1. [Act 1] Services: theory and statistics
    1. Service Tax: theory
    2. Services kept out?
    3. Service tax: negative list (17 services)
    4. Budget 2014: Service Tax provisions
    5. Service sector vs GDP, Employment
    6. Service sector: FDI
  2. [Act 2] Tourism sector
    1. Budget 2014: tourism related
    2. Sacred Rivers
    3. E-Visa
  3. [Act 3] Real Estate Services and Housing
    1. RESIDEX
    2. Budget 2014 provisions
  4. [Act 4] IT industry
    1. National Policy on IT 2012
    2. Budget 2014: Digital India
  5. [Act 5] Trade industry
  6. [Act 6] Media, Entertainment
    1. Cable Digitization
    2. Research and Development
    3. Budget 2014: research related provision
  7. Service sector: Overall Challenges & Outlook

[Act 1] Services: theory and statistics

Cover Economic Survey Service tax

Service Tax: theory

  • Service tax is an Indirect tax of the Union.
  • Collected by CBEC-Central board of excise and customs.
  • Doesn’t apply to Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Doesn’t apply to person/company selling less than Rs.10 lakhs worth services in a financial year.
  • Tax deduction at source (TDS) mechanism doesn’t apply.
    • Suppose, there was TDS system in service tax, then if hotel bill was 100 rupees, then customer would have to pay only Rs.87.64 to hotel owner and remaining 12.36 directly to Government as service tax payment.
    • And in that case, we wouldn’t’ call it ‘indirect’ tax either but ‘direct tax’.
    • There was a similar “hotel receipt tax” (a direct tax) in past, but it was abolished.

Service tax: Constitutional angle

Originally, Constitution did not provide for “service tax”. Therefore Government had to amend the Constitution

88th Constitutional amendment, 2003.
Art. 268A Empowers union Government to levy services tax.
7th Sch. Entry 92C Tax on services, falls under Union list.
  • For income tax, there is income tax act; for excise duty there is excise duty act; for custom duty there is custom duty act.
  • BUT there is no separate service tax act for collection of service tax.
  • Service tax levied under provisions of ch.5 of the finance Act.*
  • *Recall that along with budget (Annual financial statement art.112), Government puts two bills:
    • APPROPRIATION BILL: to spend money from consolidated fund of India
    • FINANCE BILL: to collect taxes

Services kept out?

Government collects service tax using “Comprehensive approach” i.e. service tax applicable on all services except those given in kept out.

Two types of services kept out of tax ambit
Negative List Exempted
These services are specifically listed in finance act. (sec.66D) these services are exempted (temporarily) by  Government notification
Changing this list, requires parliamentary approval- because you’ll need to amend the Finance Act itself. Doesn’t require parliamentary approval. Government can change it any time.
17 services in negative list (given below) some examples-veterinary healthcare, legal service, cord blood bank, sports-recreation, hotel rooms below Rs. 1000, non-AC restaurants, general insurance and so on.

Service tax: negative list (17 services)

Service tax will not apply to following services:

  1. services provided by Government /local authority
    1. Post card, inland letter, money order etc. kept out of service tax. but premium services like speedpost, express parcel=service tax applies.
    2. No service tax on “sovereign functions”- like granting spectrum license, delivering justice etc.
  2. RBI’s services (Except when RBI acts as banker’s bank)
  3. foreign diplomatic mission in India
  4. agriculture related services for example
    1. Renting agro. machineries
    2. supplying farm labour
    3. Grading, sorting, processing, packaging – as long as essential characteristics not changed.
    4. research and extension services
    5. pisciculture (fish), sericulture (silk), plantations
  5. Trading of goods
  6. “processes” required in goods manufacture
  7. Advertisement except radio and television.
  8. toll charges while crossing road, bridge etc*
  9. Betting, gambling, lottery*
  10. Entertainment events, amusement parks*
  11. Electricity transmission
  12. Education upto higher secondary and vocational centres. (Coaching classes have to pay service tax, except those making less than 10 lakhs)
  13. Renting property for residential purpose. (In other words – renting hotel room=service tax applies but then “EXEMPTION” given to rooms below Rs.1000).
  14. Financial sector- bank loans, deposits etc. (Although bank has to pay corporate tax on its profits)
  15. Passenger transport via road and inland waterway* (But airplane, Rail tickets in firstclass/AC have to pay service tax)
  16. goods transport
  17. Funeral services.

*because under 7th Schedule, State Governments have the power to collect taxes over them.

