Maharashtra hikes taxes on vehicles, spends on culture

Mumbai: Buying a vehicle in Mumbai was always costly, thanks to high state and city taxes, but it's set to get costlier with the Maharashtra government raising the tax on diesel and petrol cars sold in the state.

Presenting the budget for 2012-13, state Finance Minister Ajit Pawar said the tax rate on diesel cars and jeeps will be increased by 4 per cent.

"I propose to increase the tax rate by 2 per cent on petrol cars and jeeps," Pawar said.

However, the budget gives concession for CNG vehicles. Tax rates would be reduced by 2 per cent across the slabs.

Mumbai car prices are already among the highest due to state and municipal taxes. AFP

"The new tax rate will be 5 per cent for CNG vehicles costing up to Rs 10 lakh, 6 per cent for vehicles costing between Rs 10 to 20 lakh and 7 per cent for above Rs 20 lakh," he said.

The budget earmarked Rs 100 crore for the celebration of the birth centenary of Maharashtra's first Chief Minister, YB Chavan.

The budget envisages tax proposals of Rs 600 crore, Pawar said. It proposes 12.5 percent tax on sale of bidis.

"Tobacco and its products are taxed at 20 per cent. Beedi and un-manufactured tobacco are excluded from tax (at present). Bidi is also equally injurious to health. It is taxed in many states," Pawar said.

A five per cent tax has been proposed on sale of LPG for domestic use.

"LPG for domestic use was exempted in 2008. This concession was continued last year also. It (LPG) is taxable in many states. Kerosene used for domestic purposes is already being taxed in the state," Pawar added.

The budget envisages revenue receipts of Rs 1,36,711.70 crore and expenditure of Rs 1,36,559.21 crore.
The gross state domestic product is expected to rise by 8.5 per cent, Pawar said. The net state domestic product is estimated at Rs 9,82,452 crore, the minister said.

It also provides for construction of a `Marathi Bhasha Bhavan' in Mumbai for promoting the language. Rare Marathi books would be brought online through e-books and volumes of the Vishwa-kosh (Marathi encyclopedia) would be made available on the internet, he said.

An outlay of Rs 5 crore has been made for nurturing of Marathi language and culture in Maharashtra-Karnataka border areas, the minister said.

The size of the annual plan of the state is Rs 45,000 crore, Pawar said. The special component plan for scheduled castes is Rs 4,590 crore, tribal sub-plan Rs 4,000 crore and district plan (general) Rs 4,950 crore, an increase of Rs 630 crore over the last year, he said.

Rs 415 crore have been provided for Rashtriya Krushi Vikas Yojana. Rs 2,500 crore have been allocated to concession in electricity bills to farmers, he said.

The budget sets a target of electrification of 1.50 lakh agricultural pumps. Rs 65.56 crore have been set aside for the proposed World Bank-assisted Maharashtra Agricultural Competitiveness Project, to improve agricultural marketing infrastructure.

The state has allocated Rs 90 crore for the construction of a sports complex, Rs 1,444.80 crore for National Rural Drinking Water Programme, Rs 2,200 crore for JNNURM, and Rs 573.98 crore for the Indira Aaawas Yojana.

The state government will be spending Rs 156.55 crore on the police modernisation, Pawar said. Rs 256.75 crore would be spent on residential and administrative buildings of police. Rs 262 crore would be spent on construction of court buildings. Rs 140 crore would be spent on construction of administrative buildings of revenue department, Pawar said.

Tax on plaster of paris would be increased from 5 per cent to 12 per cent. A single tax rate of 5 per cent for all dry fruits has been proposed. The budget also proposes tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel in places other than Mumbai and Pune at 5 per cent from 1 April.

Tax exemption on essential goods like rice, wheat, pulses and their flours, turmeric, chillies, tamarind, gur, coconut, coriander seeds, fenugreek, parsley, papad, wet dates, solapuri chaddars and towels would continue till 31 March,2013, the minister said. Lower rate of 5 per cent tax on tea would also continue.

The minister also announced an amnesty scheme for outstanding electricity duty.

"If the outstanding electricity dues as of 31 December, 2011 are paid in single instalment, 50 percent of interest accrued thereon would be waived, subject to withdrawal of pending court cases," Pawar said.

The scheme would be in operation from 1 April, 2012 to 30 June, 2012, he added.


Updated Date: Mar 26, 2012 19:01 PM

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