Highlights of Budget 2018



So after a month of speculation, wishing and forecasting Budget 2018 has finally been presented and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is currently in the midst of the post-Budget press conference. In case you missed his speech, here are the key takeaways:

  • Personal Tax: Govt has made many positive changes in the personal income tax rates applicable to individuals in the last three years, therefore, I do not wish to make any changes to this, Arun Jaitley said.
  • Senior Citizens: For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000.
  •  Tax Payers: Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 allowed for transport, medical reimbursement for salaried taxpayers. Rs 8,000 crore revenue lost due to the standard deduction allowed to salaried employees.  Salaried taxpayers, pensioners need no documents, bills to claim Rs 40,000 standard I-T deduction on travel, medical expenses,” said CBDT chief Sushil Chandra later in the evening, thereby conveying some more good news to taxpayers. Archit Gupta, Founder & CEO ClearTax: Standard deduction has been reintroduced but at a cost, it takes away medical reimbursement and travel allowance. There were several demands to raise medical reimbursement from 15,000 and bring it up according to current prices (the amount has been same since more than a decade). However, now the clamour for raising this limit will die down. With this, for a salaried, the amount taxable under salary shall be reduced by Rs 5,800. While cess will go up by 1%. Senior citizens have much to rejoice and will face much lower burden of taxes, this is especially crucial in the falling interest rates from banks and deposits.
  • Cash Economy: Cash payments exceeding Rs 10,000 by trusts and institutions will be disallowed in a bid to curb cash economy.
  • Education: Education cess increased to 4 pc from 3 pc to collect additional Rs 11,000 Cr.
  • Customs and import duty: Perfumes, dental hygiene, after-shave, deodorants, room deodorizers, preparations for use on hair doubled to 20 pc and import duties on fruit juice raised from 30 % to 50 %.
  •  Import duty on LCD/LED/OLED panels, parts of TVs hiked to 15 pc; duty on smart watches, wearable devices, footwear doubled to 20 %.
  • Customs duty on imitation jewellery hiked from 15 % to 20 %; doubled on all watches to 20 %.
  • Customs duty on sunglasses, cigarette lighter, toys, bus and truck tyres, select furniture hiked.
  • Import of solar tempered glass for the manufacture of solar cells exempted from customs duty.
  • Customs duty on crude edible vegetable oils like groundnut oil, safflower seed oil hiked from 12.5 pc to 30 pc; on refined edible vegetable oil from 20 % to 35 %.
  •  Tax on distributed income of equity oriented mutual funds at the rate of 10 % announced.
  • New scheme for providing electronic assessment to eliminate person-to-person contact
  • Customs duty on mobile phones to be hiked to 20 % from %
  • Petrol/Diesel : Duties on petrol, diesel rejigged; basic excise duty lowered by Rs 2 per litre, Rs 6 additional excise duty abolished, but Rs 8 a litre road cess introduced. ”2 Rs excise on petrol and diesel is being reduced & this is being converted into cess, that is the only change we have made, practically there is no impact on the final price of petrol & diesel. To the consumers, there is no change,” says Hasmukh Adhia, Finance Secretary.

Source: Financial Express


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