Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman introduced a new optional personal income tax system and announced multi-billion dollar farm, infra and healthcare package to revive growth in the country. Emphasising on capacity building and empowerment of marginalised sections of the society while protecting the wealth creators, Sitharaman said this Budget will boost income and purchasing power of the people. Finance minister also raised the bank depositors insurance coverage to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 1 lakh.
Here are all the key highlights from Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget speech:
New optional tax slabs: New income tax slabs will be available for those who forgo exemptions.
Taxable income slabs
Up to Rs 5 lakh
Rs 5 Lakh to Rs 7.5 Lakh
Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh
Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12.5 lakh
Rs 12.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh
Rs 15 lakh and above
- To simplify the tax system and lower tax rates, around 70 of more than 100 income tax deductions and exemptions have been removed.
- Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) abolished; Companies will not be required to pay DDT; dividend to be taxed only at the hands of recipients, at applicable rates.
- Cash reward system envisaged to incentivise customers to seek invoice.
- 15% concessional tax rate for new power generation companies.
- Tax on cooperative societies reduced to 22% without exemptions.
- 100% tax concession to sovereign wealth funds on investment in infrastructure projects.
- Tax on Cooperative societies to be reduced to 22 per cent plus surcharge and cess ,as against 30 per cent at present.
- To end tax harassment, new taxpayer charter to be instituted. Tax harassment will not be tolerated, says FM.
- Proposes to amend Companies Act to bring criminal liability in certain areas.
- To amend I-T Act to allow faceless appeals.
- To launch new direct tax dispute settlement scheme -- Vivaad se Vishwaas scheme.
- Interest and penalty will be waived for those who wish to pay the disputed amount till March 31.
- Government to look at ensuring that contracts are honoured.
- Proposes new National Policy on Official Statistics to improve data collection and dissemination with the help of technology.
- Rules of origin requirements in Customs Act to be reviewed, to ensure FTAs are aligned with the conscious direction of our policy: FM
- Aadhaar-based verification of taxpayers is being introduced to weed out dummy or non-existent units; instant online allotment of PAN on the basis of Aadhaar.
- Registration of charity institutions to be made completely electronic, donations made to be pre-filled in IT return form to claim exemptions for donations easily.
- Tax holiday for affordable housing extended by 1 year. Additional deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs for interest paid on loans taken for an affordable house extended till 31st March, 2021.
- Govt plans to sell part of its holding in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) by way of Initial Public Offering.
- Certain specified categories of government securities will be open fully for NRIs, apart from being open to domestic investors
- FPI limit in corporate bonds raised to 15% from 9%.
- Government doubles divestment target for the next fiscal at Rs 2.1 lakh crore.
- Expand Exchange Traded Fund by floating a Debt ETF, consisting primarily of govt. securities.
Indirect Tax :
- Customs duty raised on footwear to 35% from 25% and on furniture goods to 25% from 20%.
- Excise duty proposed to be raised on Cigarettes and other tobacco products, no change made in the duty rates of bidis.
- Basic customs duty on imports of news print and light-weight coated paper reduced from 10% to 5%.
- Customs duty rates revised on electric vehiclesand parts of mobiles.
- 5% health cess to be imposed on the imports of medical devices, except those exempt from BCD.
- Lower customs duty on certain inputs and raw materials like fuse, chemicals, and plastics.
- Higher customs duty on certain goods like auto-parts, chemicals, etc. which are also being made domestically.
Startups & MSME:
- Tax burden on employees due to tax on ESOPs to be deferred by five years or till they leave the company or when they sell, whichever is earliest.
- New Simplified return for GST from April 2020
- Start-ups with turnover up to Rs. 100 crore to enjoy 100% deduction for 3 consecutive assessment years out of 10 years.
- Turnover threshold for audit of MSMEs to be increased from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore, to those businesses which carry out less than 5% of their business in cash.
- App-based invoice financing loans product to be launched, to obviate problem of delayed payments and cash flow mismatches for MSMEs.
- Amendments to be made to enable NBFCs to extend invoice financing to MSMEs
Fiscal numbers & allocations:
- FY20 fiscal deficit revised to 3.8% from 3.3% in the current fiscal. For FY21, fiscal target seen at 3.5%.
- Deviation of 0.5%, consistent with Section 4(3) of FRBM Act.
- Net market borrowing for FY20 at Rs 4.99 lakh crore; For FY21 it's pegged at Rs 5.36 lakh crore.
- Nominal GDP growth for 2020-21 estimated at 10%.
- Receipts for 2020-21 estimated at Rs 22.46 lakh crore. Expenditure at Rs 30.42 lakh crore.
- Defence gets Rs 3.37 lakh crore as the defence budget
- Rs 2.83 lakh crore to be allocated for the 16 Action Points; Rs 1.6 lakh crore allocated to agriculture and irrigation; Rs 1.23 lakh crore for Rural development and Panchayti Raj.
