The last Union Budget by Finance Minister P Chidambaram under UPA II has been delivered. Here are a few ways in which the Union Budget 2013 will leave us richer or poorer by the end of March 31, 2014.
If you are in the Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs tax bracket
The Finance Minister has allowed a tax credit of Rs 2000. This means, that if you are in the above tax bracket and your tax liability is Rs 10,000, you can deduct Rs 2000 and pay just Rs 8000 as tax.
If you take your first home loan
If you are taking your first home loan and the amount is under Rs 25 lakhs, here's good news for you. The interest exemption on home loans has been raised from Rs 1.5 lakhs earlier to Rs 2.5 lakhs in the current budget. However, the problem is that if you are going to have an interest of Rs 2.5 lakh on home loans you would have to reduce your tenure. So, make sure you take home loans for a shorter duration.
If you buy a Sports Utility Vehicle
Be prepared to pay more, if you plan to buy these gas guzzlers. Excise duty on SUV vehicles have been hiked and unless companies manufacturing these vehicles do not pass on the increase in excise to you, I am afraid individuals will have to shell out more.
If you invest in gold
Fortunately, there are no import duties on gold, as was largely anticipated. But, to discourage gold investment and consumption, the government has proposed inflation index bonds. There has been a clarion call for these bonds to prevent individuals investing in gold and pushing up the current account deficit. Like all government schemes, the details will take several months to be finalised, as was with the RGESS proposed in last year's budget.
If you eat in an air-conditioned restaurant
It's likely that you would have to pay extra, since the Finance Minister has increased the service tax. Last year air-conditioned restaurants who were serving alcoholic beverages were charged a service tax of 12.36% applicable on 30% of the bill - this year it's hiked.
If you buy an imported mobile phone above Rs 2000
If you buy an imported mobile phone that costs Rs 2000, it's possible that you may have to pay extra since the import duty has been hiked from one per cent to six per cent. Of course, if this is not passed onto to the consumer and companies decide to absorb the hike, it's another matter all together.
If you are a woman
You may get the chance to bank at an all Women's Bank as the government has proposed one. When it will be established and who will be permitted to establish the same, is still unclear.
Of course, the government also wants women to remain safe and empowered and has hence launched the "Nirbhaya Fund" for the purpose with a corpus of Rs 1000 crores. It's hoped that women do remain safe and empowered.
If you plan to save tax
The RGESS which was introduced last year had a limit of Rs 50,000. The limit has now been raised to Rs 2 lakhs and individuals with an income of as much as Rs 12 lakhs can invest in the same, as against last years limit of Rs 10 lakhs.
Also, for those planning to save tax the Government has allowed select companies to issue tax free bonds worth Rs 50,000 crores. However, not many individuals were interested this year in the tax free bonds and the Hudco Tax free Bonds received poor response. Not sure what was the purpose in increasing the tax free bonds limit for companies from Rs 30,000 crores to Rs 50,000 crores.
If your smoking, it's better to quit
Cigarettes as is the case every year will become expensive. If you are smoking, it's better to quit as excise duty on Cigarettes have been hiked.