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Partner & National Tax Director says the Finance Minister has stressed on buoyancy in tax collections and on attaining a Tax—GDP ratio of 12.5%.
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Union Budget 2008-09  »   Story
Land acquisition for SEZ a concern, says Survey
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, February 28, 2008
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Acquisition of land for developing special economic zones (SEZ) continues to be a cause of concern, said the Economic Survey for 2007-08.

The government has advised state governments to give first priority to acquiring wastelands, and if only necessary, single-crop agricultural land, before handing them over to developers for a SEZ.

"If perforce a portion of double-cropped agricultural land has to be acquired to meet the minimum area requirements, especially for multi-product special economic zones, the same should not exceed 10 per cent of the total land acquired for the SEZ," the annual survey presented by Finance Minister P Chidamabaram in the Lok Sabha on Thursday said.

It also said the Board of Approval (BoA), which approves SEZ proposals, headed by Commerce and Industry Secretary GK Pillai, would not give its go-ahead to those SEZs that "have carried out or purpose to carry out compulsory acquisition of land for such SEZs after April 5, 2007".

The survey also expressed "apprehension" over a possible "misuse of the (SEZ) scheme and relocation of existing industries into SEZs".

The SEZ Act of 2005 that came into effect on Feb 10, 2006 sought to provide various incentives and tax sops to the units in a SEZ to attract large-scale domestic as well as foreign capital that would lead to employment.

The survey also highlighted that exports from SEZs have been surging, registering a growth of Rs 346.15 billion ($8.7 billion) in 2006-07 from Rs 228.40 billion in 2005-06.

So far, formal approvals have been granted to 439 SEZs, of which 195 have been notified and in various stages of operation. These are spread in 22 states and union territories and over 23 sectors, the survey said.

At present there are 1,277 units operating in various SEZs, providing direct employment to over 2,00,000 people.
Sector Analysis
Negotiating a rough patch
Demand growth is expected to be buoyant driven by new vehicle launches, likely softening of interest rates and continued growth on the export front.
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Railway Budget
Lalu presents people's budget, slashes fares
The minister announced launch of several new trains and reduction in fares across all classes amid chaos by Opposition in Parliament.
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A budget for Bharat
Buoyant tax revenues a lower fiscal deficit and an economy that's in top gear permit the FM to pump big money into agriculture and the social sector. Those efforts might help at the hustings, too.
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Economic Survey
'Expand telecom infrastructure, R&D'
"With rapid growth of telecom network, there is a need to further expand the infrastructure and research and development," the survey said.
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Surfers' comments
This is a very good budget, especially for agriculture and education. P Chidambaram is the best.
- By Saravanan P (
If you can waive Rs 50,000 crore for farmers what about the tax on housing loan interest? That should also have been reduced.
- Chandra Shekar V (
Please tax the street hawkers and give relief to the salaried persons.
- Rajaram (
This is the worst budget the finance minister has ever presented. The backbone of the country's economy is the transport but he completely missed it out.
- Jayakaanthan A (
The budget is sure to augment growth and will also lessen the volatility of the stock markets.
- Sidharth Paul (
Overall, the budget is satisfactory but the health sector should have been given greater importance.
- Ankit Chaudhary (
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Business Today's Budget edition
Editorial: Predictably populist budget
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Column: All for the common man
Exclusive interview with the FM
Maintaining the growth story
The Finance Minister defends Budget 2008 and the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver doled out to farmers in an exclusive interview to Business Today's Sanjoy Narayan and R Sridharan.
"Total reduction of excise duties by 2% will give a welcome boost to the manufacturing sector. Also, the exemption of specified parts of set-top boxes from customs duties is commendable".
- Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises
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Beginner’s guide to budget
Union Budget is an estimate of the Government of India's revenue and expenditure for the end of a particular fiscal year, which usually runs from April 1 to March 31. Read on...
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