1. Reduction in corporate tax to 25 percent

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday reduced tax on businesses to 25 percent over four years from a current 30 percent, a decision which will boost the spending and create new job opportunities. The move will also help Industry to kickstart investments badly hit by the Indian economic slowdown in the last couple of years.



A sniffer dog and security personnel check bags containing the copies of the Union budget


2. Major subsidies to cost exchequer USD 37 billion in 2015/16
               
The NDA Government is  expected to spend 2.27 trillion rupees ($37 billion) on major subsidies during the fiscal year starting April 1, according to budget proposals presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday.
     

3. Special assistance for Bihar, West Bengal

Keeping an eye on the assembly elections in two states—Bihar and West Bengal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday decided to provide special financial assistance to both the states. Bihar is likely to go for polls at the end of this year while assembly elections in West Bengal will held next year.


People watch television sets displaying Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presenting the budget in Parliament

4. Service Tax rate hiked to 14 percent from 12.36 percent
            
An increase of almost 1.7 percent in Service Tax will push the prices of tobacco related products, electronic items including lap tops and computers, northward. Besides that from now eating out will become a costlier affair.
              
5. No change in personal Income Tax

The Finance Minister on Saturday made no changes in personal income tax, a move which will definitely please the huge middle class of the country. The NDA Government also decided to increase the health insurance premium deduction from 15,000 to 25,000. Increase in transport allowance to Rs 1,600 from the existing Rs 800 per month will also help the middle class to save Rs 96,000 per anum.


President Pranab Mukherjee meets with Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha at Rashtrapati Bhavan


6. Changes in excise on tobacco items, including cigarettes, paan masala and gutkha

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday raised the escise duty on tobacco items, including cigarettes, paan masala and gutkha. Centre's step will push the prices of these products higher. However, price increase will also help the government to combat the use of tobacco related products in the country.
 
7. Increase in defence allocations

In a bid to strengthen the Indian defence forces and give a push to Prime Minister's ambitious Make in India programme, the Finance Minister has increased the defence allocation by Rs 2.46 trillion for the year 2015-16. Allocation for defence sector for next financial year will
be Rs 2,46,727 crore against Rs 2,22,370 crore in the current year.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrives at the Parliament to present the Budget

8. New law to track black money

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the government was committed to tracing black money stashed abroad and a comprehensive new law will be framed to track it.  He also said there will be rigorous imprisonment of 10 years under black money law.

9. GDP growth to be 8-8.5 percent in 2015-16

Arun Jaitley, while presenting his first ever full Budget, said growth in the next financial year will rise to 8-8.5 percent and clock double-digit level in the subsequent years. The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has recently revised the base year for calculation of GDP growth to
2011-12. As per this, the economic growth rate in 2013-14 is estimated at 6.9 percent and for 2014-15 at 7.4 percent.
    
10. Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.9 percent, to reach 3 percent by FY'18
     
Arun Jaitley pegged fiscal deficit for 2015-16 at 3.9 percent of GDP and proposed to lower it to 3 percent by 2017-18, a year later than planned earlier. Unveiling the roadmap for fiscal consolidation while presenting the Budget 2015-16, he said the 3 percent fiscal deficit target will now be achieved in three years as against the FRBM target of two years.

A Parliament security staff stand guard over the General Budget documents

Latest News  from Business News Desk