Saturday, 28 February 2015

Tax Measures Announced to Promote Swachh Bharat Initiatives and Public Health

The Central Government will impose a Swachh Bharat Cess on all or certain taxable services at a rate of 2% from a date to be notified. The Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley announced in his Budget Speech that the proceeds from this Cess would be utilized for Swachh Bharat initiatives. In a related development, the Scheduled rate of Clean Energy Cess levied on coal lignite and peat is being increased form Rs. 100 per tonne to Rs. 300 per tonne. The effective rate of Clean Energy Cess is being increased from Rs. 100 per tonne to Rs. 200 per tonne. Similarly, Excise duty on sacks and bags of polymers of ethylene other than for industrial use is being increased from 12% to 15%. 

Concessional customs and excise duty rates on specified parts of Electrically Operated Vehicles and Hybrid Vehicles, presently available up to 31.03.2015, is being extended up to 31.03.2016. 

To promote public health, Excise duty on cigarettes is being increased by 25% for cigarettes of length not exceeding 65 mm and by 15% for cigarettes of other lengths. Similar increases are proposed on cigars, cheroots and cigarillos. 

Maximum speed of packing machine is being specified as a factor relevant to production for determining excise duty payable under the Compounded Levy Scheme presently applicable to pan masala, gutkha and chewing tobacco. 

Excise duty on chassis for ambulances is being reduced from 24% to 12.5%.

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