Highlights of the Indian Union Budget For the Year 2015-16

The Indian Union Finance Minister Honble. Arun Jaitley presented the Budget for the year 2015 -16 in the Parliament on 28th February 2015.

The Following are the Brief Outline and a Key Highlight of the 2015 Budget:-
The following ‘Broad Themes’ have been adopted while finalising the Tax Proposals in the Budger 2015:

  • Measures to curb black money;
  • Job creation through revival of growth and investment and promotion of domestic manufacturing and ‘Make in India’;
  • Minimum government and maximum governance to improve the ease of doing business;
  • Benefits to middle class taxpayers; 
  • Improving the quality of life and public health through Swachch Bharat initiatives; and
  • Stand alone proposals to maximise benefits to the economy.

From “Jan Dhan” to “Jan Suraksha”:

  • Based on the success of “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana”, a universal Social Security System for all the Indians, especially the Poor and the Under-Previleged will be created, as a large proportion of Indians are without Insurance of any kind, whether Health, Accidental or Life.
  • “Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana” will be launched soon to cover accidental death risk of Rs 2 Lakhs for a premium of Rs 12/- per annum.
  • “Atal Pension Yojana” which will provide a defined pension, depending on the contribution, and its period will be launched. To encourage people to join this scheme, the Government will contribute 50% of the beneficiaries’ premium limited to `1,000 each year, for five years, in the new accounts opened before 31st December, 2015.
  • “Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana” will be launched  which will cover both natural and accidental death risk of `2 lakhs.  The premium will be `330 per year, or less than one rupee per day, for the age group 18-50.  
  • The unclaimed deposits of about Rs 3,000 Crores in the PPF and approximately  Rs6,000 Crores in the EPF corpus will be utilized for the creation of a “Senior Citizen Welfare Fund” which will be used to subsidize the premiums of vulnerable groups such as old age pensioners, BPL card-holders, Small and Marginal Farmers. 
  • Out of about 10.5 Crores of population of senior citizens in the country, more than 1 Crore are above the age of 80 years, out of whom about 70% live in Rural areas and a large number of them are in the ‘Below Povery Line’ Category/BPL. A new scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted Living Devices for Senior Citizens living below the Poverty Line.
  • To implement ‘Direct Transfer of Benefits”/DBT, Jan Dhan,Aadhar and Mobile (JAM-Trinity) will be used to transfer benefits of various schemes to the beneficiaries without leakage and in a cashless manner.
  • 100% Tax Deductions For Contributions to ‘Swachh Bharat Kosh’, other than by way of CSR contributions and for the contributions for the ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ will be allowed as the initiatives for the 2 ‘Clean India’ Schemes.
  • As the year 2022 will be the “Amrut Mahotsav”- the 75th year of India’s independence, the vision of ‘Team India’, led by the States and guided by the Central Government should include:
  • A roof for each family in India-  ‘Housing for all’ by the year 2022 – with 2 crore houses in urban areas and 4 crore houses in rural areas to be built by ‘Team India  
  • Each house in the country should have basic facilities of 24-hour power supply, clean drinking water, a toilet, and be connected to a road.  
  • At least one member from each family should have access to the means for livelihood and, employment or economic opportunity, to improve his or her lot.  
  • Complete Electrification, including by off-grid solar power generationof the remaining 20,000 villages in the  country by the year 2020
  • Connecting each of the 1,78,000 unconnected habitations by all weather roads,which will  require completing 1 Lakh kms of roads currently under construction plus sanctioning and building another 1 Lakh kms of roads. 

“Yoga” being a well known gift of India to the world, “Yoga” will be included within the ambit of charitable purpose under Section 2(15) of the Income Tax Act.

A National Data Base of the “Non Profit Organisations” will be developed. The ceiling on receipts from activities in the natural trade, commerce or business by genuine charitable institutions will be raised from the existing Rs 25 Lakhs to 20%.

