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This is the first complete budget announced by Narendra Modi’s led BJP government and in summary we give thumbs up to this budget to set the right tone for development. Not every thing was done to please the masses, but on a macro front, it ticked many boxes. Our analysis is focused on a few of such right boxes :

1. Bringing off shore fund managers to India – Financial services tends to be amongst the highest pay masters and also attracts the best brains. Unfortunately most of the Indian brains get drained towards our western counterparts. This budget has provided them the necessary tax relief which will potentially reverse the brain drain in favour of India by changing the Permanent Establishment norms in Income Tax. The geographical presence of a fund manager in India would not attract adverse tax consequences.

2. For Salaried employees – Transport allowance has been increased from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1600 per month. Choice has been given to invest PF amount in either EPF (Employee’s Provident Fund) or NPS (New Pension Scheme). Option has been given to employees below a threshold salary to avoid deduction towards PF without limiting employer’s contribution. Additional 10,000 Rs. deduction has been given towards payment of health insurance premiums. – ALL good steps.

3. Pension, Social Security & Insurances – This was desperately needed for Indian masses who are having no financial security and where the concept of insurance is not known. Providing budgetary allocation in this direction will go a long way in securing the livelihood of the Indian masses.

4. Wealth Tax replaced by a higher Surcharge – People having over 30 lacs of wealth were subject to 1% wealth tax. While this was not strictly enforced, the tax liability was always looming. This has now been replaced with a 10% additional surcharge for super rich people (having income over 1 crore).

5. REIT (Real Estate Investment Trusts) – Budget has rationalised the taxation around the creation REITs which will now facilitate creation of REITs and help retail investors to take part in the India’s real estate story. Units of REITs could be bought by investors who seek returns from the real estate sector without directly buying real estate. You could relate this some what to a Gold ETF where in you invest in units of Gold ETF and get exposure to Gold. The budget has also made investments in REITs attractive by making their taxation similar to Equity shares listed on stock market. This would possibly be a big boost to the liquidity strapped real estate market.

6.  Corporate Tax reduced to 25% – Indian Corporates are known to have amongst the highest tax in the world. This budget has reduced the tax from 30% to 25% for 4 years starting from 2016 onwards. A very welcome step for promoting ‘Make in India’ slogan.

7. Bankruptcy Code – This would help in creating the right business environment in parallel to our western counterparts. Such a law will facilitate smoother operations of business for entities facing excessive debt positions.

8. Crack Down on Black Money – a comprehensive law will be enacted to check black money menance which will make hiding of black money in foreign assets a punishable offence with upto 10 years of jail. Amongst list of measures, a key measure includes avoiding payments in cash for over 20,000 Rs. for all real estate transactions and quoting of PAN for all transactions over 1 lac. However, we feel that it will be still difficult to curb the cash transactions and would be interested to see the next series of steps being taken on track and curb the flow of cash.

9. India’s Gold Pot – New gold deposit schemes will be announced to provide gold depositors with interest on their gold deposits. In addition, Gold Sovereign Bonds will be launched. Such bonds will bear interests and could be regarded as an alternative investment in Gold Metal. You could refer to our earlier article on Gold Deposit Scheme.

10. Service Tax Hike to 14% – Amongst the list of negatives, the biggest drag is the increased Service Tax rate from 12.36% to 14%. Being an indirect tax, this will impact each individual buying services such as telephone bills, internet, travel, restaurants, etc.

No changes in the direct tax rates have been announced for this year and the taxation rates of last year will prevail.

A. For individual or HUF upto 60 years of age, the following slabs apply

 

Income Slab (in INR)

Tax Rate

0 – 250,000

NIL

250,000 to 500,000

10%

500,001 to 10,00,000

20%

Above 10,00,000

30%

 

B. For individual within 61-80 years of age, the following slabs apply

Income Slab (in INR)

Tax Rate

0 – 300,000

NIL

300,000 to 500,000

10%

500,001 to 10,00,000

20%

Above 10,00,000

30%

 

C. For individuals beyond 80 years of age, the following slabs apply

Income Slab (in INR)

Tax Rate

0 – 500,000

NIL

500,001 to 10,00,000

20%

Above 10,00,000

30%

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to Indian Budget 2015 – Top 10 Announcements

  1. S.J.S.Swamidoss says:

    I Bringing off shore fund managers to India –

    Tax relief will not even touch the problem of brain drain, because brain flight is due to a number of more important .factors such as absence of fair rewarding of expertise, caste/ regional feeling in corporates and research and other institutions, corruption at all levels of bureaucracy, etc.

    2. For Salaried employees
    Welfare erosion due to inflation far outweigh the marginal benefit from these measures.

    3. Pension, Social Security & Insurances –
    It is a good meaaure. But, implementation deficiency (no time table given) has to be avoided. In Tamil Nadu, a large number of poor elders are are not getting the old age monthly support amount, in the present scheme.

    4. Wealth Tax replaced by a higher Surcharge
    This is OK.

    5. REIT (Real Estate Investment Trusts)
    Small investors will not invest due to their current prolonged aversion to equity market investment. Long term investment is necessary to reap benefit.
    Moreover, this measure would bring into realty sector the volatility in stock market.

    6. Corporate Tax reduced to 25%:
    Investment of tax saved by corporates in productive ventures is uncertain as investment is contingent upon many internal and global factor affecting demand and supply.
    In many countries corporate tax rate is 30%.
    While in Budget total borrowing requirement is projected to be Rs.5,55,000 crores (higher than that in 2014-15), why tax has to be reduced with uncertain impact on real sector and GDP ?

    7. Bankruptcy Code
    It is a god measure.
    But my question is why this has to find a place in Budget, when Budget has to only project how resources are going to be raised and how they are planning to deploy funds (investment in infrastructure, public sector enterprises, etc.) and for enhancing welfare of vulnerable people (health, education, employment generation for poor ), and for poverty alleviation?

    8. Crack Down on Black Money
    These measures would not touch even the fringe of black money,as ther are umpteen number of ways in which these measure could be circumvented.
    Implication for budgetary operation cannot be assessed because of uncertainty of results and poor track record of positive impact of measures already taken to control black money.

    As such, this need not be a budgetary announcement !!

    9. India’s Gold Pot :
    Current Gold Deposit Scheme is a failure because gold ornament would be assayed.
    Gold Sovereign Bond raises Government borrowing and has implications for monetary policy efficacy.

    10. Service Tax Hike to 14%
    This will affect common man’s welfare.

    Overall, Budget should not be seen as an engine for speeding up economic growth. It is at best can serve as facilitator to create better environment for economic agents to benefit upon in their pursuit to increase production. In a globalised and deregulated economic system, Govt. can only create good infrastructure, safety and security, but cannot directly increase output..

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Delhi – Odd Vs Even Formula

January 2, 2016January 2, 2016

The actual success of the Delhi government’s odd-even formula will be known only by January 15, but if the response of most Delhiities on the first day is any indicator, then the risk taken by Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party seems to have paid off.

The local government will review the effect on pollution after the 15-day trial and consider including two-wheelers in the second phase of the scheme.

For more click here