Budget 2014: Service Tax provisions

Jaitley kept service tax unchanged
A. Service tax 12.00%
B. Education cess 2%
C. Secondary and Higher education Cess 1%
effective service tax (A+B+C) 12.36%
  • Some books mention education cess =3%, because they count (B+C = 2+1 =3%)
  • Cess applies as “tax on tax” therefore 3% of 12%=12.36% (And not 12+2+1=15%)
  • In excise and custom duty the tax rates vary according to item. But in service tax, all services face same uniform rate of 12.36%.
Budget 2014 announcements
will levy service tax from “EXEMPTED” following
  1. Ads on online sites
  2. Rent-a-car, radio-taxis
  3. drug testing on humans
  4. AC contract carriages
  1. Desi Tour operator selling foreign trip package to foreign tourist (e.g. Yatra.com, Makemytrip.com)
  2. Biomedical waste treatment
  3. Micro-insurance upto 50,000 rupees
  4. Cotton storage, loading, warehousing

Jaitley expects to collect ~2.15 lakh crores from service tax (Budget estimate 2014).

Tax Collection Ranking
2013(Actual) Corporation > IT > Excise > Custom > Service > Wealth
2014(Estimate) Corporation > IT > Service > Excise > Custom > Wealth

Service sector vs GDP, Employment

  • Ranking Service sector GDP: USA  (1)> Japan(2) > China (3)>..>India (12)
  • Overall GDP: USA  (1)> Japan(2) > China (3)>..>India (10)
Service sector’s share
Share In GDP Share In Employment
  1. Services (60%)
  2. Industries (26%)
  3. Agri (14%)
  1. Agri. (49%)
  2. Services (27%)
  3. Industries (24%)


Ranking: Growth rate within service sector (%)
Sector (highest to lowest) 2013
  1. Financing, insurance, real estate, & business services
  1. Community, social & personal services
  1. Trade, hotels, transport, storage, & communication


Service sector: growth in States
doubt digit growth lowest ~5% growth
  • Goa due to tourism
  • Tripura due to banking-insurance
  • Arunanchal Pradesh
  • Kerala

Service sector as part of states’ GSDP: highest in Delhi & Chandigarh

Service sector: FDI

List not exhaustive- only focusing on “services”- not manufacturing etc.

  • Single brand retail (automatic upto 49%, beyond that need Government approval)
  • E-commerce sites (business2business only)
74% private banks,  DTH, Mobile TV
51% multibrand retail
49% insurance, private security, commodity exchange
20% Public sector banks.
prohibited lottery, betting, gambling

Service sector receives ~45% of total FDI inflows in India.

Top 5 services attracting FDI:

  1. Services sector(financial & non-financial)
  2. Construction development
  3. Telecommunications
  4. Computer software & hardware
  5. Hotels & tourism

Services export

  • Ranking: software > business services > Tourism > transport
  • We export more services than we import.
  • Service exports brought ~73,000 million USD in India.

Now let’s take a look at individual service sectors- survey observations and budget provisions for them.

[Act 2] Tourism sector

  • Tourism contributes to 9% of global GDP. >6 trillion USD in absolute terms.
  • >25 crore people employed worldwide. 1 in 11 of total world jobs come from tourism.
  • But, India has not tapped the full potential of its tourism sector. Hardly 4 crore people employed.
  • India has not been able to convert its comparative natural and economic advantages into competitive advantages.

Suggested reforms

  • Create world class tourism infrastructure even by PPP
  • Solve the multiple taxation issues
  • Give skill and etiquettes training to tour operators
  • special focus on cleanliness and women safety of tourist sites
  • Use MNREGA labour for creating permanent assets like tourism infrastructure and facilities
  • Organize mini India cultural shows on a daily basis at important tourist sites. It’ll attract more tourists and generate employment for Indian artists
  • Urgently implement E visa facilities. (Jaitley budget implemented this)
Budget 2014: tourism related announcements
PRASAD National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive
Tourist circuit will create 5 tourist circuits around specific themes
Sarnath-Gaya-Varanasi Buddhist circuit would also be developed with attract foreigners
HRIDAY National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY)for Mathura, Amritsar, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Vellankani and Ajmer.

with help of PPP, universities and local community

Goa Already declared as permanent venue for International Film Festival of India. (IFFI)We’ll setup infrastructure for world class convention /events.
tour operators Don’t need to pay service tax, if serving foreign tourist for foreign trips. (e.g. yatra.com and other online sites)
Status of Unity funding for Sardar Patel’s statue over Narmada Dam in Gujarat.
Archelogical sites 100cr for their preservation

Sacred Rivers

  • Ghat development
  • and  beautification of river front at Kedarnath, Haridwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna and Delhi
  • Because they’re heritage and religious value (100 cr)
Namami Gange Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission
NRI Ganga Fund So they can also contribute in cleaning ganga.
100 cr To prepare detail project report on how to clean up sacred rivers.


