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Monday, March 29, 2010

Indian Budget 2010-11 (February 26, 2010)

Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text of Budget Speech
Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Finance (February 26, 2010)
Madam Speaker, I rise to present the Union Budget for 2010-11.

In 2009, when I presented the interim Budget in February and the regular Budget in July in this august House, the Indian economy was facing grave uncertainties. Growth had started decelerating and the business sentiment was weak. The economy's capacity to sustain high growth was under serious threat from the widespread economic slowdown in the developed world.

2. It was not clear to us, as also to the policy makers in many other countries, how this crisis would eventually unfold. What would be its impact on the growth momentum of the Indian economy? How soon will we be able to turnaround the fortunes of our economy? The short term global outlook was bleak and the consensus was that year 2009 would face the brunt of this crisis across the world.

3. At home, there was added uncertainty on account of the delayed and sub-normal south-west monsoon, which had undermined the kharif crop in the country. There were concerns about production and prices of food items and its possible repercussions on the growth of rural demand.

4. Today, as I stand before you, I can say with confidence that we have weathered these crises well. Indian economy now is in a far better position than it was a year ago. That is not to say that the challenges today are any less than what they were nine months ago when UPA under the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi was elected back to power and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh formed the Government for the second term.

5. The three challenges and the medium term perspective that I had outlined in my last Budget Speech remain relevant, even today. These would continue to engage the Indian policy-planners for the next few years.

6. The first challenge before us is to quickly revert to the high GDP growth path of 9 per cent and then find the means to cross the 'double digit growth barrier'. This calls for imparting a fresh momentum to the impressive recovery in growth witnessed in the past few months. In this endeavour, I seek Lord Indra's help to make the recovery more broad-based in the coming months.

7. Growth is only as important as what it enables us to do and be. Therefore, the second challenge is to harness economic growth to consolidate the recent gains in making development more inclusive. The thrust imparted to the development of infrastructure in rural areas has to be pursued to achieve the desired objectives within a fixed time frame.

8. We have to strengthen food security, improve education opportunities and provide health facilities at the level of households, both in rural and urban areas. These are issues that require significant resources, and we have to find those resources.

9. The third challenge relates to the weaknesses in government systems, structures and institutions at different levels of governance. Indeed, in the coming years, if there is one factor that can hold us back in realising our potential as a modern nation, it is the bottleneck of our public delivery mechanisms. There have been many initiatives in this regard, in different sectors, at different points of time. Some of them have been effective in reforming the way the Government works in those areas. But we have a long way to go before we can rest on this count.

10. The Union Budget cannot be a mere statement of Government accounts. It has to reflect the Government's vision and signal the policies to come in future.

11. With development and economic reforms, the focus of economic activity has shifted towards the non-governmental actors, bringing into sharper focus the role of Government as an enabler.

12. An enabling Government does not try to deliver directly to the citizens everything that they need. Instead it creates an enabling ethos so that individual enterprise and creativity can flourish. Government concentrates on supporting and delivering services to the disadvantaged sections of the society.

13. It is this broad conceptualisation of the Budget that informs my speech today. I would now begin by presenting a brief overview of the economy.


PART A

I. OVERVIEW OF THE ECONOMY ... Read

II. CONSOLIDATING GROWTH ... Read

III. INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT ... Read

IV. STRENGTHENING TRANSPARENCY & PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILTY ... Read

V. BUDGET ESTIMATES 2010-11... Read

PART B

TAX PROPOSALS ... Read

a) DIRECT TAXES ... Read

b) INDIRECT TAXES ... Read

XIV. CONCLUSION... Read


Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

Overview of the Economy

14. Yesterday, I laid on the table of the House the Economic Survey, which gives a detailed analysis of the economic situation of the country over the past twelve months. I intend to highlight only a few salient features that form the backdrop of this Budget.

15. The fiscal year 2009-10 was a challenging year for the Indian economy. The significant deceleration in the second half of 2008-09, brought the real GDP growth down to 6.7 per cent, from an average of over 9 per cent in the preceding three years. We were among the first few countries in the world to implement a broad-based counter-cyclic policy package to respond to the negative fallout of the global slowdown. It included a substantial fiscal expansion along with liberal monetary policy support.

