1. Personal Income Tax
Increase in individual income tax slab limits is expected to be the highlight of the budget in order to revive the consumption cycle. SBI forecast an increase in personal income tax exemption limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
2. Excise Duty
Excise duty exemption on some food items (ice-cream, cheese, RTE, packaged juices, etc) may be lifted as a step moving towards GST. Currently, some food items enjoy 0-6% excise duty. Removing the exemption will push up the prices of these food items.
3. Tax on cigarettes
Given huge illegal market share, tax increase should be modest at 8-10% hike in excise duty for cigarettes. If hike is higher than 10%, then is is negative for all cigarette companies, as it will be the sixth consecutive hike.
4. Corporate Tax Rates
With surcharge and cess, corporate tax rates in India are among the highest. Immediate reduction in rates is an imperative to counter the effect of demonetisation. Minimum alternate tax rates could also be rationalised.
5. Deduction for infrastructure bonds
Tax-saving infrastructure bonds, which allowed investors to get additional tax deductions, could be reintroduced.