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February 28th, 2007
THE MEASURE: The budget proposes introducing the minimum alternate tax (MAT) for companies besides increasing the dividend distribution tax from 12.5% to 15% cent (effective rate at 17.25% as they have to pay 15% surcharge) and extending the fringe benefit tax (FBT) to employee stock options (ESOPs).
The finance minister has exempted from service tax all services provided by technology business incubators. Those incubatees whose annual business turnover does not exceed Rs 50 lakh will be exempted from service tax for the first three years.
He also provided a pass-through status to venture capital (VC) funds only in respect of investments in VC undertakings in areas like biotechnology, information technology relating to hardware and software development, nanotechnology, seed research and development.
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