Direct Taxes (Income Tax) – Relaxation announced by the Finance Minister in the Lok Sabha while replying to the debate on Finance Bill, 2010 on April 29, 2010. While introducing the Finance Bill, 2010 in respect of Direct Taxes, emphasis has been on relief to individual taxpayers, encouraging research and development in the country, providing some relief measures in view of the recessionary impact and rationalization of procedure and steps to mitigate compliance cost. Based on the discussions and representations received after the introduction of the Finance Bill, certain further reliefs and concessions on direct taxes are proposed.

Availability of modern hospitals is a priority area for the country and private sector participation is desirable in order to provide better healthcare facilities to citizens. Currently, hospitals (of more than 100-bed capacity) constructed in any area other than the “excluded area” are eligible for claiming hundred per cent deduction under section 80-IB (11C) of the Income Tax Act. Considering the pressing need for more hospitals all over the country, it is proposed to include the business of a new hospital anywhere in India, with at least one hundred beds for patients, as a ‘specific business’ for availing the benefit of investment linked deduction.

Another priority of the Government is to make India slum free. The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has issued draft Guidelines for Slum-Free City Planning. The Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) for slum-dwellers and the urban poor envisages ‘slum-free India’ by encouraging States/Union Territories to tackle the problem of slums in a definitive manner. For this purpose, it is proposed to also include the business of developing and building a housing project under a scheme for slum redevelopment or rehabilitation framed by the Central Government or a State Government as a ‘specified business’ for availing the benefit of investment linked deduction.

In consequence of the decision to allow tax-neutrality for conversion of a company in to Limited Liability partnership (LLP), it is proposed to also exempt from taxation the transfer of shares by the shareholders of the company in respect of such a conversion.

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