Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s presented the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021 on February 1st. This is the second budget of the Modi led NDA government after retaining its power for the second term. The budget had allocations right from the education sector, wellness, agriculture, infrastructure, industry, culture, women and so on.
This year’s Union Budget vouched for an aspirational India— in which all sections of the society seek better standards of living, with access to health, education and better jobs, economic development– for all, indicated in the Prime Minister’s exhortation of “SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas” and a caring society– that is both humane and compassionate. Antyodaya is an article of faith.
Sitharaman also proposed new income tax slabs and lower rates. Under the new regime, taxpayers will pay 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% for incomes between Rs 5-7.5 lakh, Rs 7.5-10 lakh, Rs 10-12.5 lakh and Rs 12.5-15 lakh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while talking about the budget said that “the Budget will boost income, investment, demand and consumption.” PM Modi added that it will strengthen the financial systems and the credit flow.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal hailed the Union Budget for exhibiting the “spirit of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas & Sabka Vishwas in action”.
Here are the key highlights:
- NIRVIK Scheme launched for exporters to enable, higher insurance cover, reduction in interests for small exporters and simplified Procedure for claim settlements.
- Tourism sector proposed to get Rs 2,500 Crore. Rs 3,150 Crore proposed for Ministry of Culture Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation to be established.
- DDT proposed to be removed; to lead to estimated annual revenue forgone of Rs. 25,000 crore
In order to increase the attractiveness of the Indian Equity Market, to provide relief to a large class of investors and to make India an attractive destination for investment, the Union Budget proposed to remove the Dividend Distribution Tax.
- Finance Minister proposes wide-ranging facilitation measures in Direct Tax Regime
The Union Budget has proposed ‘Vivad Se Vishwas’ Scheme which aims at reducing litigations in the direct tax payments. “Taxpayers in whose cases appeals are pending at any level can benefit from this scheme,” Sitharaman said.
- Proposal to sell a part of government holding in LIC by way of IPO. Sale of the balance holding of Government of India in IDBI Bank to private, retail and institutional investors through stock exchange.
- Policy to be rolled out to enable the private sector to build Data Centre Darks throughout the country.
- 16 action points focused on doubling Farmers income, Horticulture sector, Food storage, Animal Husbandry and Blue economy.
PM-KUSUM to be expanded to 20 lakh Farmers, Rs 15 Lakh Crore Agriculture Credit Target for Year 2020-21, ‘Kisan Rail’ and ‘Krishi Udaan’to be launched, Warehouse Creation Through Viability Gap Funding on a PPP Mode at Block Level, Women and SHG’S role as ‘Dhaanya Lakshmi’ in Food Storage at Village Level to be Promoted, 3477 Sagar Mitras to be set up to involve youth in Fisheries Sector.
- Increase in Customs Duty on Footwear and Furniture to promote domestic MSMEs
Keeping in view the need of MSME sector, Customs duty is being raised on items like footwear (from 25% to 35% on footwear and from 15% to 20% on parts of footwear) and furniture (from 20% to 25%). The Finance Minister said that special attention has been given to put measured restraint on import of those items which are being produced by our MSMEs with better quality. She stressed that labour-intensive sectors in MSME are critical for employment generation. Cheap and low-quality imports are an impediment to their growth, the Minister added.
- Rs.99,300 crore allocated for Education, Rs. 3,000 crore for Skill Development.
- Rs 1,10,828 crore GST Gross Revenue has been collected for January 2020. As January 2020 stands second-highest monthly collection since the implementation of GST.
- Rs 4400 crore earmarked for clean air initiatives to be formulated by states.
- Around 2.6 lakh crore rupees will be spent on various subsidies.
- Rs 35,600 Crore outlay for nutrition-related Programmes for 2020-21, Rs 28,600 Crore allocated for programs specific to women.
- Rs 12.7 lakh crore to be transferred to states and union territories.
- Rs 69,000 crore provided for Health Care. Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme to be Expanded to all Districts by 2024.
Photo Credit: Financial Express