16. The effectiveness of these policy measures became evident with fast paced recovery. The economy stabilised in the first quarter of 2009-10 itself, when it clocked a GDP growth of 6.1 per cent, as against 5.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of the preceding year. It registered a strong rebound in the second quarter, when the growth rate rose to 7.9 per cent. With the Advance Estimates placing the likely growth for 2009-10 at 7.2 per cent, we are indeed vindicated in our policy stand. The final figure may well turn out to be higher when the third and fourth quarter GDP estimates for 2009-10 become available.

17. This recovery is very encouraging for it has come about despite a negative growth in the agriculture sector. More importantly, it is the result of a renewed momentum in the manufacturing sector and marks the rise of this sector as the growth driver of the economy. The growth rate in manufacturing in December 2009 was 18.5 per cent— the highest in the past two decades. There are also signs of a turnaround in the merchandise exports with a positive growth in November and December 2009 after a decline of about twelve successive months. Export figures for January are also encouraging. Significant private investment can now be expected to provide the engine for sustaining a growth of 9 per cent per annum. With some luck, I hope to breach the 10 per cent mark in not-too-distant a future.

18. A major concern during the second half of 2009-10 has been the emergence of double digit food inflation. There was a momentum in food prices since the flare-up of global commodity prices preceding the financial crisis in 2008, but it was expected that the agriculture season beginning June 2009 would help in moderating the food inflation. However, the erratic monsoons and drought like conditions in large parts of the country reinforced the supply side bottlenecks in some of the essential commodities. This set in motion inflationary expectations. Since December 2009, there have been indications of these high food prices, together with the gradual hardening of the fuel product prices, getting transmitted to other non-food items as well. The inflation data for January seems to have confirmed this trend.

19. Government is acutely conscious of this situation and has set in motion steps, in consultation with the State chief ministers, which should bring down the inflation in the next few months and ensure that there is better management of food security in the country.

Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

CONSOLIDATING GROWTH

20. Managing a complex economy is a difficult task, more so when it is a growing economy in a globalised world. And yet, choices have to be made and they have to be well-timed.

21. After successfully managing the effects of the global slowdown, we need to strengthen the domestic macroeconomic environment to help consolidate the rebound in growth and sustain it over the medium term. We need to review the stimulus imparted to the economy and move towards the preferred path of fiscal consolidation that facilitated the remarkable growth in the pre-crisis five year period. We need to make growth more broad-based and ensure that supply-demand imbalances are better managed.

Fiscal Consolidation

22. The success of the fiscal stimulus in supporting domestic demand could be traced to its composition. The approach of the Government was to increase the disposable income in the hands of the people by effecting reductions in indirect taxes and by expanding public expenditure on programmes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and rural infrastructure. Now that the recovery has taken root, there is a need to review public spending, mobilise resources and gear them towards building the productivity of the economy.

23. In shaping the fiscal policy for 2010-11, I have acted on the recommendations of the Thirteenth Finance Commission. It has recommended a calibrated exit strategy from the expansionary fiscal stance of last two years. The Commission has recommended a capping of the combined debt of the Centre and the States at 68 per cent of the GDP to be achieved by 2014-15.

24. As a part of the fiscal consolidation process, it would be for the first time that the Government would target an explicit reduction in its domestic public debt-GDP ratio. I intend to bring out, within six months, a status paper giving a detailed analysis of the situation and a road map for curtailing the overall public debt. This would be followed by an annual report on the subject.

Tax reforms

25. I am happy to inform the Honourable Members that the process for building a simple tax system with minimum exemptions and low rates designed to promote voluntary compliance, is now nearing completion. On the Direct Tax Code the wide-ranging discussions with stakeholders have been concluded. I am confident that the Government will be in a position to implement the Direct Tax Code from April 1, 2011.

