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Budget 2012: LPG, dry fruits get costlier in Maharashtra

Maharashtra in its budget 2012-13 imposed taxes on sale of items like beedis, dry fruits and LPG for domestic use.

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Budget 2012: LPG, dry fruits get costlier in Maharashtra
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Maharashtra in its budget 2012-13 imposed taxes on sale of items like beedis, dry fruits and LPG for domestic use and increased levies on diesel cars and jeeps.

The budget tabled in the Maharashtra assembly on Monday by Finance Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar envisages tax proposals of Rs600 crore.

"Tobacco and its products are taxed at 20%. Beedi and un-manufactured tobacco are excluded from tax (at present). Beedi is also equally injurious to health. It is taxed in many states," Pawar said, on a proposal to levy 12.5% tax on sale of beedis.

A five% tax has been proposed on sale of LPG for domestic use. "LPG for domestic use was exempted in 2008. This concession was continued last year also. It (LPG) is taxable in many states. Kerosene used for domestic purposes is already being taxed in the state," Pawar said.

The tax on plaster of paris would be increased from 5% to 12%.

A single tax rate of 5% for all dry fruits has been proposed.

The budget also proposes tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel in places other than Mumbai and Pune at 5% from April 1.

The tax rate on diesel cars and jeeps would be increased by 4%. "I propose to increase the tax rate by 2% on petrol cars and jeeps," Pawar said.

However, the budget gives concession for CNG vehicles. Tax rates would be reduced by 2% across the slabs. "The new tax rate will be 5% for CNG vehicles costing up to Rs 10 lakh, 6% for vehicles costing between Rs 10 to 20 lakh and 7% for above Rs 20 lakh," he said.

Tax exemption on essential goods like rice, wheat, pulses and their flours, turmeric, chillies, tamarind, gur, coconut, coriander seeds, fenugreek, parsley, papad, wet dates, solapuri chaddars and towels would continue till March 31, 2013, the minister said. Lower rate of 5% tax on tea would also continue.

The minister also announced an amnesty scheme for outstanding electricity duty. "If the outstanding electricity dues as of December 31, 2011 are paid in single instalment, 50% of interest accrued thereon would be waived, subject to withdrawal of pending court cases," Pawar said.

The scheme would be in operation from April 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012, he added.

Aiming to help farmers, Rs 415 crore have been provided for Rashtriya Krushi Vikas Yojana. Rs 2,500 crore have been allocated to concession in electricity bills to farmers, he said.

The budget also sets a target of electrification of 1.50 lakh agricultural pumps. An amount of Rs 65.56 crore has been set aside for the proposed World Bank-assisted Maharashtra Agricultural Competitiveness Project, to improve agricultural marketing infrastructure.

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