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Union Budget on 16th March, 2012

7th February, 2012

The Union Budget will be presented by the Indian Finance Minister in the Parliament on 16th March, 2012, as per reports. This year, the budget exercise has been postponed due to elections to certain state assemblies.

Service Tax net is likely to be widened in the annual financial exercise. A negative list for taxing services is on the cards. Once implemented, except a few specified services, all other services will be liable to Service Tax. The revenue pressures point to withdrawal of stimulus and excise duty and service tax rates being restored to pre-2008 levels. But, the government may go about selectively as industry has been demanding retention of the present rates.

On the Customs side, the Central Board of Excise & Customs has recently introduced audit at the premises of select importers and budget may take such audit to the doorsteps of other importers as well.

Income Tax is likely to witness a moderate hike in threshold limits for personal income tax, a move supported by industry to spur consumption and reduction in MAT rate. Banks have been asking for a reduction of lock-in period for taxsaver FDs. 

Industry has sought more tax incentives for pharma research, power projects and revisiting provisions relating to TDS on payments in course of exports like commissions. The government may introduce certain provisions from the proposed DTC like GAAR and CFC. 
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