Union Minister, Piyush Goyal, presented the interim Budget for the year 2019- 2020 on February 1. He was appointed as Interim Finance Minister on January 23 as Arun Jaitley is undergoing treatment in the United States (US). The interim budget does not generally introduce any new schemes or unveil any new policy measures. The government will present vote on account for next four to five months. The full fledged budget will be presented once the new government is formed after the general elections. This was the last budget of the Narendra Modi led government for the tenure 2014 – 2019 before the general elections which are to be held in May this year. The beneficiaries in target was farmers, small businesses and servicemen. Let’s have a look at the highlights of the budget
Income Tax Relief:
– No Tax Payable for the ones whose individual income is up to Rs. 5 lakhs per annum.
– Standard deduction for tax is raised to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 40,000 for the salaried individuals.
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Tax Exemptions on Investments:
– Individuals with Gross Income of up to Rs. 6.5 lakhs need not pay tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.
– Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) threshold on interests on bank and post office deposits to increase from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 40,000. Which means the income received in the form of interest on the deposits in banks and post office upto Rs. 40,000 wil be tax free which was earlier on Rs. 10,000.
– TDS threshold for home rent is increased from Rs. 1.8 lakh to Rs 2.4 lakh
– Capital gain exemptions under section 54 to be available upto 2 crores. Capital gain exemptions are available for 2 properties.
– Income tax relief from notional rent increased to 2 years which was earlier on 1 year.
Other Tax reliefs
– Income Tax Returns (ITR) to be processed within 24 hours and the refunds will be given immediately.
– Within 2 years, almost all the assessment and verification of IT returns will be done electronically with an anonymous tax system without any intervention by officials.
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– Rs. 6000 per year assured income for small and marginal farmers (farmers with less than 2 hectares of land) which will be directly transferred to their bank accounts, under the scheme Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi. This will benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers, at an estimated cost of Rs. 75,000 crore.
– All farmers affected by severe natural calamities to get 2% interest subvention and additional 3% interest subvention upon repayment.
– For welfare of farmers, there’s an increase in MSP by 1.5 times the MSP cost for all the 2 crops.
– 2% interest subvention for farmers pursuing animal husbandry.
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Goods & Services Tax (GST):
– GST has been continuously reduced, resulting in relief of Rs. 80,000 crore to consumers. Most items of daily use for poor and middle class are now in the 0%-5% tax bracket.
– Businesses with less than annual turnover of Rs. 5 crore, which, apparently consists of approximately 90% of the GST payers will be allowed to return quarterly returns.
Sops for workers:
– Mega pension scheme for workers of unorganized sector. The workers with income of up to Rs. 15,000 per month will get pension of Rs. 3,000 per year, with a contribution of Rs. 100 per month, after retirement i.e. after 60 years of age, under the scheme called Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan. An amount of Rs. 500 crore has been allocated by the Government for this scheme. The scheme is to be implemented in the current year itself. 10 crore workers of unorganized sector will benefit by this scheme.
– Gratuity limit for workers is increased from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh.
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– Around 15.8 lakh out of 17.84 lakh habitations have been connected to the ‘pucca roads’ under Pradhan Mantri Jan Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). An amount of Rs. 19,000 crore has been allocated for the year 2019-20.
– Rs. 60,000 crore allocated for MNREGA in 2019-20.
– The government has disbursed an amount of Rs. 35,000 crore for the soldiers under One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
– Governmnet has increased the defence budget to over Rs. 3 lakh crore.
– Vande Bharat Express to be launched which will provide speed, service and safety.
– An amount of Rs. 64,587 crore to be allocated for railways in 2019-20
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– A sanction of 15.56 loans amounting Rs. 7.23 lakh crore under Mudra scheme, over 70 percent beneficiaries are women under the scheme.
– 1 lakh villages to go digital over next 5 years.
– A separate department of Fisheries to be created for the welfare of 1.5 crore fishermen.
– Over 8 crore free LPG connections to be given. The government is already providing around 6 crore connections, next year all 8 crore connections will be provided to the needy.
– Setting up of a committee under NITI Aayog to identify and denotify nomadic and semi-nomadic communities, and a Welfare Development Board under MSJEGOI for welfare of these hard-to-reach communities and for tailored strategic interventions.
– A single window clearance will be made available to filmmakers, anti-camcording provision to also be introduced in Cinematography Act to fight piracy.
– The 22nd AIIMS to come in Haryana
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Reservation for General category people:
– 10% reservation for economically weaker sections in educational institutions and government jobs has been ensured.
– 21 per cent increase in allocation of funds for the North-East, amounting to Rs. 58,166 crore for infrastructure development.
The Modi led government has tried to woo almost all the sections of the society, especially, the farmers this time. Notably, the Modi-led government will only be able to implement this budget if they come in power for 2019-2024.
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