[Prelims Spotlight] Important Keywords Regarding Budgeting, Fiscal Policy, and Taxation – Part 2

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Important Keywords Regarding Budgeting, Fiscal Policy, and Taxation – Part 2

11 April 2020 

Fiscal Performance Index (FPI)

  • The composite FPI developed by CII is an innovative tool using multiple indicators to examine the quality of Budgets at the Central and State levels.
  • The index has been constructed using UNDP’s Human Development Index methodology which comprises six components for holistic assessment of the quality of government budgets, subsidies, pensions and defence in GDP
  • Quality of capital expenditure: measured by the share of capital expenditure (other than defence) in GDP
  • Quality of revenue: the ratio of net tax revenue to GDP (own tax revenue in case of States)
  • Degree of fiscal prudence I: fiscal deficit to GDP
  • Degree of fiscal prudence II: revenue deficit to GDP and
  • Debt index: Change in debt and guarantees to GDP

Other measures of FPI

  • As per the new index, expenditure on infrastructure, education, healthcare and other social sectors can be considered beneficial for economic growth.

Sabka Vishwas-Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme

  • This Scheme is introduced to resolve and settle legacy cases of the Central Excise and Service Tax.
  • The proposed scheme would cover all the past disputes of taxes which may have got subsumed in GST; namely Central Excise, Service Tax and Cesses.
  • The Government expects the Scheme to be availed by a large number of taxpayers for closing their pending disputes relating to legacy Service Tax and Central Excise cases that are now subsumed under GST so they can focus on GST.
  • The Scheme is, especially, tailored to free a large number of small taxpayers of their pending disputes with the tax administration.

Components of the Scheme

  • The two main components of the Scheme are dispute resolution and amnesty.
  • The dispute resolution component is aimed at liquidating the legacy cases of Central Excise and Service Tax that are subsumed in GST and are pending in litigation at various forums.
  • The amnesty component of the Scheme offers an oppor­tunity to the taxpayers to pay the outstanding tax and be free of any other consequence under the law.
  • The most attractive aspect of the Scheme is that it provides substantial relief in the tax dues for all categories of cases as well as full waiver of interest, fine, penalty,
  • In all these cases, there would be no other liability of interest, fine or penalty. There is also a complete amnesty from prosecution.

Direct Tax Code:

  • The Direct Tax Code (DTC) is an attempt by the Govern­ment of India to simplify the direct tax laws in India.
  • It will revise, consolidate and simplify the structure of direct tax laws in India into a single legislation.
  • When implemented, it will replace the Income-tax Act, 1961 (ITA), and other direct tax legislation like the Wealth Tax Act, 1957.
  • The task force was constituted by the government to frame draft legislation for this proposed DTC in November 2017 and review the existing Income Tax Act.

Direct Tax:

  • These are the taxes, paid directly to the government by the taxpayer. Under the direct tax system, the incidence and impact of taxation fall on the same entity, which cannot be transferred to another person.
  • It is termed as a progressive tax because the proportion of tax liability rises as an individual or entity’s income increases.
  • Examples- Income tax, corporate tax, Dividend Distri­bution Tax, Capital Gain Tax, Security Transaction Tax.
  • The system of Direct taxation is governed by the Cen­tral Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). It is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.

Corporate Tax

  • A corporate tax also popularly known as the company tax or the corporation tax is the tax levied on the capital or income of corporations or analogous legal entities.
  • In most countries, such taxes are levied at the national level, and a tax that is similar to that imposed at the na­tional level could be imposed at the local or state levels.
  • The taxes could also be termed as capital tax or income tax.
  • Generally, Partnership firms are not taxed at the entity level.
  • In most of the nations, the corporations functioning in a country are taxed for the income from that country.
  • Many countries tax all income of corporations incorpo­rated in the country or those deemed to be resident for tax purposes in the country.
  • The income of the company that is to be taxed is computed similarly to the taxable income for individuals.
  • Tax is generally imposed on net profits.
  • In India, companies, both private and public which are registered in India under the Companies Act 1956, are liable to pay corporate tax.

Securities transaction tax (STT)

  • Sale of any asset (shares, property) results in loss or profit. Depending on the time the asset is held, such profits and losses are categorised as long-term or short-term capital gain/loss.
  • In Budget 2004-05, the government abolished long-term capital gains tax on shares (tax on profits made on the sale of shares held for more than a year) and replaced it with STT.
  • It is a kind of turnover tax where the investor has to pay a small tax on the total consideration paid/received in a share transaction.

Banking cash transaction tax (BCTT)

  • Introduced in Budget 2005-06, BCTT is a small tax on cash withdrawal from bank exceeding a particular amount in a single day.
  • The basic idea is to curb the black economy and generate a record of big cash transactions


  • This is an additional levy on the basic tax liability Governments resort to cess for meeting specific expenditure. For instance, both corporate and individual income is at present subject to an education cess of 2%.
  • In the last Budget, the government had imposed another 1% cess – secondary and higher education cess on income tax – to finance secondary and higher education.

Countervailing Duties (CVD)

  • Countervailing duty is a tax imposed on imports, over and above the basic import duty CVD is at par with the excise duty paid by the domestic manufacturers of similar goods
  • This ensures a level playing field between imported goods and locally-produced ones.
  • An exemption from CVD places the domestic industry at the disadvantage and over long run discourages investments in affected sectors.

Export Duty

  • This is a tax levied on exports. In most instances, the object is not revenue, but to discourage exports of certain items.
  • In the last Budget, for instance, the government imposed an export duty of Rs 300 per metric tonne on the export of iron ores and concentrates and Rs 2,000 per metric tonne on the export of chrome ores and concentrates.

Pass-through Status

  • A pass-through status helps avoid double taxation. Mutual funds, for instance, enjoy pass-through status.
  • The income earned by the funds is tax-free. Since mutual funds’ income is distributed to the unit-holders, who are in turn taxed on their income from such investments any taxation of mutual funds would amount to double taxation.
  • Essentially, it means the income is merely passing through the mutual funds and, therefore, should not be taxed.
  • The government allows venture funds in some sectors pass-through status to encourage investments in start-ups.
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