India’s 25  Cultural World Heritage Sites require restoration of facilities, including:

  • landscape restoration, 
  • signage and interpretation centres, 
  • parking facilities, 
  • access for the differently abled persons, 
  • visitors’ amenities, including securities and toilets, illumination and plans for benefiting communities around them. 

Resources will be provided  to start work along the above lines for the following Heritage Sites:

  • Churches & Convents of Old Goa
  • Hampi, Karnataka
  • Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
  • Kumbalgarh and other Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  • Rani ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat
  • Leh Palace, Ladakh, J&K
  • Varanasi Temple town, UP
  • Jalianwala bagh, Amritsar, Punjab
  • Qutub Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad, Telengana

Highlights of Indian Union Budget- TAXES- for the year 2015-16:-


  • Abolition of Wealth Tax
  • Rate of Corporate Tax will be reduced to 25% over next four years.
  • For Individuals, HUFs,AOPs, BOIs, Artificial Juridicial persons, Firms, Co-operative Societies and Local Authorities having Income exceeding Rs 1 Crore a surcharge @12% will be levied.
  • For domestic companies having income exceeding Rs 1 Crore and upto Rs 10 Crores a surcharge of 7% and for income exceeding 10 Crores a surcharge of 12 @ will be levied.
  • For Foreign Companies having income exceeding Rs 1 Crore and upto Rs 10 Crores a surcharge of 2% and for incomes exceeding Rs 10 Crores a surcharge of 5% will be continued to be levied.
  • Surcharge @ 12% will be levied on Additional Income Tax payable by Companies on distribution of Dividends and Buy Back of Shares or by Mutual Funds and Securitsation Trusts on distribution of income
  • Education Cess on Income Tax @ 2%-for fulfilment of the commitment of the Government to provide and finance universalised quality based education and 1% of additional surcharge- ‘Secondary and Higher Education Cess’ on Income Tax will be continued to be levied.
  • There is NO CHANGE in the Personal Income Tax-Exemption Limits or the Rates of Income Tax
    The following are the details of Personal Income Tax Exemption Limits and the Rates of Personal Income Tax for the year 2015-16:

    For Individual Residents Below 60 years of Age: 

    Exemption Limit: Rs 2.5 Lakhs/Upto Rs 2.5 Lakhs: NIL/From Rs 2 50 001/- To Rs 5 Lakhs: 10%/From Rs 5 00 001/- To Rs 10 Lakhs: 20%/From Rs 10 00 001/- and Above: 30%

    For Individual Senior Citizens Above 60 years of Age:
    Exemption Limit: Rs 3 Lakhs/Upto Rs 3 Lakhs: NIL/From Rs 3 00 001/- To Rs 5 Lakhs: 10%/From Rs 5 00 001/- To Rs 10 Lakhs: 20%/From Rs 10 00 00/- And Aobe: 30%

    For Individual Super Senior Citizens Above 80 years of Age:
    Exemption Limit: Rs 5 Lakhs/Upto Rs 5 Lakhs: NIL/From Rs 5 00 001/- To Rs 10 Lakhs: 20%/From Rs 10 00 001/- and Above: 30%

    For Other Individuals:
    Exemption Limit: Rs 2 Lakhs/Upto Rs 2 Lakhs: NIL/From Rs 2 00 001/- To Rs 5 Lakhs: 10%/From Rs 5 00 001/- To Rs 10 Lakhs: 20%/From Rs 10 00 001/- and Above: 30%

    The following are some of the Additional Benefits/Relaxations made available to Individuals Tax Payers:

    • Transport Allowance Exemption Increased from Rs 800/- pm to Rs 1600/- pm
    • Health Insurance Premium Deduction Limit Increased- -from Rs 20 000/- to Rs 30 000/- for Senior Citizens and -from Rs 15 000/- to Rs 25 000/- for others and Super Senior Citizens above 80 years of age, who are not covered by Health Insurance will be allowed a Deduction of Rs 30 000/- towards Medical Expenses and 
    • For Senior Citizens, the Deduction limit  with respect to specified decease of serious nature enhanced from Rs 60 000/- to Rs 80 000/-
    • For Differently Abled Persons an Additional deduction of Rs 25 000/ will be  allowed  
    • Deduction on account of Contribution to a Pension Fund and the New Pension Scheme Increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 Lakhs
    • Additional deduction of Rs 50000 for contribution to the new pension scheme u/s 80CCD 
    • Payments to the beneficiaries including interest payment on deposit in Sukanya Samriddhi scheme to be fully exempt.


