New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021 on Monday, February 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She proposed Agri cess on several goods including 100% cess on alcoholic beverages, Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel.

"I propose an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on a small number of items. However, while applying this cess, we have taken care not to put additional burden on consumers on most items," Sitharaman said in her Budget 2021-22 speech.

It is to be noted that the price of alcoholic beverages will remain unchanged despite the imposition of Agri cess as the government has reduced the customs duty and levied a disproportionate amount of Agri infra cess on products like petrol and diesel. As a result, the cess would not put any additional burden on the consumer.

Elaborating on this Sitharaman said that Consequent to the imposition of Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on diesel and petrol, Special Additional Excise Duty (SAED) rates and Basic Excise Duty (BED) rates have been reduced.

Apart from alcohol, petrol and diesel, Nirmala Sitharaman also proposed agricultural cess on other goods namely gold and silver bars 2.5 per cent, crude soybean 20 per cent, sunflower oil, crude palm oil 17.5 per cent, apples 35 per cent and peas 40 per cent.

The Agri cess will be applicable from tomorrow that is February 2.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021 keeping in mind to boost the Indian economy after witnessing major plunge in the year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She made several big announcements in railways, road infrastructure, health care sector, tax ease for senior citizens above the age of 75 among other things. For the first time in history, the budget was presented digitally through a tablet replacing traditional 'bahi-khata' system.   

Posted By: Niharika Sanjeeiv