Petrol, diesel to be costlier

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday hiked tax on petrol and diesel, raised import duty on gold, levied additional surcharge on super rich and brought a tax on high value cash withdrawals as she sought to spur growth with reduction in corporate tax and sops to housing sector, startups and electric vehicles.

Presenting the maiden budget of Modi 2.0 government in Lok Sabha, Nirmala, the first full-time woman Finance Minister, proposed measures to ease liquidity crisis facing shadow banking sector (NBFCs) and providing Rs 70,000 crore capital to public sector banks while seeking to raise additional resources through privatisation of some PSUs.

In relief to tax payers, she provided for an additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest paid on loans borrowed up to March 31, 2020 on purchase of a house up to Rs 45 lakh.

Corporate tax on companies with turnover of up to Rs 400 crore has been slashed to 25 per cent from current 30 per cent. Presently, the lower tax rate is applicable on companies having a turnover of up to Rs 250 crore.

Nirmala said the reduced tax rate would cover 99.3 per cent of corporates in the country.

To boost use of electric vehicles, an additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest paid on loans taken to purchase EVs has been proposed.

Also the government has asked the GST Council to reduce tax rate on EVs from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. Customs duty on certain parts of EVs has been reduced.

Addressing the angel tax issue faced by startups, she said startups and investors who file requisite declarations will not be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuation of share premium.

(Agencies)