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Implications Of The Union Budget Of India Economics Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

This article starts with highlighting some the basics of the Union Budget 2013-14. It further looks in detail at the planned and non-planned expenditure patterns. A detailed look has been taken at the tax proposals and its impact on individuals and different sectors. A special mention has been made of the views of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The article then concludes by saying that overall it is a lukewarm budget.

IMPLICATIONS OF THE UNION BUDGET OF INDIA 2013-14

Abstract

This article starts with highlighting some the basics of the Union Budget 2013-14. It further looks in detail at the planned and non-planned expenditure patterns. A detailed look has been taken at the tax proposals and its impact on individuals and different sectors. A special mention has been made of the views of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The article then concludes by saying that overall it is a lukewarm budget.

KEYWORDS -Union budget India, 2013, highlights , impact, individual, sectors

Introduction

The Union Budget 2013-14 was presented admist huge challenges posed by the macro- economic environment both in the domestic and global scenario. A majority feel that the Finance Minister (FM) Mr. P. Chidambram has done a commendable job by adhering to many of the public commitments he made in the recent past regarding the level of fiscal deficit in India.

The FM did not announce drastic changes in the tax structure which could have brought in more resources. But given this moderate mop up he has increased outlays on many of the key sectors of the economy like education, health and social sector. Yet he has managed to curtail the fiscal deficit at 4.8 % of the GDP. He has also committed to decreasing subsidies given the next year’s estimate for combined food, fertilizer and petroleum product subsidies is at almost Rs 27,000 crore less than the revised estimates for 2012-13.

Some Important Highlights

* Fiscal deficit seen at 4.8 point of GDP in 2013/14

* Faced with huge fiscal deficit, India had no choice but to rationalize expenditure

Borrowing

* Gross market borrowing seen at 6.29 trillion rupees in 2013/14

* Net market borrowing seen at 4.84 trillion rupees in 2013/14

* Short-term borrowing seen at 198.44 billion rupees in 2013/14

* To buy back 500 billion rupees worth of bonds in 2013/14

Subsidies

* 2013/14 major subsidies bill estimated at 2.48 trillion rupees from 1.82 trillion rupees

* Petroleum subsidy seen at 650 billion rupees in 2013/14

* Revised petroleum subsidy for 2012/13 at 968.8 billion rupees

* Estimated 900 billion rupees spending on food subsidies in 2013/14

* Revised food subsidies at 850 billion rupees in 2012/13

* Revised 2012/13 fertiliser subsidy at 659.7 billion rupees

Expenditure

* Total budget expenditure seen at 16.65 trillion rupees in 2013/14

* Non-plan expenditure estimated at about 11.1 trillion rupees in 2013/14

* India’s 2013/14 plan expenditure seen at 5.55 trillion rupees

* Revised estimate for total expenditure is 14.3 trillion rupees in 2012/13, which is 96 point of budget estimate

* Set aside 100 billion rupees towards spending on food subsidies in 2013/14

Revenue

* Expect 133 billion rupees through direct tax proposals in 2013/14

* Expect 47 billion rupees through indirect tax proposals in 2013/14

* Target 558.14 billion rupees from stake sales in state-run firms in 2013/14

* Expect revenue of 408.5 bln rupees from airwave surcharges, auction of telecom spectrum, licence fees in 2013/14

Current Account Deficit

India’s greater worry is the current account deficit – will need more than $75 billion this year and next year to fund deficit

Inflation

Food inflation is worrying, but all steps will be taken to augment the supply side.

Plan and Non-Plan Expenditures

Planned expenditures have been reduced by 20% from that budgeted for FY 2013 in to attain the projected deficit number of 5.1%. This is giving some jitters to the investor community. Planned expenditures in India’s budget refer to discretionary expenditures which can increase the productive capacity of the economy – for example, public infra spending, capital expenditure programs of public sector units and capital expenditures in the agriculture sector such as strengthening irrigation facilities / dry land farming etc.

On the contrary in the view of many economists curtailment of planned expenditures can have an adverse impact on long-term capital asset creation in the economy. On the other hand non-plan expenditure has not been reduced at all. It has actually been increased by 5% on the revenue account. It is slated for a further 10% increase in FY 2014.

