Arjuna (Fictional Character): Krishna, Honorable Finance Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Sudhir Mangutwar has announced the State Budget for Maharashtra State on the of 18th March. On 23rd March the festival of Holi will be celebrated. Holi is celebrated by playing colours and throwing water-filled balloons on each other. In this correlation, whether it is Budget’s Holi or Holi’s Budget, let’s discuss in a knowledgeable and playful way. Lets enjoy it, as “Bura na mano holi hi”.
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, Holi is the festival of colours. This festival is celebrated all over India. Similarly, everyone including the people of states other than maharastra have their attention toward the Budget, for changes in the State Budget for further Investment, Trading within State. In Holi, people play with coloured water as well as dry powdered colours. Finance Minister in the Budget, brings plans for various sectors and strives for the growth of State. On the occasion of Holi, various sweet dishes like Puranpoli, shrikhand, etc. are prepared in Maharashtra. Similarly the changes made in the Budget are, in the favor of the taxpayers to some extent and unfavourable for them to some extent, but if such changes are viewed from futuristic point of view, they can prove to be beneficial. But, due to the ongoing drought in the State, only dry colors of Holi may be played by many. A similar situation may occur many a times regarding the Budget when a scheme is announced without making adequate provisions. Once the Copy of L.A. bill is out, we will be able to see many more changes. The proposals below are given on the basis of the Budget Speech of honorable State Minister.
Arjuna: Krishna, Holi and Budget come every year and colour the taxpayers. Colors get washed out, but leave behind some things unsaid. What do these colors say to the taxpayers about changes in VAT in the Maharashtra State Budget? While coloring each other people mostly use “Pink” and “Green” as the favorite color. According to these colours what are the favorable provisions made in Maharashtra State Budget?
Krishna: Arjuna, Pink and Green colors depict happiness and benefit. Similarly, favorable provisions relating to Reduction in Taxes are as follows:
1. Tax rate on LED Tubes, goods used by students like pen, pencil, gum, files, stapler pin, etc. has been reduced from 12.5% to 5.5%.
2. Handicrafts products made from Bamboo are exempt from tax.
3. For encouraging Textile Industry, the activities of ‘Warping’ and ‘Sizing’ has been exempted from VAT.
4. The turnover limit for the composition scheme applicable to retailers has been increased from 50 lakhs to 1 crore.
5. Mammography Machine required for detection of Breast Cancer has been exempted from tax.
6. Tax rate has been reduced from 12.5% to 5.5% on sterile water injection.
7. Retrofit Kit for vehicles of differently abled persons has been exempt from tax.
8. Tax on sale of Pyrolysis Oil has been reduced from 12.5% to 5.5%.
9. Tax on barbed wire, wire mesh and chain links has been reduced from 12.5% to 5.5%.
10. Tax on cotton seed has been reduced from 5% to 2%.
11. It is proposed to give a facility to the dealer of revising the return for multiple times till the due date of filing VAT Audit Report.
12. It is proposed that if a principal contractor awards contract to a sub-contractor, then the credit of the TDS can be transferred by the contractor to the sub-contractor.
13. It is now proposed to exclude the turnover of tax-free goods and compute the tax liability at the rate of 4%/6% in case of sale of taxable goods in the hands of registered/ unregistered Bakery dealers.
Arjuna: Krishna, what do you have to say regarding the relation between black and varnish colours with Tax evasion?
Krishna: Arjuna, there is a very beautiful relation between Black color and Tax Evasion. After the new government has come into force, Respected Finance Minister has given special focus on tax evasion. This means that the person engaged in tax evasion would be colored black.
1. Instances of evasion of tax by showing sale price well below market price have been noticed. Therefore, a concept of “Fair market price” is being introduced. It is proposed to give powers to assess a dealer on the basis of fair market price if goods are sold below market price with intention to evade tax.
2. For un-enrolled persons in Profession Tax earlier, previous 8 years tax, interest and penalty were to be paid. A special scheme has been proposed by which they will be required to pay tax, interest and penalties only for last 3 years.
3. Amnesty scheme has been introduced for the period before 31st March 2005 if the dealer pays the disputed tax in full, then the corresponding interest and penalty shall be waived. For periods from 1st April 2005 to 31st March 2012, if a dealer pays the disputed tax amount and 25% of disputed interest, the corresponding balance interest and penalty shall be waived.
4. Government is planning for digital billing. Now every dealer will have to give bill wise details of purchases and sales in the returns. For reducing tax evasion government is now implementing SAP system.
Arjuna: Krishna, Which are the provisions of Budget that depict the Red color?
Krishna: Arjuna, Red color depicts danger and fear. Provisions depicting Red color of increase in tax rates are as follows:
1. Tax rate on goods falling under 5% VAT rate has been increased to 5.5%.
2. Hotels, Restaurants etc. eligible for composition scheme tax rate was 5%. Now the rate of composition scheme has been increased to 8% if the turnover of food and non- alcoholic drinks in the previous year exceeds rupees three crore.
3. Mobile and Granite will now be liable for Entry Tax.
4. The rate of tax on the coconut oil (500 milliliters) has been increased from 5% to 12.5%.
5. No set off is available on purchase of Petrol and Diesel including entry tax paid.
6. Local handset mobile purchased and sold outside the state of Maharashtra will be eligible for set off to the extent of CST liability on those sales.
Arjuna: Krishna, What should we learn from this discussion on State Budget and Holi?
Krishna: Arjuna, In this Budget “Pichkari” belongs to Sudhir Rao and “Colors” belong to Modiji. It seems this State Government’s Budget is a mixture of policy (colors) of the Central Government. People celebrate this festival by forgetting the envy against each other. In the same way people should take the budget positively and work towards the growth of themselves, their state and the country. This budget is a mixture of various colors. It is said that , cautiousness should be exercised while playing holi, thus, be cautious while playing with the laws as well. In budget, many people think that only they have been targeted, like it happens while playing holi. In the next year, there would be a shower of “GST” colour and that is why in this budget the use of the “colours” is less. As there is a drought situation in the state, more attention is given to the agricultural sector. In this drought year, the “Famer may be cheerful and the taxpayer may be Stressful”. Further, different colours can be used in holi to colour the faces of your friends, relatives, etc but Black colour shuld be avoided. Thus, in financial life different ways may be used to earn money but not to earn Black money.