26. On Goods and Services Tax, we have been focusing on generating a wide consensus on its design. In November, 2009 the Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers placed the first discussion paper on GST in the public domain. The Thirteenth Finance Commission has also made a number of significant recommendations relating to GST, which will contribute to the ongoing discussions. We are actively engaged with the Empowered Committee to finalise the structure of GST as well as the modalities of its expeditious implementation. It will be my earnest endeavour to introduce GST along with the DTC in April, 2011.

People's ownership of PSUs

27. While presenting the Budget for 2009-10, I invited people to participate in Government's disinvestment programme to share in the wealth and prosperity of the Central Public Sector Undertakings.

28. Since then, ownership has been broad based in Oil India Limited, NHPC, NTPC and Rural Electrification Corporation while the process is on for National Mineral Development Corporation and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam. The Government will raise about Rs.25,000 crore during the current year. Through this process, I propose to raise a higher amount during the year 2010-11. The proceeds will be utilised to meet the capital expenditure requirements of social sector schemes for creating new assets.

29. Listing of Central Public Sector Undertakings improves corporate governance, besides unlocking the value for all stakeholders—the government, the company and the shareholders. Market capitalization of five companies which have been listed since October, 2004 has increased by 3.8 times from the book value of Rs.78,841 crore to Rs.2,98,929 crore.

30. The effective management of public expenditure by bringing it in line with the Government's objectives is a part of the fiscal consolidation process. This calls for proper targeting of subsidies and expenditure adjustment.

Fertiliser subsidy

31. I had announced the intent of the Government for the fertiliser sector in my Budget Speech of 2009. A Nutrient Based Subsidy policy for the fertiliser sector has since been approved by the Government and will become effective from April 1, 2010. This policy is expected to promote balanced fertilization through new fortified products and focus on extension services by the fertiliser industry. This will lead to an increase in agricultural productivity and consequently better returns for the farmers. Over time, the policy is expected to reduce volatility in the demand for fertiliser subsidy in addition to containing the subsidy bill. Government will ensure that nutrient based fertiliser prices for transition year 2010-11, will remain around MRPs currently prevailing. The new system will move towards direct transfer of subsidies to the farmers.

Petroleum and Diesel pricing policy

32. In the last Budget, the constitution of an Expert Group, to advise the Government on a viable and sustainable system of pricing of petroleum products, was announced. The Group headed by Shri Kirit Parikh has submitted its recommendations to the Government. Decision on these recommendations will be taken by my colleague, the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, in due course.

33. I am very happy to inform the Honourable Members that we have not only adhered to the fiscal roadmap that I had presented as a part of the Budget documents last year, but we have improved upon it. Except for meeting the liabilities of the year 2008-09, we have not issued oil or fertiliser bonds. I shall come to the numbers when I refer to the budget estimates a little later.
Click for Union Budget 2010-11

Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT

72. For the UPA Government, inclusive development is an act of faith. In the last five years, our Government has created entitlements backed by legal guarantees for an individual's right to information and her right to work. This has been followed-up with the enactment of the right to education in 2009-10. As the next step, we are now ready with the draft Food Security Bill which will be placed in the public domain very soon. To fulfil these commitments the spending on social sector has been gradually increased to Rs.1,37,674 crore which now stands at 37 per cent of the total plan outlay in 2010-11. Another 25 per cent of the plan allocations are devoted to the development of rural infrastructure. With growth and the opportunities that it generates, we hope to further strengthen the process of inclusive development.

Education

73. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 creates a framework for legal entitlements for all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years to education of good quality, based on principles of equity and non-discrimination. In recent years, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has made significant contribution in improving enrolment and infrastructure for elementary education. About 98 per cent of habitations are now covered by primary schools. I propose to increase the plan allocation for school education from Rs.26,800 crore in 2009-10 to Rs.31,036 crore in 2010-11. In addition, States will have access to Rs.3,675 crore for elementary education under the Thirteenth Finance Commission grants for 2010-11.

Health

74. An Annual Health Survey to prepare the District Health Profile of all Districts shall be conducted in 2010-11. The findings of the Survey should be of immense benefit to major public health initiatives particularly the National Rural Health Mission, which has successfully addressed the gaps in the delivery of critical health services in rural areas.

