) is an effective instrument for making agricultural credit available to the farmers. KCC scheme will be modified to make KCC a smart card which could be used at ATMs.