Great union budget 2010-11, but very little (or nothing) for semicon!

February 28, 2011

The Union Finance minister has tabled the Union Budget 2011-12 this morning in the Indian Parliament. Some of the key features include:

* Hike in exemption IT limit from Rs 1.6 lakh to Rs 1.8 lakh.
* Air travel expensive — service tax increased.
* TV, mobile phones cheaper.
* Battery-operated hybrid vehicles cheaper.
* Plan to provide rural broadband connectivity to all 250,000 panchayats in the country in three years.
* Connectivity to all 1,500 institutions of higher learning and research through optical fiber backbone to be provided by March, 2012.
* Special grant provided to various universities and academic institutions to recognise excellence.
* From 1st October, 2011 10 lakh Aadhaar numbers will be generated per day under the UID program.

IT infrastructure
* Various IT initiatives taken for efficient tax administration. These include  e-filing and e-payment of taxes, adoption of ‘Sevottam’ concept by CBEC and CBDT, web based facility for tax payers to track the resolution of refunds and credit for pre-paid taxes and augmentation of processing capacity.
*„ Under Mission mode projects, funds released to 31 projects received from States/UTs for computerisation of Commercial taxes. This will allow States to align with roll out of GST.
*„ Bill to amend the Indian Stamp Act proposed to be introduced shortly.
*„ A new scheme with an outlay of Rs. 300 crore to be launched to provide assistance to States to modernise their stamp and registration administration and roll out e-stamping in all the districts in the next three years.
*„ A new simplified form ‘Sugam’ to be introduced to reduce the compliance burden of small tax payers falling within presumptive taxation.
*„ Three more benches of Settlement Commission to be set up to fast track the disposal of cases.
* Steps initiated to reduce litigation and focus attention on high revenue cases

Environment
* Full exemption from basic Customs Duty  and a concessional rate of Central Excise Duty extended to batteries imported by manufacturers of electrical vehicles.
„* Concessional excise duty of 10 percent to vehicles based on fuel cell technology.
*„ Exemption granted  from basic custom duty and special CVD to critical parts/assemblies needed for hybrid vehicles.
*„ Reduction in excise Duty on kits used for conversion of fossil fuel vehicles into Hybrid vehicles.
*„ Excise duty on LEDs reduced to 5 percent and special CVD being fully exempted.
*„ Basic customs duty on solar lantern reduced from 10 percent to 5 percent.

Besides mobile phone and TV, several other components have been made cheaper. These include laser printers, solar lanterns, hybrid vehicles, LED lights, etc. Air travel, hotels and getting treated in big hospitals have become expensive owing to service tax.

There is also a proposal to launch a National Mission for hybrid and electric vehicles. That should be interesting!

As of now, there is nothing on the Indian semiconductor industry.

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