Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government has provided a lot of relief to individuals in direct taxes in the Finance Bill and also made efforts to improve the health care facilities and urban infrastructure by provide tax concessions.
Moving the Finance Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Mukherjee said that to encourage private sector participation in the health care, the government has decided to provide tax concession to those setting up 100 bedded hospitals anywhere in the country.
Efforts are being made remove urban slums through projects for slum development and rehabilitation, he pointed out and said that steps have also been taken to strengthen and revive the construction industry. The government is also taking steps for skill development and employment to disabled through setting up vocational training sectors.
Even the impact of levy on air travel introduced in the bill was not much as it was put at maximum Rs 100 per travel for domestic travel and Rs 500 per travel in economy class in travel abroad, he pointed out.
Moreover, on the request of tobacco industry the excise duty on tobacco products like Cigars, cheroot have been reduced as these are produced in labour intensive industries. The tax imposed on scented supari has also been reduced.
Mr Mukherjee said a number of steps to reduce taxes on various articles and sectors have been carried out on the request of Members of Parliament, industry lobbies and other stakeholders after the Finance Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on February 26 and passed by the Lower House on April 28. He urged the Rajya Sabha members also to approve the amended Finance Bill which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.