Presenting the Union Budget for 2010-11, Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee said that news agencies, which fulfilled certain criteria, were to be exempted from payment of service tax.
He said, "Accredited news agencies, which provide news feed online attract service tax. Acknowledging the yeoman services of such news agencies in disseminating news, I propose to exempt such news agencies that meet certain criteria, from service tax.”
Listening to the cable TV operators’ demand, concessional customs duty of 5 per cent has been given to cable TV operators for importing equipment. It may be recalled that at the recently held Indian TV Distribution Networks Congress 2010 in the Capital, this was one of the major demands of the industry. Meanwhile, set top boxes will now become cheaper on account of some tax concessions provided.
This apart, some services hitherto not taxed would be brought under the purview of the new Service Tax, which will be notified later. Service tax remains unchanged at 10 per cent to maintain stimulus. Moreover, corporate tax surcharge has been brought down to 7.5 per cent from 10 per cent.
The Finance Minister has also given relief to about 60 per cent of India’s tax payers by revising the income tax slabs:
No income tax up to Rs 1.6 lakh
10% income tax on Rs 1.6 - Rs 5 lakh
20% income tax on Rs 5 - Rs 8 lakh
30% income tax on Rs 8 lakh and above
This apart, income tax returns forms for individual tax payers will be further simplified.