    • SERVICE TAX has been Increased in some Services already in the “Service Tax net” and Decreaed some of the Services and many new Services have been covered in the Service Tax net.
    • To facilitate a smooth transition to levy of tax on services by both the Centre and the States the present rate of Service Tax pluls Educational Cesses  from 12.36 per cent to a Consolidated Rate of 14%.
    • Excise and Customs Duties have been Increased in some selected Services and Commodities and Decreased in certain other selected Services and Commodities.

    Due to the impact of the Increase/Addition and Decrease of the above Indirect Taxes the price of the related Services and Commodities/End Products are most likely to get Increased or Decreased accordingly.

    The Following Services will become COSTLIER as they have been brought under the Sales Tax net in the Budget 2015:

    • Food at Restaurants
    • Stay in Hotels
    • Air Travel
    • Cable TV
    • DTH Services
    • Beauty Parlour Charges
    • Courier Service
    • Credit/Debit Cards Related Services
    • Dry Cleaning of Clothes
    • Stock Broking
    • Assets Management
    • Insurance

    The following Commodities/End Products will become COSTLIER as the Excise/Customs Duties have been Increased in the 2015 Budget:

    • Completley built Imported Commercial Vehicles- As the effective basic Customs Duty Increased from 10% to 20%
    • Plastic bags and Sacks- As the Tariff rate of Excise Duty Increased from 12% to 18%
    • Cement- As the Excise Duty Increased from Rs 900 per Tonne to Rs 1000 per Tonne
    • Aerated, Flavoured Drinks and Packaged Drinking Water- As the Excise Duty Increased from 12% to 18%
    • Air Travel by Business and Executive Class- As Service Tax will be payable on 60% of the cost of Higher Classed
    • Visits to Amusement and Theme Parks and Music Concerts- As they will come under Service Tax net
    • Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

    The following are some of the goods and services that will be CHEAPER due to the Decrease of Excise/Customs Duties in the 2015 Budget:

    • Leather Footwear Priced Above Rs 1000/- per pair- As the Excise Duty Reduced From 12% to 6 %
    • Packaged fruits and vegetables- As pre-cooling, ripening, retail packing and labelling of these items have been exempted from Service Tax.
    • Locally made Mobile Phones, LED/LCE Panels, LED Lights and Lamps-As Excise Duty on the above have been cut
    • Tablet Computers
    • Microwave ovens – As a key component, ‘magnetron’ has been exempted from basic customs duty which was  5 per cent earlier
    • Refrigerators- As import duties on various components have been reduced
    • Solar Water Heater- As Excise duty of 12%  on the item without CENAVAT Credit and 12.5% with CENAVAT Credit  has been made NIL
    • Agarbattis- As the Excise Duty  is fully exempted on the captively consumed intermediate compound during the manufacture of agarbattis
    • Pace-Makers- As specific materials used in the manufacture of pace-makers will be exempted from duties 
    • Ambulance and ambulance services – As Excise duty on chassis of such vehicles has been cut to 12.5 per cent from 24 per cent, and all ambulance services provided to patients are being exempted from service tax
    • Visits to Museums,Zoos, National Parks, Wild Life Sanctuaries and Tiger Reserves- As they are exempt form Service Tax

    The Indian Union Finance Minister Honble Arun Jaitley in the beginning of his Budget Speech said: “Kuch to phool khilaye humne, aur kuch phool khilane hai/Mushkil yeh hai bag me ab tak, kaante kai purane hai”- Meaning: “We have blossomed some flowers and have to grow many more. But we are facing difficulty with some legacies” 

    Related Reading:

    Highlights of the Indian Union Railways Budget For the year 2015-16

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