Delhi's tax free budget: Desi ghee to cost less in Delhi

NEW DELHI: Foodies have every reason to smile while those who trouble women, beware!

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today presented a "tax free" budget slashing or eliminating VAT on several items, including chilly spray and desi ghee.

Besides chilly spray and desi ghee, the other items which would have their price slashed are LED lights, tiles and kerbstones made from construction debris, pencil and geometry boxes and footwear less than Rs 500 among others.

Dikshit chose to withdraw the 12.5 per cent VAT on chilly spray, a self defence device which could be used against attackers in the city which had got a bad name for crime against women, and termed it as one of the ways of empowering the fairer sex.

"It is our duty to empower 
women by way of self-defence ...," she said.

For the foodies, desi ghee that is consumed in large quantity in the city will cost less as VAT on the item has been reduced to five per cent from 12.5 per cent.

To encourage people to use LED lights which consumes less power, Dikshit proposed a reduction of VAT from 12.5 per cent to five per cent.

"In the past we reduced VAT on CFL. LEDs are more efficient and 
environment friendly compared to CFL. The use of more LED lights will save power and also help to improve the environment," he said.

In a Holi gift for Delhiites and to promote organic stuff, the budget also proposed exempting VAT for organic colours.

The chief minister also completely withdrew VAT on refuse derived fuel in a bid to promote proper solid waste management. She exempted VAT on tiles and kerbstones made from malba and construction debris as its disposal has become a matter of concern.

For students and children, Dikshit exempted VAT on pencil and geometry boxes and also on charki and manja used for flying kites. All these are presently taxed at 12.5 per cent.

Footwear less than Rs 500 has also been exempted from VAT.

Delhi government expects to collect Rs 19,500 crore as VAT in the next fiscal, Dikshit said.