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Rs. 962-crore Tax sops in Maharashtra Budget

With the Maharashtra Assembly elections likely by October, the State Government presented a populist additional budget with tax sops of Rs. 962 crore on Thursday.

Among the moves were the increase in the cap on professional taxes of certain low-wage earners and increase in the luxury tax exemption for hotels. Besides, the tax exemption on purchase of sugarcane by sugar mills continues. The State Government has also tried to please the tobacco industry by granting tax exemptions on interstate sale of unbranded tobacco.

The Lok Sabha elections delayed the budget process, with a Vote on Account being tabled in February .

Finance Minister Ajit Pawar presented the budget in the Legislative Assembly while his deputy Rajendra Mulak did it in the Legislative Council.

Pawar said that the minimum salary limit for levying professional tax is being increased from ?5,000 to ?7,500 so that seven lakh low-wage earners could get the benefit . The last revision in the cap on the professional tax was made in 2009.

Small dealers

The Finance Minister has also provided relief to small dealers with turnover limit under VAT Act being increased from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh. Dealers whose turnovers in the previous year were below Rs. 10 lakh can apply for cancellation of registration certificate up to September 2014. This move will help about sixty thousand small dealers in the State.

Hotels having rooms with tariff up to ?1,000 have been exempted from luxury tax. This limit was earlier at ?750 per day. Tariffs between ?1,000 to ?1,500 would now be taxed at 4 per cent.

For giving additional support to the 4,000 hectare, Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport project at Nagpur, Pawar has given complete exemption from VAT on spares of aeroplanes so that maintenance, repair and overhaul of airplanes, which in trade parlance is MRO, can get a fillip.

Considering that the film industry is a major source of employment in the State, the Finance Minister has decided to provide VAT exemption on sale of copyrights of film produced between April 1, 2005 and April 30, 2011. 

Business Line, New Delhi, 06-06-2014

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