- Rs 4,400 crore for clean air; Rs 53,700 crore for ST schemes; Rs 85,000 crore for SC, OBCs schemes; Rs 28,600 for women specific schemes; Rs 9,500 crore for senior citizen schemes.
- Rs 30,757 crore rupees for Union Territory of J&K; Rs 5,958 crore rupees for Union Territory of Ladakh.
- To help bank depositors, government increases depositor insurance to Rs 5 lakh from current Rs 1 lakh.
- Encourage PSBs to approach capital markets for fund raising.
- Banking Regulation Act to be amended to strengthen Cooperative banks.
- National recruitment agency: New common entrance test for non-gazetted government jobs and public sector banks.
- Special bridge courses to be designed by the Ministries of Health, and Skill Development: To fulfill the demand for teachers, nurses, para-medical staff and care-givers abroad.
- Urban local bodies to provide internships for young engineers for a period of up to one year.
- 5 new Smart cities to be set up via PPP model.
- Rs 1.7 lakh crore allocated to transportation.
- 100 more airports to be set up by 2024 to support UDAN scheme.
- Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken; Delhi-Mumbai expressway and two other projects to be completed by 2023. Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway to be started.
- NHAI to monetize 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6,000 km before 2024.
- Young engineers and management graduates will be roped in for infrastructure projects under Project Preparation Facility.
- About Rs 22,000 crore already provided for supporting National Infrastructure Pipeline.
- Investment Clearance Cell to set up through a portal, will provide end-to-end facilitation, support and information on land banks
- National Logistics Policy will soon be released, creating single window e-logistics market.
- Rs 6,000 crore for BharatNet programme; Fibre to Home connections under BharatNet will be provided to 1 lakh gram panchayats this year itself
- New policy for private sector to build Data Centre Parks.
5 archaeology sites to be developed for world-class museums
1. Rakhigarhi (Haryana)
2. Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh)
3. Shivsagar (Assam)
4. Dholavira (Gujarat)
5. Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu)
- Rs 2,500 crore for tourism promotion.
- An Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation under Ministry of Culture proposed; with the status of a deemed University.
- 4 more museums from across the country to be taken up for renovation and re-curation.
- Rs.3150 crore proposed for Ministry of Culture for 2020-21.
- Maritime museum to be set up at Lothal- the Harrapan age maritime site near Ahmedabad, by Ministry of Shipping.
- Expansion of National Gas Grid from 16,200 km to 27,000 km along with reforms to deepen gas markets, enable ease of transactions and transparent price discovery
- Rs 22,000 crore allocated to to power and renewable energy.
- FM urges all states and UTs to replace conventional energy meters by pre-paid smart meters in 3 years, this will give consumers the freedom to choose supplier and rate as per their requirements.
- Advise to shut thermal plants if they don't meet emission norms.
5 measures for Railways:
- Large solar power capacity to be set up alongside rail tracks, on land owned by Railways
- More Tejas-like trains for tourists.
- 150 new train to be introduced on PPP basis; Four stations will be also be redevelopment with the help of PPP.
- Rs 18,600 crore worth Bengaluru suburban transport project launched; 20% 20% equity will be provided be the Centre.
- Rs 99,300 crore allocated for education sector, Rs 3,000 crore rupees for skill development
- External commercial borrowings and FDI to be leveraged to improve the education system.
- A medical college to be attached to a district hospital in PPP mode, viability gap funding to be set up for setting up such medical colleges.
- US-like SAT exam to be held in African and Asian countries for benchmarking foreign candidates who wish to Study In India
- Degree-level full-fledged online education programme to be offered by institutes in top 100 in National Institutional Ranking Framework
- New Education Policy to be announced soon.
- To bring in equivalence in the skill sets of the workforce and employers’ standards.
- 150 higher educational institutions to start apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021.
- To launch 2 new National science scheme
- National Police University and National Forensic Science University proposed for policing science, forensic science, and cyber-forensics.
- Agriculture market needs to be liberalised; govt proposes to handhold farmers, says FM
- Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts being proposed
- PM KUSUM scheme will be expanded to 20 lakh farmers.
- Government will help 20 lakh farmers for setting up solar pumps; Farm market will to be liberalized.
- Another 15 lakh farmers to be helped to solarise their grid-connected pump sets.
- Scheme to enable farmers to set up solar power generation capacity on their fallow/barren lands and to sell it to the grid.
- Supporting states to focus on one product for one district so as to make way for Horticulture to gain momentum.
- Change in incentive scheme for chemical fertilisers. We will encourage balanced use of all fertilizers, a necessary step to change the incentive regime which encourages excessive use of chemical fertilizer
- Krishi UDAN scheme for agricultural exports on international and national routes. This will also improve value realization in North East and tribal districts.
- Railways will set up Kisan Rail through PPP arrangement, for transportation of perishable goods.
- For better marketing and export, supporting states will focus on one product for one district, so that high focus is given at district level for horticulture to gain momentum
- Zero Budget farming focus of the government.
