Budget brings 2 new cesses; more revenue from levy at Rs 23,000 cr


Consumers will have to pay a new agriculture cess on all taxable services, and another one on purchase of cars and SUVs as the government plans to garner Rs 8,000 crore extra from them next fiscal.

Overall, it is looking at raising more than Rs 54,450 crore from five major cesses in 2016-17, an increase of Rs 23,116 crore over the revised estimate of Rs 31,335 crore in the current fiscal.
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The new Krishi Kalyan cess will get Rs 5,000 crore from levy of 0.5 per cent tax on all taxable services, like air travel, dining out and mobile bills. The levy of this cess has taken the effective levy of service tax to 15 per cent, from 14.5 per cent currently.

The cess, which will be effective from June 1, 2016, will help finance and promote initiatives to improve agriculture, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech.

Besides, Infrastructure Cess has been imposed at the rate of 1 per cent on small petrol, LPG, CNG cars, 2.5 per cent on diesel cars of certain capacity and 4 per cent on other higher engine capacity vehicles, SUVs and bigger sedans.

This will garner Rs 3,000 crore next fiscal.

However, three wheelers, electrically-operated vehicles, hybrid vehicles, hydrogen vehicles based on fuel cell technology would be exempt from the infrastructure levy.

Besides, motor vehicles which after clearance have been registered for use solely as taxi, ambulances, cars for physically handicapped persons will also be exempt from this cess.

'Clean Energy Cess' levied on coal, lignite and peat has now been renamed as 'Clean Environment Cess' and its incidence doubled to Rs 400 per metric tonne. This will get the government Rs 26,148 crore in 2016-17, as compared to Rs 12,623.33 crore in Revised Estimate for current fiscal.

The 0.5 per cent Swachh Bharat cess on all taxable services, introduced last November to fund cleanliness drive of the government, will garner Rs 10,000 crore next fiscal, as compared to Rs 3,750 crore this year.

The only place where the government will lose revenue is in converting the specific rate of Rs 4,500/tonnes of oil development cess into an ad-valorem rate of 20 per cent. At USD 35 per barrel oil price, the 20 per cent cess translates into Rs 3,500/tonne. On this account, the government will get Rs 10,303 crore next fiscal as compared to Rs 14,962 crore this year.

Further, in order to reduce multiplicity of taxes, associated cascading and to reduce cost of collection, Jaitley also abolished 13 cesses, levied by various ministries in which revenue collection is less than Rs 50 crore in a year.
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