India gets less than 70 lakh foreign tourists every year (rank 41st). In next 3-5 years, we want to receive >1 crore tourists.

Budget 2014: E-visa
Solution Electronic Travel Authorization (e-Visa).
Feature Foreigner applies online, he’ll get visa in five days.
Benefit Will increase foreign tourists by 25%.
Where 9 airports, in phased manner.
Timeframe within next 6 months
Challenge Need 600 men in Home ministry to implement it.

Related topic: Visa on arrival

Under home ministry
2010 scheme started for five countries
2011 six more added
2014, Feb 180 countries

What is the mechanism for visa on arrival?

  • Foreigner applies online three days before his arrival in India.
  • Gets via on airport, 30 days validity, cannot be renewed.
Following are NOT eligible
  1. Pakistan
  2. Sudan
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Iran
  1. Iraq
  2. Nigeria
  3. Somalia
  4. Sri Lanka

India is not the first country in the world to have “Visa on arrival” facility. Japan, Finland, Singapore et al already have this.

[Act 3] Real Estate Services and Housing

Potential / Importance:

  • Estimates show that every rupee invested in housing and construction adds 78 paise to the GDP.
  • Real estate services contribute to capital formation, employment generation, income opportunities and economic growth.


  • ~30% Indians live in Cities. By 2030, 50% of Indians will live in cities.
  • There is widening gap between demand and supply of houses.
  • Procedural delays are another major constraint in this sector. A Builder needs to get total 35 files approved, compared to 16 in South Asia.
  • Lack of easy housing finance.
  • Government had enacted Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY) to provide cheap loans to economically weaker section. Individual family gets 5-8 lakh rupees loan, but given the heavy price rise in real estate sector, this loan amount is insufficient in most cities.


  • National housing bank (NHB)’s index to measure “inflation” in housing sector.
  • Using 2007’s prices as base year.
RESIDEX residential properties
prices increased decreased
  1. Chennai
  2. Pune
  3. Bhopal
  4. Mumbai
  1. Kochi
  2. Hyderabad

Budget 2014 provisions

Rurban mission, smart cities, FDI relaxation, ReITs etc. topics already covered under Ch13 subpart “rural and urban infrastructure”.
click me

[Act 4] IT industry

IT and IT-ese (information technology-enabled services) accounts for >55% of global out coursing.

Why India’s leading IT outsourcing destination?
Potential challenges
  1. Flat entry-level salaries
  2. Near flat employee pyramids
  3. Skilled workforce
  4. India is seven-eight times cheaper than source locations (US and EU)
  5. India is 30% cheaper than the next nearest low-cost country.
  1. increased competition from Malaysia, Philippines & other Asian giants
  2. Wage inflation
  3. Rupee volatility

Revival of US and European economy in recent months. India’s IT exports have increased.

National Policy on IT 2012

Q. write a note on the salient features of national policy on Information technology (100 words)

  1. Atleast 1 person in each household should become e-literate.
  2. get total 1 crore additional personnel in IT sector
  3. For physically disabled, create IT softwares.
  4. All public services be delivered in electronic mode, in local languages- be it health, education, rural Development or financial services
  5. Use ICT for good governance, transparency, accountability, efficiency, reliability in public services.
  6. Against cybercrimes- strengthen regulatory framework
  7. Focus Cloud Computing, Social Media, open source softwares.
  8. Give tax reliefs to SME and start companies for adopting IT technologies.
  9. Gain significant market share in global IT trade.
Target figures under NPIT-2012
Year Total Revenue Export earning
2011 100 billion$ ~70 billion$
2020 300 billion$ 200 billion$

Budget 2014: Digital India

  • Jaitley announced “digital india” scheme to bridge the divide between digital “haves” and “have-nots”. Will provide following benefits:
  • Broad band connectivity at village level
  • greater transparency via e-governance
  • Boost to indigenous production of IT hardware and software.
Budget: other announcements for IT
A National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills and E-Kranti for government service delivery (500 cr)
E-kranti  for  government  service  delivery
Program to promote good governance 100 cr

[Act 5] Trade industry

  • Trade is categorized under “Service sector”
  • Includes both wholesale and retail traders
  • Includes middlemen, brokers and auctioneers
  • Provides employment to 3.5 crore people (~7% of the total workforce)
FDI in retail
2012 Permitted in single brand retail e.g. Armani, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts
2013 Permitted in multi-brand retail- with preconditions about investment, sourcing, store locations, and state government approval. more details click me
  • At present FDI not permitted in Retail e-commerce. Except Business to Business (B2B) ecommerce sites.
  • Government released whitepaper for discussion on FDI in retail e-commerce.

