India's Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwantrao Chavan, cut personal income taxes but sharply increased duties on?
India's Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwantrao Chavan, cut personal income taxes but sharply increased duties on luxury goods in the nation's 1974 Budget, presented to parliament on Thursday (February 28).
He also announced a major drive to increase the nation's coal production in a bid to offset the massive oil price increases which are expected to decrease India's foreign reserves.
In presenting the budget Mr. Chavan said he expected the deficit would be about 360 million ponds sterling -- seven times greater than planned.
Mr. Chavan reduced income taxes at all levels and also lowered the level at which income tax begins to be paid.
However, he said the Government had to increase its revenue for the coming year and to achieve this duties on refrigerators, air conditioning, television sets, liquor, cigarettes and even toilet paper would have to be increased.
Wealth tax and postal charges also went up.
The Budget was preceded by a Government report predicting a year of almost unrelieved economic gloom.
The report said prices in the country rose by 26 per cent last year and further rises were bound to bring "widespread hardships to the people".
With an unfavourable balance of payments situation there was little point in minimising the task the country faced in the coming year, said the report.