75. I propose to increase the plan allocation for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, from Rs.19,534 crore to Rs.22,300 crore for 2010-11.


Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

STRENGTHENING TRANSPARENCY & PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILTY

100. The UPA Government has made a serious attempt to create an environment that supports transparency and accountability in the working of the public institutions in the country. As Honourable Members are aware, a number of legislative and administrative measures have been taken in this regard.

Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission

101. Most of our legislations governing the financial sector are very old. Large number of amendments to these Acts made at different points of time has also increased ambiguity and complexity. The Government proposes to set up a Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission to rewrite and clean up the financial sector laws to bring them in line with the requirements of the sector.

Administrative Reforms Commission

102. The Administrative Reforms Commission constituted by the UPA Government in its first term has submitted 15 reports, of which 10 reports have been examined by the Government. Out of the 800 identified recommendations for implementation so far, 350 recommendations have been implemented and 450 are under implementatio
Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

Budget Estimates 2010-11

112. The Gross Tax Receipts are estimated at Rs.7,46,651 crore. The Non Tax Revenue Receipts are estimated at Rs.1,48,118 crore. The net tax revenue to the Centre as well as the expenditure provisions in 2010-11 have been estimated with reference to the recommendations of the Thirteenth Finance Commission.

113. The total expenditure proposed in the Budget Estimates for 2010-11 is Rs.11,08,749 crore, which is an increase of 8.6 per cent over the total expenditure in BE 2009-10. The Plan and Non Plan expenditures in BE 2010-11 are estimated at Rs.3,73,092 crore and Rs.7,35,657 crore, respectively. While there is a 15 per cent increase in Plan expenditure, the increase in Non Plan expenditure is only 6 per cent over the BE of previous year. With this level of Plan expenditure, I am confident that the total Plan expenditure would be very close to 100 per cent of the expenditure envisaged in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.



114. Honourable Members will agree that fiscal policy has to be guided by the required framework for fiscal prudence. In the Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement presented along with Budget 2009-10, I had laid down a road map for fiscal deficit. I am happy to report that in keeping with my commitment, I have been able to present the Budget for 2010-11 with a fiscal deficit of 5.5 per cent. In the Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement being presented to the House today, along with other Budget documents, the rolling targets for fiscal deficit are pegged at 4.8 per cent and 4.1 per cent for 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively. These projections improve upon the recommendations of the Thirteenth Finance Commission.

115. While presenting the Budget for 2009-10, I had expressed my concern about the high level of fiscal deficit. I had also stated that the Government will address this issue in right earnest to come back to the path of fiscal consolidation at the earliest. I am happy to report that against a fiscal deficit of 7.8 per cent in 2008-09, inclusive of oil and fertiliser bonds, the comparable fiscal deficit is 6.9 per cent as per the Revised Estimates for 2009-10. Both these deficit figures are based on the revised GDP numbers published by the Central Statistical Organisation and include what were earlier referred to as below the line items. This marks an improvement of about one per cent in fiscal deficit during the current year. I have made a conscious effort to avoid issuing bonds to oil and fertiliser companies. I would like to continue with this practice of extending Government subsidy in cash, thereby bringing all subsidy related liabilities into our fiscal accounting.

116. The fiscal deficit of 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2010-11 works out to Rs.3,81,408 crore. Taking into account the various other financing items for fiscal deficit, the actual net market borrowing of the Government in 2010-11 would be of the order of Rs.3,45,010 crore. There will be enough space to meet the credit needs of the private sector. The Government will plan the borrowing programme in consultation with the RBI.
PART B
Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

TAX PROPOSALS

117. While formulating them, I have been guided by the principles of sound tax administration as embodied in the following words of Kautilya:

"Thus, a wise Collector General shall conduct the work of revenue collection.... in a manner that production and consumption should not be injuriously affected.... financial prosperity depends on public prosperity, abundance of harvest and prosperity of commerce among other things."

118. I had stated last year that tax reform is a process and not an event. The process I had outlined in the area of direct taxes was to release a draft Direct Taxes Code along with a Discussion Paper. In the area of indirect taxes, the reform initiative was the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax. I have presented the developments in both reform initiatives in Part 'A' of my Speech.

