Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday presented in the state assembly Rs 1,352.57-crore deficit Budget for 2013-14, which makes tobacco products, pre-owned commercial vehciles, marbles and granite sanitary wares and bathroom fittings costlier.
Electrical goods such as CFL buls and sockets have been made cheaper by reducing VAT (value added tax) on them. Jaggery, a widely used food item particularly in the rural areas of the state, is exempted from the 5 per cent tax net.
Electrical goods such as CFL bulbs, sockets, regulators, modular plate, MS Board, casing and capping will only attract 5 per cent VAT, down from 13.5 per cent.
Tax rate on generator sets has also been brought down to 5 per cent from 13.5 per cent. Besides, electricity duty is exempted on generation of power through generator sets of 25 KVA.
To discourage tobacco smoking, VAT on cigarette, bidi, cheroots, cigar and smoking mixture has been increased to 25 per cent from 20 per cent.
Entry tax on cement raw material clinker was raised to 6 per cent from 2 per cent, while that on marble, granite and other decorative slabs, furniture and fixtures, sanitary wares and bathroom fittings was increased to 6 per cent from 2 per cent.
The Budget also proposed a special rate of tax on sale of pre-owned vehicles.
The tax rate for brick fields, marble, sweetmeat, cooked food dealers was revised under the Composition Scheme.
To give a boost to the plastic industry, entry tax was reduced from two per cent to one per cent.
The Budget provided a boost to the tourism sector by levying luxury tax only on the actual room tariff charged instead of current practice of levying tax on published room tariff.
Giving relief to marginal dealers, the budget increased the exemption limit under Assam Value Added Tax Act, 2003 from the existing Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh, while that for retail dealers having turnover up to Rs 40 lakh was raised to Rs 60 lakh.
To encourage infrastructure and construction sector, the tax rate on stone chips and boulders was reduced from 13.5 per cent to 5 per cent.
With an opening deficit of Rs 530.67 crore, the state`s estimated transactions during 2013-14 would result in an estimated deficit of Rs 821.90 crore, said Gogoi, who also holds the finance portfolio.