27 July : The Lok Sabha has passed the Finance Bill for 2009-10 by a voice vote on Monday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that economic recovery has begun and India would achieve 8-9 pc economic growth by the end of 2010.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has announced a slew of concessions, including one pc interest subsidy for lower and middle income housing loans, and exempted road repair and maintenance services from the ambit of service tax.
Replying to the debate on the Finance Bill 2009, which was passed with some amendments in the Lok Sabha on Monday, he also announced that the service tax on new services proposed in his Budget would come into effect from 1st September.
Maintaining that lower and middle income housing deserves to be supported to stimulate this segment of house owners, Mukherjee said one percent interest subsidy would be available to individuals for loans up to Rs 10 lakhs for houses that do not cost more than Rs 20 lakhs. He proposed to provide Rs 1,000 crore for this purpose.
Giving yet another sop, the Minister said that the eligible deductions for assessees with severe disability will be raised from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh for purposes of Income Tax.
The Minister also extended the benefit of deductions in respect of interest paid on education loan for higher education to legal guardian of the student under Section 80E of the IT Act.
Similarly, he extended the sunset clause for tax holidays for industrial parks by another two years up to March 2011, in a bid to provide stimulus to infrastructure sector in the wake of economic slowdown.