Challenges in trade sector

  1. Multiple controls by union and state departments.
  2. fragmented market hindering the free flow of goods within the economy,
  3. higher transportation cost
  4. overall low level of efficiency and productivity

[Act 6] Media, Entertainment

Include television, print, films, radio, music, animation, gaming and visual effects, and digital advertising. India has one of the largest broadcasting industries in the world

numbers not important
16 crore TV households
800 TV channels
245 Radio channels
170 Radio stations

Cable Digitization

  • To shift from Analog TV services to digital services. Deliver TV channels via Set top boxes (STB)
  • Four phases, Deadline: 31/12/2014
  • Chennai is yet to undergo full transition owing to pending court cases.

What’re the benefits of Cable digitization?

  • Customer has to pay only for the channels he wants to see
  • Higher picture and sound quality
  • Cable operator cannot under-report connections and evade payments to Channels companies
  • More tax collection for state and union Government. Primary data shows, state Governments’ entertainment tax has increased by 3-4 times.
  • Phase II was concluded on 31 March 2013 in 36 cities (having population more than 10 lakh) spanning 14 states and 1 UT. Three crore set top boxes (STBs) were installed in the first two phases.
  • Opportunity for local manufacturing of STBs, leading to employment generation.
Community radio Film/movies
  • 2006: Government allowed NGOs and educational institutions to setup their own Community Radio Stations.
  • matter falls under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
  • 400 already permitted
  • 200 new stations planned
  • ~95 per cent of India’s cinema screens already digitized
  • Piracy remains a challenge to the Indian film industry


Budget 2014 announcements
 Institutes of national importance This status given to

  • Film & Television Institute, Pune
  • Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata
Games National Centre for Excellence in Animation, Gaming and Special Effects will be set up.

Research and Development

Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14

  • Among BRICS nations, India’s innovation capacity is lowest after Russia.
  • Scientific research done by Indian institutions- it doesn’t result into commercial Usage.
  • This is proof poor collaboration between universities and industries- compared to other brics nations.
  • Even with such large population, and so many self-financed colleges, India will have 25% shortage of Engineers by 2025.
Budget 2014: research related provision
  • To strengthen technical research centres
  • For nanotechnology, materials science and bio- medical devices
Biotech clusture
  • Already @Faridabad and Bengaluru
  • Will modernize them
Agro-biotech cluster
  • Already at Mohali- will upgrade it.
  • Two new @Pune and Kolkata

Service sector: Overall Challenges & Outlook

Summary points from Economic Survey

  • Among the developing countries, India’s growth story is unique- because it’s led by service sector. (Other countries grew by manufacturing sector)
  • Therefore, India must focus on revival of service sector.
  • More than 50% of GDP comes from services sector.
  • Service sector is the largest and fastest-growing sector of the economy
  • India’s services sector covers a wide variety of activities that have different features and dimensions. For example
IT, Telecom Very sophisticate, need high technology
Barbers, plumbers Simple, crude
Transport Has high linkages with industrial sector
Tourism Has high linkages with employment generation
  • Even after the 2008 global recession, services sector growth is still higher than that of other sectors.
  • But Slowdown in the manufacturing and mining sectors directly affected some services like railways, shipping, ports.
  • Same way, Inflation @domestic level and Declined incomes @international levels, has badly affected other services – particularly airlines, IT, branded retail segment.

But all is not lost

  • 2014 has ebgan with Indications of revival in developed countries.
  • This would translate into revival of the IT, aviation, shipping and tourism sectors.
  • With a stable government in place and growing optimism of foreign investors- service sector is poised to grow at a high rate
  • just needs some quick reforms and removal of some obsolete regulations.

Suggested reforms (overall):

  • Need to create a single nodal ministry or Department of services.
  • Government should disinvest from Service sector PSUs. It’ll help reducing fiscal deficit and promote growth of these services.
  • Need to provide ‘collateral free’ soft loans to service sector entrepreneurs- especially for exports.


  1. Not covering NALSA, legal services- NALSA etc. because the new survey and budget silent on them. However, if you want to go through these topics, refer click me to Economy survey summary 2012.
  2. Service inflation measured via services price indices (SPI)- will cover that topic under ‘inflation topic’ for parallel revision with WPI, CPI.