To broaden the tax base in Service Tax, sale of space or time for advertisements in broadcast media has been extended to cover such sales on other segments like online and mobile advertising. Announcing the tax proposals, the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said during his maiden budget speech that sale of space for advertisements in print media however would remain excluded from service tax. However services provided by radio-taxis have been brought under service tax. The Finance Minister said that the tax proposals on the indirect taxes side are estimated to yield Rs.7525 crore during 2014-15.
The Finance Minister announced that the services by air-conditioned contract carriages and technical testing of newly developed drugs on human participants have been brought under service tax. Services provided by Indian tour operators to foreign tourists in relation to a tour wholly conducted outside India will be taken out of the tax net and Cenvat credit for services of rent-a-cab and tour operators will be allowed to promote tourism.
Shri Jaitley said that services provided by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation for the period prior to 1st July 2012 have been exempted from service tax. Exemption available for specified micro insurance schemes has been expanded to cover all life micro-insurance schemes where the sum assured does not exceed Rs.50, 000 per life insured.
24X7 customs clearance facility will be extended to 13more airports in respect of all export goods and to 14 more sea ports in respect of specified import and export goods to facilitate cargo clearance.‘Indian Customs Single Window Project to facilitate trade will be implemented.
Customs and Central Excise Acts will be amended to expedite the process of disposal of appeals. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that the Government is committed to implement GST at the earliest and the issues raised by the states will be resolved soon.