Vol 3, PW 3 (03 Mar 99) People & Policy

Much of the detail in the budget is not found in the speech of Yashwant Sinha, but in the unabridged Finance Bill tabled in parliament for debate and (possible) amendment.

The new proposals will come into effect from the start of the next financial year on 1 April 1999. The Finance Bill has proposed a reduction in the basic rate of import duty on the following oil sector items:- Product Pre-budget Post-budget Crude Petroleum 22% 20% Motor Spirit 32% 30% High Speed Diesel 32% 30% SKO(parallel mktg) 32% 30% SKO for PDS 0% 0% Aviation Turbine Fuel 32% 30% Furnace Oil 32% 30% Bitumen 32% 30% Wax 32% 30% LPG 12% 10% LNG 12% 5% Naphtha 0% 5% The increase in customs duty on naphtha reflects the desire of the government to discourage naphtha in favour of LNG as a fuel for power plants.

As was widely expected, the budget imposed a duty of Rs1 per litre, effective from 28 Feb 1999, on both imported and domestic high speed diesel. Extra revenue collected will be used for the development of National Highways, state roads and construction of bridges.