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Union Budget 2008-09 highlights

Posted On: 2008-02-29 01:02:01

  • Rs. 60,000 crore agricultural debt relief package; complete loan waiver for small and marginal farmers; 4 crore farmers to benefit
  • Rs.2,80,000 crore target set for farm credit in 2008-09; short term crop loan to continue at 7 per cent interest
  • Irrigation and water resources finance corporation to be set up; rainfed area development programme to be started
  • Rs.3, 966 crore for schemes for scs and sts; Rs. 18,983 crore for schemes earmarking 20 per cent funds for scs and sts
  • Multi-sectoral development plans for all 90 minority concentration districts
  • All women self help groups credit-linked to banks to be covered under janashree bima yojana
  • National rural employment guarantee scheme to cover all 596 rural districts
  • A national programme to be launched for the elderly
  • Rashtriya swasthya bima yojana for workers under bpl category in unorganized sector
  • A statement on child related scheme introduced in the budget for the first time
  • Mid-day meal scheme to be extended to upper primary classes in all blocks
  • Special mechanism for north-eastern border areas
  • Government to establish 16 central universities
  • 3 IITs, 2 IISERs and 2 schools of planning and architecture to be established
  • 6,000 high quality model schools to be opened
  • New scholarship scheme for promoting innovations in science
  • Each district to have a nehru yuva kendra
  • Schools in water deficient habitations to have drinking water systems
  • Subsidy on houses under indira awas yojana increased from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 35,000 in plain areas and from Rs. 27,500 to Rs. 38,500 in hill/difficult area
  • Rs. 1000 crore provided for aam adami bima yojana
  • Allocation under indira gandhi old age pension scheme increased from Rs. 2392 crore to Rs. 3443 crore
  • Rs. 32,667 crore provided for food subsidy under public distribution system
  • Rs. 1000 crore provided for establishing a non-profit corporation for skill development
  • Rs. 750 crore allocated for upgrading 300 ITIs
  • Six mega-clusters planned for handlooms, powerlooms and handicrafts
  • Government to provide Rs. 16,436 crore as equity support and Rs. 3,003 crore as loans to central public sector enterprises
  • Backward region grant fund retained at Rs. 5,800 crore; bihar, orissa and uttar pradesh to get nearly 45 per cent of the amount
  • Income tax exemption limit hiked to Rs. 1.5 lakh; 10 per cent tax for income between Rs. 1.5 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh; 20 per cent between Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh. Income above Rs. 5,00,001 to attract 30 per cent income tax
  • Exemption limit for women tax payers increased to Rs. 1,80,000 and for senior citizens to Rs. 2,25,000
  • No change in corporate income tax rates and surcharge
  • No change in the peak rate of customs duty
  • Customs duty on project imports slashed from 7.5 per cent to 5 per cent
  • Duty on steel and aluminnum scrap abolished
  • Excise duty on pharmaceutical sector reduced from 16 per cent to 8 per cent
  • Small cars, two and three wheelers, buses and their chassis to cost less
  • Non filter cigarettes to cost more, excise on non filter cigarettes will be at par with filter cigarettes
  • Four more services brought under service tax net
  • Threshold limit of exemption for small service providers increased from Rs. 8 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh
  • Customs duty on crude and unrefined sulphur brought down from 5 to 2 per cent
  • Export duty on chrome ore increased from rs. 2000 to rs. 3000 per metric tonne
  • Cenvat on all goods reduced from 16 to 14 per cent
  • Central sales tax proposed to be reduced to 2 per cent from April 08
  • Excise duty on bulk cement brought on par with packaged cement; clinkers to attract excise duty of rs. 450 per metric tonne
  • PAN made compulsory for all transactions in the financial market subject to suitable exemption limit
  • Allocation for defence increased by 10 per cent from 96,000 crore to Rs. 105,600 crore
  • Revenue deficit estimated at Rs. 55,184 crore
  • Fiscal deficit pegged at 2.5 per cent of GDP


Source: Press Information Bureau

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