119. We have continued on the path of computerisation in core areas of service delivery in the administration of direct taxes. This will reduce the physical interface between taxpayers and tax administration and speed up procedures and processes. The Centralised Processing Centre at Bengaluru is now fully functional and is processing around 20,000 returns daily. This initiative will be taken forward by setting up two more Centres during the year.

120. As a part of Government's initiative to move towards citizen centric governance, the income tax department has introduced "Sevottam", a pilot project at Pune, Kochi and Chandigarh through Aayakar Seva Kendras. These provide a single window system for registration of all applications including those for redressal of grievances as well as paper returns. This year the scheme will be extended to four more cities.

121. To achieve the roll-out of GST by April 2011, the indirect tax administrations at the Centre and the States need to revamp their internal work processes based on the use of Information Technology. I am happy to inform Honorable Members that project ACES - Automation of Central Excise & Service Tax, has already been rolled out throughout the country this year. This will impart greater transparency in tax administration and improve the delivery of taxpayer services. Similarly, a Mission Mode Project for computerisation of Commercial Taxes in States has been approved recently. With an outlay of Rs.1133 crore of which the Centre's share is Rs.800 crore, the project will lay the foundation for the launch of GST.

122. I mentioned last year, that the income tax return forms should be simple and user friendly. The income tax department is now ready to notify SARAL-II form for individual salaried taxpayers for the coming assessment year. This form will enable individuals to enter relevant details in a simple format in only two pages.

123. To expeditiously resolve disputes with taxpayers I propose to expand the scope of cases which may be admitted by the Settlement Commission to include proceedings related to search and seizure cases pending for assessment. I also propose to expand the scope of Settlement Commission in respect of Central Excise and Customs so that certain categories of cases that hitherto fell outside its jurisdiction may be admitted.

124. Last year, amendments to the statute enabled Government to enter into tax treaties with specified territories besides sovereign states. We have commenced bi-lateral discussions to enhance the exchange of bank related and other information to effectively track tax evasion and identify undisclosed assets of resident Indians lying abroad.
Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

DIRECT TAX

125. Last year I provided relief to individual taxpayers by enhancing the exemption limit for all taxpayers and withdrawing the surcharge on personal income tax. Taxpayers have responded positively to these concessions by contributing a higher level of taxes. There is a persuasive case for further relief by broadening the current tax slabs which I propose as follows:

Income upto Rs.1.6 lakh Nil

Income above Rs.1.6 lakh and upto Rs.5 lakh 10 per cent

Income above Rs.5 lakh and upto Rs.8 lakh 20 per cent

Income above Rs.8 lakh 30 per cent

126. The proposed broadening of tax slabs will provide substantial relief to a large number of taxpayers.

127. To promote savings as well as to ensure their utilisation for the thrust area of infrastructure, I propose to allow a deduction of an additional amount of Rs.20,000 for investment in long-term infrastructure bonds as notified by the Central Government. This would be over and above the existing limit of Rs.1 lakh on tax savings. I am sure that these reliefs will put more money in the hands of individual taxpayers for both consumption as well as saving.

128. Besides contributions to health insurance schemes which is currently allowed as a deduction under the Income-tax Act, I propose to allow contributions to the Central Government Health Scheme also as a deduction under the same provision.

129. Taking forward my initiative of phasing out surcharge, I propose to reduce the current surcharge of 10 per cent on domestic companies to 7.5 per cent. At the same time, I propose to increase the rate of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) from the current rate of 15 per cent to 18 per cent of book profits. This will further promote inter-se equity among corporate taxpayers.

130. The President, in her address to the Parliament in June 2009, had declared this decade as the Decade of Innovation. Last year, I extended the scope of weighted deduction on expenditure incurred on in-house research and development (R&D) to all manufacturing businesses except for a small negative list. To further encourage R&D across all sectors of the economy, I now propose to enhance the weighted deduction on expenditure incurred on in-house R&D from 150 per cent to 200 per cent. I also propose to enhance the weighted deduction on payments made to National Laboratories, research associations, colleges, universities and other institutions, for scientific research from 125 per cent to 175 per cent.

