A slew of measures for the agriculture and rural sectors, a new health insurance scheme for the poor and some relief in income tax for the salaried class and senior citizens, were announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today in the last full budget before the general elections.
Presenting his fifth straight budget in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley raised the health and education cess, levied on all taxable income, to 4 per cent from current 3 per cent, and introduced a social welfare surcharge of 10 per cent to fund social welfare schemes.
He lowered the corporate tax for small, micro and medium enterprises with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore to 25 per cent from current 30 per cent, while reintroducing the tax on long term capital gains of over Rs 1 lakh made from the sale of shares. While keeping the income tax rates and slabs unchanged, Jaitley introduced a Rs 40,000 Standard Deduction for salaried employees and pensioners in lieu of transport and medical expenses.
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