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Delhi budget: No new taxes announced ahead of polls
March, 21st 2013

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit refrained from raising or imposing new taxes in the budget for the year starting 1 April and proposed incentives for small traders ahead of assembly election in Delhi later this year.
The social services sector received the highest priority, with Dikshit announcing on Wednesday that 65% of the total plan budget will be reserved for this sector.

Dikshit announced populist measures, including exemption of chilli spray, used for self-defence, from value-added tax (VAT), in an election year budget.

Desi ghee also became cheaper after VAT on it was reduced from 12.5% to 5%. Delhi’s economic growth for 2013-14 was forecast at 9%, Dikshit said.

The Rs.37,450 crore budget saw an increase of 6.6% in plan expenditure for 2013-14 against the current fiscal. “The per capita income in Delhi is Rs.201,083. It has gone up by five times since this government took over. In 1998, when we came to power, it was Rs.40,060,” she said.

Dikshit said the fiscal deficit has been projected to reduce to Rs.1,268 crore in the year starting 1 April from Rs.2,921 crore this year. She announced a financial support of Rs.1,000 per month to be given to transgenders who have been living in Delhi for at least three years, while also announcing a pension of Rs.1,500 per month for senior citizens, differently-abled people and women in distress.

The budget raised the threshold limit for registration under VAT for small traders from Rs.10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. A uniform quarterly tax period was proposed for all dealers, irrespective of their turnover, for better tax administration. This means that dealers will have to file only four returns a year instead of 12.

A new facility for online registration under the Delhi Value Added Tax Act and the Central Sales Tax Act has been introduced to reduce the physical interface between the taxman and the taxpayer.

Dikshit also announced ownership rights to original allottees of 45 slum resettlement colonies.

Among sectors, transport got the highest allocation of Rs.3,876 crore followed by health Rs.2,490 crore.

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