New Delhi: Under fire for the proposal to tax ‘high-end’ medical services, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday told Lok Sabha he is examining various suggestions and would respond later.
“Since the presentation of the Budget 2011-12, I have received several suggestions and representations, including valuable feedback from Members (MPs) on taxation proposals. These are under examination,” Mukherjee said while replying to the discussion on the Budget for 2011-12.
The Minister further said that he would respond to the issues in his reply to the discussion on the Finance Bill 2011, later during this session.
Mukherjee is expected to reply during the discussion on Finance Bill in Lok Sabha on 22 March.
His proposal to impose 5% service tax on services provided by centrally air-conditioned hospitals of 25 bed or more, evoked sharp reaction from the medical community with doctors describing the levy as “misery tax”.
Besides, Mukherjee’s proposal to levy Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on Special Economic Zone (SEZ) units and developers was criticized by the industry.
Finance ministry officials have also said the government has received a lot of representations on service tax on health care and is again looking at the proposal.
Mukherjee’s direct tax proposals for 2011-12 are estimated to result in a revenue loss of Rs11,500 crore, while the proposals relating to indirect taxes are likely to yield an additional revenue of Rs11,300 crore.