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Industry & Economy - Budget


Little to build on

G. Madhan

FOR companies in the business of construction, the 2004-05 Union Budget didn't offer much reason to cheer.

The four percentage point increase in the excise duty of steel (from 8 per cent to 12 per cent) might be a cause for concern for construction companies as this may increase the input cost of raw materials and, in turn, put pressure on margins. Construction companies that have not included escalation clauses in the projects are likely to be impacted by this move.

A service tax of 10 per cent, however, may not have a major impact on construction companies, as builders are likely to pass the increase in cost to their customers. Besides, this tax is not levied on services such as construction of roads, bridges, railway, airport terminals, tunnels and long-distance pipelines. Hence, for companies such as IVRCL Infrastructures, Madhucon Projects and Gammon India, which predominantly execute infrastructure projects, the tax impact is likely to be lower.

Extending the time limit for getting approval of housing projects (for the purpose of tax holiday) is, perhaps, the only solace for companies that build apartments.

The proposal to relax the condition of minimum plot size of one acre (approximately 43,550 sq. ft) for reconstruction or redevelopment of existing buildings also augurs well for builders.

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Chidambaram plays the popular tune — Tax breaks for farm sector and lower middle class
Thumbs down by markets
Service tax on transport intermediaries hailed
Adopting the Keynesian route
FDI push on telecom
Shipping industry says `ahoy!'
Mutual funds — Odds stacked against debt funds
Tonnage tax at last for a smooth sailing
Focus on rural housing; tax rebates to stay
Banking on industrial growth
IIG to beef up infrastructure
ONGC, GAIL to carry the can
A rural slant
Power on `line
Govt to facilitate crop diversification
A bitter pill, says pharma sector
Chaos after the wait
At your service, tax!
A progressive budget
Striking a balance
Spurring investments
Continuance of economic reforms
Catch My Point!
Mixed response from India Inc
Move to drop Cenvat may pep up yarn market
'Market pessimism to end soon'
Steps initiated to integrate stock, commodity markets
FDI in aviation capped at 49% — Buying of aircraft to attract tax
Toyota to set up R&D centre in India
0.15 per cent tax to be levied on securities transactions
SPV for Sethusamudram canal project
Insurance FDI limit raised to 49 pc
IDBI gets Rs 9,000 cr to turn zero NPA
In coalition company
Captains of industry give Budget proposals a cautious welcome
Shifting gears
Turnover tax may spook capital gains
RBI sees no Budget trigger for change in rate, inflation outlook
Views from the bottom of a coffee cup
Customs duty cut on metals: Major price impact unlikely
Coop sugar sector needs tax holiday
Water bodies renovation innovative
Transaction tax a dampener: FISE
Modest hike in Central Plan outlays in real terms
Nothing much to glow about
Smooth ride for tractors
Impact
No excise duty on dairy machinery
The jam in the Budget
Disinvestment, reborn
Disappointing delivery
Little to build on
Right thrust on crop diversification
Oil and gas — Slickly left alone
3 key areas targeted for 24.6% revenue mop-up
Industry divided on price drop
A taxing scenario for media
Personal finance: Thrust to direct equity investing
A cess to educate
`Back-to-basics' theme
A `neutral-to-negative' exercise: MFs
A mixed bag
Little more buoyant now
Prices static? Not for long
FDI limit hike has insurers smiling — Service tax on risk premium for life cover is a dampener
`More clarity on turnover tax needed'
Sewing up the competition
A lot to cheer about
Turnover tax seen as a blip
Rural sops to get FMCGs going
May impact trading volume: market players
`VAT by 2005, a step in right direction'
Your dream car to become dearer
A limited first step
Consolidation vital
Slip into khadi and morph into a geek
Hindujas interested in desalination project proposal
Budget fails to impress CETMA
`Bold decisions taken on foreign investments'
No impact on gold market; platinum prices may fall
THE THRUST AREAS
FIPB to fly with clipped wings
Cap for SSI loans raised to Rs 1 cr
A bitter-sweet pill for vegoil sector
Assurance to States on VAT compensation
Service tax hiked to 10 pc; list expanded
An effort to reflect mandate for change
New deal for farmers; more funds for States
Stress on moderation, stability in tax rates
Textiles woven in style
More services annexed at a higher rate
VAT full of promises
Watch out as the government shifts gears and piggybacks
No luck if you cross a `lakh'
Tax admin: Reforms kept in arrears
`No clear theme in the Budget' — Mr Yashwant Sinha, former Finance Minister



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