|FM Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the Union Budget in Parliament on Saturday
NEWS UNION BUDGET
NEW DELHI: The Union Budget presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has eminent emphasis on the farm sector, and aims to improve the lifestyle of all sections of the society. It lays out plan to have 100 new airports.
The finance minister started her speech by saying India is today the world’s fifth largest economy. The government has identified three aspects guiding the nation’s economic philosophy – the special emphasis being on aspirational India, meaning better living standards; economic development that benefits all; and a caring society in which antodya will be an article of faith.
The Budget unveiled plans for setting up 100 new airports, and completion of Delhi-Mumbai Express Highway, linking two core areas of commerce, by 2023. The Budget made a commitment to double farm income by 2020.
The FM said the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) scenario is impressive in the past over five years of the Modi government – it rising to a level of $284billion till the present fiscal from year 2014. An investment clearance cell will be set up to speed up proposals.
NIRMALA HALTS MIDWAY
Nirmala Sitharaman could not complete the reading of
the Budget proposals in Parliament on Saturday.
After a little over two and a half hours, she requested the
Speaker Om Birla to treat the rest of the portions as having “read”,
and allow her to sit. The house adjourned thereafter for meeting again on Monday.
FISCAL DEFICIT … Fiscal deficit target pegged at 3.5 per cent of GDP for FY21; fiscal deficit at 3.8 per cent of GDP versus the earlier target of 3.3 for FY20; the FY21 nominal GDP growth pegged at 10 per cent.
EDUCATION GETS BOOST… The Budget earmarks Rs 99,300crore for education sector; and Rs 3,000crore for skill-development for youths. New education policy to be announced soon; foreign universities to step in.
HEALTH: Medical colleges to be attached to District Hospitals across the country in PPP mode. Huge demand for doctors, nurses from India in developed and other nations.
SWACHH BHARAT … Rs 12,300crore allocated for the cleanliness mission.
JAL JEEVAN MISSION … Rs 3.64lakh crore for drinking water projects.
PM KISAN SCHME … 20 lakh farmers will be helped in setting up standalone solar pumps and another 15 lakh farmers will be helped in introducing solar-aided pumps to their farms. VILLAGE STORAGE SCHEME…to help in storage of perishable vegetables in every village with help of self-help groups. KISAN RAIL .. new rail service in PPP Mode to transport perishable farm products to markets in a speedier manner. AGRI CREDIT .. for the next fiscal has been raised to Rs 15lakh crore.
HORTICULTURE …Now, it exceeds the production of food grains in the country. One District, One Produce plan to be introduced.
DOUBLING OF MILK CAPACITY … to 108lakh mt tonnes; FISH PRODUCTION … to be raised to two lakh tonnes; involve more youths in fisheries through SAGAR MITRA scheme.
FARMER INSURANCE ..We have insured 6.11 crore farmers under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna. Agriculture=related services need corpus investments. Sector comprising of agriculture to be worth Rs 2.83 lakh crore by next year.
CENTRAL DEBT … Central govt debt has been reduced to 48.7% from 52.2%.
“Fundamentals of the economy are strong. Inflation has been well contained. Banks have seen a thorough clean-up and they have been recapitalized,” the FM said.
NATIONAL HIGHWAY … NH expansion by more than 6,00km before 2024.
RENEWABLE ENERGY … Rs 20,000crore outlay for renewable energy sector.
SOLAR PROJECT … Solar units to be set up along rail lines, using vacant space…
OPTICAL FIBRE … One lakh village panchayats to be included in the optical fibre project…
ROAD COMMUNICATIONS … Rs 1.7lakh crore for improving the basic amenities for road communication…
COMPANIES ACT … Companies Act to be amended to decriminalise civil offences.
TRAINS: 150 trains will run under the public private partnership (PPP) mode; More of Tejas trains to run, mainly on tourism circuits.
DEFENCE: For modernisation and acquisition of new weapons, an allocation of Rs 1,10,734 crore has been made for the Defence sector; this is Rs 10,340crore more than last year’s Budget provisions.
HIGHWAYS: An accelerated highways development programme will be taken up to add 9,000km of economic corridor and 2,500km of access-controlled highways. This apart, some 2,000km each of coastal roads and strategic highways along border regions will be erected. The Delhi-Mumbai expressway will be completed in three years, as also two more express highway projects. Sitharaman also said work will start on the Chennai project.
PORTS: To improve efficiency of ports in the country, the government will set up a framework and look at corporatisation of at least one major port, followed by its subsequent listing on stock exchanges.
INCOME TAX: The budget introduces five tax slabs with lower rates for those foregoing exemptions. FM introduced new slabs and reduced the tax rate for different slabs for an individual income up to Rs 15 lakh per annum. The new tax regime will be optional and the taxpayers will be given the choice to either remain in the old regime with exemptions and deductions or opt for the new reduced tax rate without those exemptions, she said.
NEW INCOME TAX SLABS VS EARLIER
– 10% for income between Rs 5 lakh-7.5 lakh against 20%.
– 15% for income between Rs 7.5 lakh-10 lakh against 20%
– 20% for income between Rs 10-12.5 lakh against 30%
– 25% for income between Rs 12.5 -15 lakh against 30%
– 30% for income above Rs 15 lakh.
As per the new plan, those with an annual income of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh will have to pay a reduced tax rate of 10 percent; between Rs 7.5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh: 15 percent; between Rs 10 lakh and 12.5 lakh: 20 percent; between Rs 12.5 lakh and 15 lakh: 25 percent; and above Rs 15 lakh: 30 percent. IHN-NN