This brings us to question of what non-plan expenditure is. It primarily comprises of subsidies – food, fertilizer and petroleum – and other transfer payments, salaries, pensions etc. The 10% increase in non-plan expenditure projected for FY 2014 appears optimistic and quite on the lower side. A matter of concern is however the fact that the three critical areas of food, fertilizer and petroleum subsidies have not seen any determined attempts at long-term reduction.

Budget Proposals and the Implications for Different Sectors

Individuals

Income Tax Slabs

Income Tax Rates

Where the total income does not exceed Rs. 2,00,000/-.

NIL

Where the total income exceeds Rs. 2,00,000/- but does not exceed Rs. 5,00,000/-.

10% of amount by which the total income exceeds Rs. 2,00,000/-

Where the total income exceeds Rs. 5,00,000/- but does not exceed Rs. 10,00,000/-.

Rs. 30,000/- + 20% of the amount by which the total income exceeds Rs. 5,00,000

Where the total income exceeds Rs. 10,00,000/-.

Rs. 130,000/- + 30% of the amount by which the total income exceeds Rs. 10,00,000/-

Education Cess: 3% of the Income-tax.

A tax rebate of Rs 2,000 is proposed to be allowed for taxpayers earning total income of up to Rs 5 lakh. This increases the basic threshold limit for tax trigger at Rs 2.2 lakh for taxpayers with income up to Rs 5 lakh. However there was no relief for taxpayers earning total income above Rs 5 lakh. Simultaneously the FM imposed a 10% surcharge on income tax for those earning above Rs 1 crore. This is a mere 42,800 in number.

Those taking new home loans of up to Rs 25 lakh during 2013-14 for purchase of their first residential property not worth above 40 lakhs will be eligible for an additional deduction of 1 lakh on interest payable The unutilized deduction amount can be carried forward to the next year.

Women Empowerment

The government has we had seen all along above adopted a ‘pro-poor, anti-rich’ stance. In addition the FM in the budget 2013 showed a lot of concern for women. Among the many proposals notable was the “Nirbhaya” fund with an allocation of 1000crores. It is aimed at protecting women. He also announced the starting of a all-women public sector bank with n allocation of 1000 crores.

Corporates

There is a reason for corporates to cheer. There is an incentive for them to invest as 15% of spending of over Rs 100 crore on new plant and machinery in the next two years qualifying for a deduction.

Securities Market

The markets had some sops too. This was in the form of lower tax on securities transactions and easier procedures for foreign portfolio investors. But on the other hand there was a fresh levy, equivalent to the tax on securities transactions, on non-agricultural commodity futures.

Impact on Banks

The budget proposals will benefit government banks through equity infusion and gradual easing in stress on infrastructure loans. However, the level of non-performing loans (NPL) might be high because of the continued focus on agricultural credit. An equity injection of Rs 14000 crores in FY 2014 was planned. This was to maintain the momentum of all initiatives proposed since FY 09. The FM further pledged commitment when he said banks will always meet the Basel III capital norms. Private sector banks were encouraged to become competitive by creating a level playing field for them by extending them the interest subvention scheme.

Impact on Healthcare

The FM pledged that the government was hell-bent on providing ‘Health for All’ or ‘Universal Health Coverage’ and promised Rs 37,330 crore, an increase from Rs 30,702 last year, for the health ministry to achieve this. Here are some are some highlights of the sops:

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare  got an allocation of Rs 37,330 crores

There is a proposal to create a National Health Mission and this NHM will be given Rs 21,200 crore.

The FM allocated Rs 4,721 crores to improve medical education,

An allocation of Rs 300 crores was made to alleviate child malnutrition.  

The Ministry of Women and Child Development was asked to frame a better for the improvement of the condition of women in the country. He allocated Rs 97,000 crores for women’s development

To improve the childcare health and education facilities, the FM made an allocation of Rs 76,000 crores.

The FM attempts to create a comprehensive social security package to make insurance more accessible to Below-Poverty Line families.

The FM added with a hint of humour that tobacco, the Government’s favourite taxable product would attract a Special Excise Duty (SED) of 18%. This would apply to all tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, cheerots.

Auto Industry

The Union Budget has received a mixed response from the Indian auto industry. Some called it the worst-ever and some called it fair or even neutral. The budget was not well received because of its hike in the excise duty on Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and luxury models. Joginder Singh, President and Managing Director (MD), Ford India Private Limited (FIPL), said, “As we all know the automotive industry has been going through very challenging times, we are disappointed with the increase in the excise duty for SUVs.”

