India's FM Chidambaram
India's FM ChidambaramReuters

Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday presented the interim budget for the fiscal year 2014-15. The interim budget covers the expenditure until the government's term ends in May.

Here are the Budget 2014 highlights:

  • No major change in tax rates
  • Excise duty on mobile handset will be 6 percent on CENVAT credit to encourage domestic production.
  • Excise duty has been reduced from 12 percent to 10 percent for capital goods and consumer durables.
  • Excise duty cut for small cars is down to 8 percent from 12 percent. Excise duty on SUVs down by 6 percent from 30 to 24 percent. Excise duty on two-wheelers is also down to 8 percent. Excise duty on medium cars down from 24 percent to 20 percent.
  • Finance Minister has announced a moratorium on interest on student loans taken before 31 March 2009. He says it will benefit 9 lakh borrowers.
  •  Government to provide ₹112 billion capital infusion in state run banks in 2014-15.
  • The defense budget has also been increased by 10 percent to ₹2.24 trillion.
  • The government has accepted the long-standing demand of the defense personnel for one rank one pension scheme. In the speech, the finance minister said "Rs 500 crore will be transferred in 2014-15 for implementing the 'one rank one pay' decision."
  • Chidambaram says that the UPA government remains fully committed to the Aadhaar scheme. "In course of time the critics of Aadhar will realise that this is a tool for empowerment. 57 crore UID numbers have been created so far," he says. FY15 plan expenditure has been kept at ₹5.55 lakh crore.
  • Growth estimated in 2013-14 at 4.9 percent.
  • No policy paralysis.
  • 100 million jobs to be created in a decade.
  • 19 oil blocks allocated.
  • Seven new airports under construction.
  • Central assistance of ₹3,38,562 lakh crore in 2014-15.
  • Construction underway for 50,000MW of conventional pow
  • India not unaffected by events in global economy.
  • Fiscal deficit at 4.6 percent. 
  • Current account deficit at $45 billion.
  • Hope to add $15 billion to forex reserves.

With Agency Inputs