Indian Fiscal Budget 1997-98: Full Text

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Infrastructure

  1. The Infrastructure Development Finance Company has been incorporated. Section 80IA of the Income Tax Act grants a five year tax holiday for certain infrastructure projects. Last month, I announced that telecommunication will qualify as infrastructure. I now propose to add Oil Exploration and Industrial Parks to this category.

  2. I am also glad to announce that the vexed question of assignability of telecom licences has been resolved and that tripartite agreements are proposed to be entered into among the Department of Telecommunications, the licencee and the lenders.

  3. As Commerce Minister, I proposed in the Exim Policy that supply of goods to oil, gas and power projects, if the supplies are made under the procedure of international competitive bidding, should be given the benefits of 'deemed exports'. As Finance Minister, I am glad to accept this wholesome proposal. Details are being notified separately.

  4. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is now geared to implement the new policy on roads and highways. I propose to enhance budget support for NHAI to Rs.500 crore which is a significant step up from Rs.200 crore provided in the current year.

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