The Union Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday presented his eighth annual budget in Parliament and the much anticipated one turned out to be a totally disappointing one. The working class especially the central and government employees were expecting some changes in tax rates, exemptions, deduction etc. It was told that the current slabs were introduced last year. Hence there is no case of revising either
Despite high hopes the minister did not tinker with the Income Tax slabs. The personal income tax slabs and rates remains untouched. A tax credit of Rs. 2000 for every person who has an annual income of up to Rs. 5 lakh was announced. This may benefit few of the staff.
One positive announcement was that housing loan for first time loan takers of up to Rs 25 lakh would get additional deduction of interest of up to Rs 1 lakh in 2013-14. The additional exemption would mean tax benefit gets raised from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. This is only applicable for the year 2013-2014 for housing loans limit till Rs 25 lakh.
Apart from taxes, Mobile phones, dinning out, cigarettes, SUVs, motorbikes, set-up boxes get expensive. The minister proposed an increase in import duty on mobile phones priced above Rs 2,000 from the existing 1 per cent to 6 per cent. Service tax was announced on all A/C restaurants.
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