Highlights from India’s Budget 2015

Cyber Journal24, Mar 01, 2015

By- Nitten Gokhaley with inputs from agencies

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced their Government’s first full year budget on Saturday. Prime Minister shared his opinion that this budget is pro-growth and pro-poor. It fulfills the aspirations of people belonging to various sections of society.

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As expected, the congress, the Aam Admi Party, and other opposition parties slammed the budget and claimed that it is pro-corporate. Hundreds of experts appeared, and are still appearing on various news channels to share their opinion about the budget.

But common man may not be able to listen to all those lengthy discussions and heated arguments between spokespersons of various political parties. So, let’s take a look at some important points about this budget from the common man’s point of view.

  • Service tax has been hiked from 12% to 14%

This hike means, customers will have to pay few rupees more on hotel bill, cable TV bill, Direct TV recharge, mobile phone bill, food bill and all the other bills that consists of service tax.

  • Government has increased Road Cess on petrol and diesel from Rs 2 to Rs 8

Fuel rates might increase in almost all states as Government has increased Road Cess on petrol and diesel from Rs 2 to Rs 8. Now oil companies can either absorb the rise, or pass some percentage of it to the customers. Reports suggest that both, petrol and diesel price will increase by around Rs 3 per liter from today.

 

  • Excise duty on cigar and cigarette has been increased, so cigarette prices are expected to increase by around 10 to 15%.
  • Ladies and kids footwear is expected to be cheaper due to reduction in excise duty for certain leather footwear items.
  • Government plans to invest around Rs. 70,000 crores in the country’s infrastructure.
  • Defence budget for 2015-16 has been hiked by around 11%.
  • Corporate tax will be reduced to 25% from the existing 30% during next four years.
  • Super-rich will have to pay 2% surcharge instead of wealth tax.
  • Government plans to give credit of 8.5 lakh crore to farmers during 2015-16.
  • Govt will soon introduce exclusive insurance scheme of Rs 2 lakhs for poor people against monthly premium of Rs 1.
  • Finance Minister introduced Atal pension scheme that involves equal contribution from individual and government.
  • Arun Jaitley also declared that Rs 25,000 per annum will be the new limit for tax deduction on health insurance premium.
  • Currently, the visa on arrival facility is available for citizens from 43 countries. Soon, this benefit will be extended to citizens from 150 countries.
  • Custom duties on certain raw materials will be reduced (list is not yet available).
  • In-order to make rural India’s young population employable, the Government plans to start National Skills (training) Mission.
  • Modi Government also introduced plans to pass new law to curb black money mess. Once amended, black money holders may face ten years in jail for holding illegal wealth.
  • As far as subsidies for 2015-16 are concerned, Government plans to spend Rs 1.24 trillion on food, Rs 729.69 billion on fertilizers and Rs 300 billion on fuel.

Head honchos from some national and multinational companies interacted with journalists and shared their opinion about Modi Government’s budget. Let’s take a look at some of the views –

 

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Altaf Halde, Kaspersky Lab’s MD for South Asia

Kaspersky Lab’s Managing Director for South Asian region, Altaf Halde shared his opinion about the budget. He thanked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for addressing Corporate India’s lost confidence with affirmative speech.

Altaf stressed on the point that reduction in corporate tax, and the announcement about supporting the start-ups will prove to be encouraging for India Inc. But, the Government’s decision to increase service tax can influence software sales figures.

While sharing his opinion about how the budget has successfully addressed country’s infrastructural development, Altaf said that the Government has shown clear roadmap and allocation of funds for the same.

The international software security group’s MD for South Asia believes that the budget is well structured. He found the Government’s plan to create world class IT hub under the Atal Innovation Mission as an encouraging one.

According to Altaf, the budget specially discusses skill development, as the Government wants the youth to be entrepreneurs instead of job seekers.

 

Rakesh Dugar - CMD, Mitashi

Rakesh Dugar, Chairman, MD of Mitashi consumer durables

Gaming industry’s undisputed leader Mitashi is well known not just in India, but in other countries as well. Company’s MD, Chairman Rakesh Dugar interacted with journalists and discussed certain points about the budget.

Rakesh shared his opinion that Government’s Make in India initiative will help in creating employment opportunities for the youth in the country. This initiative will also help the nation to become world’s manufacturing hub. Decision to introduce comprehensive bankruptcy code, introduction of GST from next year, reduction in custom duty for raw materials, and plans to delay implementation of GAAR will prove positive for businesses in India.

Rakesh Dugar believes that National Skill Mission will increase the employability of country’s young population. Rakesh also pointed out that the country can attract more foreign investment if the Government introduces fast-paced clearance system for those who wish to start new businesses.

 

Pirojshaw Sarkari, CEO, Mahindra Logistics - Copy

Pirojshaw Sarkari, CEO, Mahindra Logistics Ltd

Pirojshaw believes that introduction of GST is encouraging, and it will make manufacturing more competitive. He pointed out that Government’s decision to increase investment in country’s infrastructural development seems very sensible one. This decision will also help logistics service providers in long-term, as good roads will ensure cost efficiency and better speed for transporters.

 

CJ24

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