131. Currently, any payment made to an approved scientific research association is eligible for weighted deduction. The income of the approved scientific research association is exempt from tax. I propose that payments made to approved associations engaged in research in social sciences or statistical research would be allowed a weighted deduction of 125 per cent. The income of such approved research associations shall be exempt from tax.

132. In my Budget Speech last year, I stated that profit linked deductions are inherently inefficient and liable to misuse. To incentivise businesses in priority sectors, I introduced investment linked deduction

Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

INDIRECT TAX

141. The major objectives that have guided me in the formulation of my proposals on indirect taxes are the need to achieve some degree of fiscal consolidation without impairing the recovery process and moving forward on the road to GST.

142. Unlike the time I presented the last Budget, symptoms of economic recovery are more widespread and clear-cut now. The three fiscal stimulus packages that the Government introduced in quick succession have helped the process of recovery significantly. The improvement in our economic performance encourages a course of fiscal correction even as the global situation warrants caution. Therefore, I propose to partially roll back the rate reduction in Central Excise duties and enhance the standard rate on all non-petroleum products from 8 per cent to 10 per cent ad valorem. The specific rates of duty applicable to portland cement and cement clinker are also being adjusted upwards proportionately. Similarly, the ad valorem component of excise duty on large cars, multi-utility vehicles and sports-utility vehicles which was reduced as part of the first stimulus package, is being increased by 2 percentage points to 22 per cent.

143. In the wake of spiralling petroleum prices, Government provided full exemption from basic customs duty to crude petroleum and proportionately reduced the basic duty on refined petroleum products in June, 2008. Compared to the international price of the Indian crude basket of US$ 112 per barrel at that time, the prices are much softer at present. In view of the pressing need to move back to a fiscal consolidation path, I propose to restore the basic duty of 5 per cent on crude petroleum; 7.5 per cent on diesel and petrol and 10 per cent on other refined products. I also propose to enhance the Central Excise duty on petrol and diesel by Re.1 per litre each.

144. Since I quit smoking many years ago, I would urge others to also follow suit, as smoking is injurious to health. To this end, I am making some structural changes in the excise duty on cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos coupled with some increase in rates. I also propose to enhance excise duty on all non-smoking tobacco such as scented tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco etc. In addition, I propose to introduce a compounded levy scheme for chewing tobacco and branded unmanufactured tobacco based on the capacity of pouch packing machines.

145. Let me now turn to some much-needed incentives in thrust areas for sustainable growth and development.



Agriculture & Related Sectors

146. In supporting the strategy outlined for development of agriculture earlier in my speech, I propose to address a few key areas that call for focused attention. These are:

(i) A strong supply chain for perishable farm produce to reach consumption and processing centres promptly;

(ii) Infrastructure and technology to convert such produce into value-added products; and

(iii) Infusion of technology to augment agricultural production.

147. Similar attention needs to be paid to related sectors such as apiary, horticulture, dairy, poultry, meat, marine and aquaculture.

148. For achieving these objectives, I propose to provide:

• project import status with a concessional import duty of 5 per cent for the setting up of mechanised handling systems and pallet racking systems in 'mandis' or warehouses for food grains and sugar as well as full exemption from service tax for the installation and commissioning of such equipment.

• project import status at a concessional customs duty of 5 per cent with full exemption from service tax to the initial setting up and expansion of

» Cold storage, cold room including farm pre-coolers for preservation or storage of agriculture and related sectors produce ; and

» Processing units for such produce.

• full exemption from customs duty to refrigeration units required for the manufacture of refrigerated vans or trucks.

149. I also propose to provide:

• concessional customs duty of 5 per cent to specified agricultural machinery not manufactured in India;

• central excise exemption to specified equipment for preservation, storage and processing of agriculture and related sectors and exemption from service tax to the storage and warehousing of their produce; and

• full exemption from excise duty to trailers and semi-trailers used in agriculture.