- MGNREGS to be used to develop fodder farm.
- Jaivik Kheti Portal – online national organic products market to be strengthened.
- Milk processing capacity to be doubled to 108 tonne from 53 tonne by 2025.
- Artificial insemination to be increased to 70% from the present 30%.
- MNREGS to be dovetailed to develop fodder farms.
- Foot and Mouth Disease, Brucellosis in cattle and Peste Des Petits ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goat to be eliminated by 2025.
- Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – 0.5 crore households mobilized with 58 lakh SHGs for poverty alleviation.
- Village Storage Scheme:
- Will further expand on SHGs for alleviation of poverty.
- To be run by the SHGs to provide farmers a good holding capacity and reduce their logistics cost.
- Women, SHGs to regain their position as Dhaanya Lakshmi.
- NABARD to map and geo-tag agri-warehouses, cold storages, reefer van facilities, etc.
- Warehousing in line with Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) norms:
- Viability Gap Funding for setting up such efficient warehouses at the block/taluk level.
- Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) to undertake such warehouse building.
- Financing on Negotiable Warehousing Receipts (e-NWR) to be integrated with e-NAM.
- State governments who undertake implementation of model laws (issued by the Central government) to be encouraged.
- Framework for development, management and conservation of marine fishery resources to be put in place.
- Fish production to be raised to 200 lakh tonnes by 2022-23
- Youth and fishery extension work to be enabled by rural youth as Sagar Mitras, forming 500 fish farmer producing organizations.
- Rs 3.6 lakh crore allocated to water sanitation and pipeline project; Rs 12,300 crore for Swachh Bharat.
- Our government is committed to Open Defecation Free country, in order to sustain ODF behaviour and to ensure no one is left behind.
- Rs 69,000 crore allocated to healthcare sector.
- Rs. 6400 crore (out of Rs. 69,000 crore) for PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY):
- Indradhanush immunization plan expanded to cover 12 new diseases,.
- Viability gap funding window to be set up to cover hospitals, with priority given to aspirational districts that don't have hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat.
- Propose Rs 35,600 crore nutrition-related plan.
- Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme to offer 2000 medicines and 300 surgicals in all districts by 2024.
- Over 6 lakh anganwadi workers have been equipped with smartphones to upload the nutrition status of 10 crore households.
- Nominal health cess on import of medical equipment to be introduced to encourage domestic industry and generate resources for health services.
- A new scheme to provide higher insurance cover, reduced premium for small exporters and simplified procedure for claims
- Targeting diseases with an appropriately designed preventive regime using Machine Learning and AI.
Three prominent themes of the Budget:
Aspirational India: Better standards of living with access to health, education and better jobs for all sections of the society. Three components of Aspirational India
a) Agriculture, Irrigation, and Rural Development
b)Wellness, Water, and Sanitation
c) Education and Skills
- Economic Development for all: “Sabka Saath , Sabka Vikas , Sabka Vishwas”.
- Caring Society: Both humane and compassionate; Antyodaya as an article of faith.
- Provision of Rs 8,000 crore over five years for Quantum Technologies and it's applications.
- GIFT City to have an International Bullion Exchange, enabling better price discovery of gold
- India will host G20 Presidency in 2022, Rs 100 crore to be allocated for making preparations for this historic occasion, where India will drive global economic agenda
- This is the Budget to boost income and purchasing power of Indians, says Sitharaman.
- This Budget is woven around three prominent themes: Aspirational India; Economic Development for All; A Caring Society
- Proliferation of technologies such as analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, bioinformatics and number of people in productive age group at its highest, point out two cross-cutting developments.
- Sitharaman cites a poem -- Pyara Watan.
- Budget aims to meet hopes and aspirations of all the sections of the society.
- Govt has taken several steps to formalisation of economy.
- Govt wants to improve the life of the people through Rs 100 lakh crore infrastructure pipeline projects.
- FM terms GST as historic structural reform; says it integrated country economically
- GST has resulted in efficiency gains in transport and logistics sector, inspector raj has vanished, it has benefitted MSME Consumers who have got a annual benefit of Rs 1 lakh crore by GST.
- 6 million new taxpayers have been added.
- Average household now saves nearly 4% more on the monthly basis after implementation of GST.
- Govt says aim is to achieve seamless delivery of services through digital governance.
- GST resulted in Rs 1 lakh crore gains to consumers, removed inspector raj and helped transport sector.
- India uplifted 271 million people out of poverty.
- India is now 5th largest economy in world.Central Govt debt reduced to to 48.7% of GDP from 52.2 per cent in March 2014
- We shall strive to bring ease of living for every citizen.
- 7.4% growth surpassed in 2014-19 with average inflation of 4.5%.
- Centre's debt down from 52.2% in 2014 to 48.7% in 2019
- During 2014-19, govt brought paradigm shift in governance.
- Fundamentals of economy strong, inflation well contained, banks cleaned up accumulated loans.