Expectations from India's 2013-14 budget

Budget

TAXES

Likely to lay out roadmap for implementation of goods and services tax (GST) Low expectations for increase in headline corporate tax rates Income tax slabs may be increased

MARKETS

May remove cap on foreign institutional investments in rupee

denominated corporate bonds, or at least in infrastructure bonds May expand definition of term "infrastructure" to include companies that develop affordable housing May simplify processes for foreign investor Seen removing withholding tax on corporate bonds that have no restrictions on maturity or lock-in periods, or bring it down substantially. May abolish or reduce securities transaction tax on equity investments

COMMODITIES

May remove import duty on iron ore or raise duty on some steel imports to support domestic steel industry; could reduce iron ore export duty at behest of mines ministry May cap imports or cut number of companies authorised to import gold if purchases have not slowed by Feb. 28 Production tax on jewellery and unveiling of gold saving schemes with some tax breaks seenMay raise import tax to cut rising purchases of vegetable oils from Malaysia and Indonesia May levy transaction tax on commodity future May give tax breaks to new LNG terminals, could also remove customs duty on LNG imports May extend tax breaks for new oil refineries and projects May implement export tax on value-added oil meal products.

COMPANIES

Auto industry hopes for excise duty cut on small cars to 10 percent from 12 percent. Budget may impose additional duty on diesel cars and utility vehicle Roadmap expected for capital infusion into state-owned banks IT services providers hope for clarity around transfer pricing norms, foreign tax credit and refund of service tax claims Telecommunications companies lobby for reduction in levies and tax breaks * Real estate sector wants tax concessions and other fiscal benefits to builders, financiers and buyers of affordable housing Retail and consumer goods companies want industry status and an independent ministry set up for retail as well as a cut in rate of service tax on commercial property rent Budget may propose increase in excise duty for cement makers. May remove import duty on thermal coal and introduce tax-free bonds for power sector ($1 = 54.1 Indian rupees)

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