Textiles

The budget announced a zero excise duty on cotton textiles at the fibre, yarn, fabric and garment stage. This will help reduce prices of end products. The reduced prices will further boost garment demand amid weak consumer sentiment. This move will undoubtedly promote revenue growth and improve operating profit and cash flows of the textile sector. The budget in continuation of the Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme in the Twelfth Five Year Plan allocated Rs2,400 crore for technology up-gradation. This is likely to encourage investments power loom modernisation.

Impact on Infrastructure

The Union Budget 2013-14 addressed some of the many challenges faced by the infrastructure sector. However the solutions for some of the problems have to necessarily be found outside the framework of the annual budget.

The budget announced the setting up of a regulatory authority for roads. This was long pending. If the board can be constituted quickly vested with enough powers it has the potential to address many of India’s highways development programmes. There was an announcement that 3,000km of road projects will be awarded in the first six months of FY14. This seems ambitious given that less than one-fourth of that number was achieved in the first eight months of FY13. However the target could be achieved if this is sought to be done on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) route, rather than the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. The EPC route will avoid some of the challenges in the BOT model viz., developer apathy, commercial bank aversion to funding toll road projects and over-optimistic traffic forecasts, the latter adversely affecting credit profiles of many projects in the past.

Impact on the Telecom sector

The budget did not offer did any special sops for the struggling telecom industry in India. Just one announcement was made that duty would increase on mobile phones priced above Rs 2000. It also announced a 5 percent duty hike on STB (set up boxes), and zero customs duty on import of plant and machinery for the semiconductor industry. The FM did nothing to boost telecom sector investor’s confidence.

Education

The budgetary allocation to Ministry of HRD for various schemes has been increased by 17% to Rs.65, 877 crore. A service tax exemption has been granted for institutes offering vocational courses. Under the total budgetary allocation, Rs 272.58 billion has been allocated for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Sum of Rs 39.83 billion for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan has been allocated. Further a sum Rs 52.84 billion has been allocated for scholarships and remaining for up-gradation of existing universities and other education schemes. Companies engaged in providing education and allied education services stand to gain.

FMCG & Consumer durables

As mentioned earlier the Union Budget 2013-14 has proposed to raise specific excise duty on cigarettes by about 18 percent. There is to be a similar increase on other tobacco items such as cigars, cheroots and cigarillos. This rise in the excise duty would negatively impact the demand of the entire tobacco industry.

Manufacturing

As a measure to incentivise large-scale players in the manufacturing sector, an investment allowance of 15 per cent in addition to depreciation shall be provided for any fresh investment of a minimum of Rs. 100 crores in plant and machinery for the period April 2013 to March 2015. On the other hand, there are no such incentives for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector except for the non-tax benefits made available for an extended period of three years even after they lose their MSME status.

The Confederation of Indian Industry ( CII ) Views

The budget was welcomed by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). They felt it was a growth-oriented budget, and it would kick-start the next cycle of investment in the country. The CII president Adi Godrej said the budget makes laudable efforts to optimise growth drivers while addressing inclusive and sustained development. “The budget meets most of our concerns regarding fiscal consolidation, investment incentives, and inclusive growth. These are in alignment with CII’s submissions in its pre-Budget Memorandum to the Finance Ministry,” said Godrej. “Budget 2013-14 promises to adhere to the fiscal deficit roadmap as laid out by the Finance Minister last year. This will boost growth, curtail inflation and help in ratings. Emphasis on agriculture, technology and innovation and science and technology is very welcome as it adds to future growth prospects,” he added. CII particularly welcomed the stress placed on inclusive growth and development. He was happy that the budget left untouched the indirect taxes, which if imposed would have led to a slowdown in the industry.

Conclusion

The budget overall is a pragmatic exercise though it did not contain any “big-bang reforms” . It failed to excite all. This was because the budget had some drawbacks. There have been no relaxations as regards to retrospective law introduced on taxing software and the expected clarifications or guidelines as regards the scope of indirect transfers involving “substantial” assets located in India have not come. No roadmap was laid for the implementation of the Shome committee recommendations like the postponement of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR). But one must admit it is not a negative one either. In short the budget 2013-14 can be called as a blow-hot, blow-cold budget


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