150. Concessional import duty was provided to specified machinery for use in the plantation sector in the year 2003. This exemption is to lapse in July 2010. The modernization of this labour-intensive sector is yet to reach the expected level. I propose therefore, to extend it up to March 31, 2011 along with a CVD exemption. I hope this will provide sufficient time for the sector to achieve the desired objective.

151. One of the prerequisites for agricultural productivity is access to good quality and disease-resistant seeds. I propose to exempt the testing and certification of agricultural seeds from service tax.

152. I also propose to exempt the transportation by road of cereals and pulses from service tax. Their transportation by rail would remain exempt.

153. I propose two measures under the Central Excise law to ease the cash flow position for small-scale manufacturers hard hit by the economic slowdown. First, they would be permitted to take full credit of Central Excise duty paid on capital goods in a single instalment in the year of their receipt. Secondly, they would be permitted to pay Central Excise duty on a quarterly, rather than monthly basis. These measures that come into effect on the April 1, 2010 should provide them considerable relief.

Environment

154. Harnessing renewable energy sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels is now recognised as a credible strategy for combating global warming and climate change. To build the corpus of the National Clean Energy Fund announced earlier, I propose to levy a clean energy cess on coal produced in India at a nominal rate of Rs.50 per tonne. This cess will also apply to imported coal.

155. In pursuance of Government's resolve to implement the National Solar Mission, I propose to provide a concessional customs duty of 5 per cent to machinery, instruments, equipment and appliances etc. required for the initial setting up of photovoltaic and solar thermal power generating units. I also propose to exempt them from Central Excise duty. Similarly, ground source heat pumps used to tap geo-thermal energy would be exempt from basic customs duty and special additional duty.

156. Wind energy has shown promising growth in the country in recent years. As a measure of further relief, I propose to exempt a few more specified inputs required for the manufacture of rotor blades for wind energy generators from Central Excise duty.

157. LED lights are staging a debut as a highly energy-efficient source of lighting for streets, homes and offices. Central Excise duty on these is being reduced from 8 per cent to 4 per cent at par with Compact Fluorescent Lamps.

158. Full exemption from Central Excise duty was provided to electric cars and vehicles that offer an eco-friendly alternative to petrol or diesel vehicles. The manufacturers of such vehicles have expressed difficulty in neutralising the duty paid on their inputs and components. I propose to remedy this by imposing a nominal duty of 4 per cent on such vehicles. I also propose to exempt some critical parts or sub-assemblies of such vehicles from basic customs duty and special additional duty subject to actual user condition. These parts would also enjoy a concessional CVD of 4 per cent.

159. The humble cycle rickshaw is now being acclaimed as an environment-friendly means of transport. CSIR has developed an innovative product called 'soleckshaw' to replace manually-operated rickshaws. It runs on batteries which are charged by solar power. I propose to provide a concessional excise duty of 4 per cent to this product. Its key parts and components are also being exempted from customs duty.

160. To encourage the use of bio-degradable materials, I propose to exempt the import of compostable polymer from basic customs duty.



Indian Budget 2010-11- Full Text- February 26, 2010

CONCLUSION

185. Copies of notifications giving effect to the changes in customs, central excise and service tax will be laid on the Table of the House in due course.

186. My proposals on Direct Taxes are estimated to result in a revenue loss of Rs.26,000 crore for the year. Proposals relating to Indirect Taxes are estimated to result in a net revenue gain of Rs.46,500 crore for the year. Taking into account the concessions being given in my tax proposals and measures taken to mobilise additional resources, the net revenue gain is estimated to be Rs.20,500 crore for the year.

187. We have emerged from the global slowdown faster than any other nation. I did not hesitate in exercising my judgement on the course of action last year and I have no hesitation in my mind now. Our actions today will determine our tomorrow.

188. This Budget belongs to 'Aam Aadmi'. It belongs to the farmer, the agriculturist, the entrepreneur and the investor. The opportunity is great. The time is right. I have placed my faith in the hands of the people who, I know, can be depended upon to rise to any occasion in national interest. I have placed my faith in the collective conscience of the nation that can be touched to scale undreamt of heights in the coming years.

189. Madam Speaker, with these words I commend the Budget to the House.