Interim Budget 2019: Here are the Highlights

Budget 2019

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the Interim Budget for 2019 at the Parliament on Friday. An Interim Budget usually doesn’t list out new schemes or doesn’t unveil any policy measures. The government will present the vote on account for the next four-to-five months. A full-fledged Budget will be presented after the House reassembles after the General Elections.

  • India is solidly back on track, marching towards growth and prosperity, and prepared the foundation for sustainable growth and better quality of life.
  • The growth of the last 5 years is higher than the growth recorded by any other government since economic liberalisation. 
  • Inflation is a hidden and unfair tax; from 10.1% during 2009-14, inflation down to 4.6%, it was down to 2.19% in 2018.
  • Fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4% in the revised estimates for 2018-19 and fiscal deficit is likely to be 2.5% in 2019-20. 
  • Farm GST has been continuously reduced, resulting in relief of Rs 80,000 crore to consumers, and most items of daily use for poor and middle class are now in the 0% to 5% tax bracket. Also, businesses with less than Rs 5 crore annual turnover, comprising over 90% of GST payers, will be allowed to return quarterly returns.
  • Anti-black money measures taken have brought undisclosed income of about 1.30 lakh crore rupees to the surface. Some 3.38 lakh shell companies have so far been deregistered.
  • 18% increase in direct tax collections in 2017-18, adding that 1.06 crore people have been included in the tax base. More than 1 crore citizens filed IT returns for the first time, after demonetisation.
  • One lakh Digital villages planned in the next five years.
  • As a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the world’s largest behavioural change movement Swachh Bharat was initiated by my government.
  • Under this more than 98% rural sanitation coverage has been achieved, and more than 5.45 lakh villages declared open defecation free. Mindset change has been achieved, it has become a Jan Andolan.

Farmers 

  • Package of Rs. 6000 per annum for farmers with less than 2 hectares of land. Scheme will be called Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.
  • This scheme is along the lines of Rythu Bandhu scheme of Telangana which offers ₹10,000 per acre a year to all farmers, excluding tenant farmers and the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme of Odisha which offers direct benefit cash transfer of ₹25,000 for a farm family over five seasons to small and marginal farmers.
  • Government has announced the setting up of a ‘Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog’ to upscale the sustainable genetic upgradation of cattle resources and to enhance the production and productivity of cows. The Aayog will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cattle.
  • Rs 750 crore has been allocated under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) which is aimed at conserving indigenous Indian breeds of cattle through selective breeding.
  • 2% interest subversion for farmers pursuing animal husbandry.
  • All farmers affected by severe natural calamities will be given interest subversion for the entire period of three per cent of loans.

Middle Class

  • No Income Tax for income up to Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Individuals with gross income of up to Rs. 6.5 lakh will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.
  • Standard tax deduction for salaried persons raised from Rs. 40,000 to Rs.50,000.

Poor

  • The Centre has allocated ₹500 crore for a new pension scheme for workersin the unorganised sector, while reducing its allocation for an existing pension scheme National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) (a pension scheme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development) from ₹9,975 crore in the 2018-19 Budget to ₹9,200 crore for 2019-20. 
  • The ESI cover limit has been increased to Rs. 21,000. Minimum pension was also increased to Rs. 1000.
  • Mega pension scheme for workers from the organised sector with income of less than Rs.15,000. They will be able to earn Rs. 3000 after the age of 60 years. The scheme will be called PM Shramyogi Maan Dhan Yojana.
  • Workers will contribute an amount ranging from ₹55 to ₹100 each month, depending on their age, at the time of joining the scheme, while the government will deposit a matching contribution. The Centre expects 10 crore workers to get the benefit within the next five years.
  • Rs 1,70,000 crore has been spent for bringing food at affordable rates to poor people. Targeted expenditure has been undertaken to improve quality of life in villages. The pace of construction of rural roads has been tripled. During 2014-18, 1.53 crore houses have been constructed under the PM Awas Yojana. 
  • All willing households to be provided electricity connections by March 2019.
  • 25% additional seats in educational institutionsto meet the 10% reservation for the poor.

Income Tax Reforms

  • I-T processing of returns to be done in 24 hours.
  • Within next 2 years all verification of tax returns will be done electronically without any interface with the tax payer.
  • TDS threshold on interest on bank and post office deposits raised from Rs.10,000 to Rs.40,000.
  • 25 per cent of sourcing for government projects will be from MSME, of which three per cent will be from women entrepreneurs.

Infrastructure

  • Pushing rural infrastructure in the new financial year, union budget of 2019-20 allocated Rs 19,000 crore against Rs 15,500 crore in revised estimates of 2018-19for development of roads in rural and backward area under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). 
  • Fund allocation to Northeast region increased to Rs. 58,166 crore in this year, a 21% rise over last year for infrastructure development.

Railways

  • In the interim budget 2019, Railways has been allocated ₹1.5 lakh crore for the year 2019-20, This is the highest-ever allocation for the Indian Railways.
  • Vande Bharat Express, an indigenously developed semi high speed train, to be launched.

Defence

 National Artificial Intelligence portal to be developed soon.

  • Rs 35,000 crore has been disbursed for soldiers under OROP and a substantial hike in military service pay, the defence budget has been enhanced beyond Rs 300,000 crores. 

Health

  • For the government’s ambitious flagship scheme for universal health insurance,Ayushman Bharat, the government has increased the allocation by 166% over past year (Rs 6,400 crore from Rs 2,400 crore).
  • An additional allocation of Rs 250 crore is provided under the National Urban Health Missionfor building wellness centres.
  • Allocation to the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna, which provides health insurance to families below the poverty line,increased by 142%.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission’s allocation decreasedto Rs 12,750 crore from Rs 16,978 crore last year.
  • The 22nd AIIMS will come up in Haryana.

Entertainment

 Anti-camcord regulations to be introduced in the Indian Cinematograph Act to prevent piracy and contact theft of Bollywood films.

  • Single window clearance for Indian filmmakers will be introduced.

Banking 

  • Government has ensured clean banking – Close to 3 lakh crore already recovered in favour of banks and creditors, big defaulters too not spared by government.
  • A number of measures have been implemented to ensure clean banking, a resolution friendly mechanism has been instituted for recovery of non-performing loans.
  • Recapitalisation of banks amounting to 2.6 lakh crore has been done, and given the pace of reforms in banking sector, other banks too will recover. 

Real Estate 

  • A notional rent is applicable to the second house if someone has more than one house, has been waived off.
  • TDS threshold on rental income increased from Rs. 1.8 lakh to Rs. 2.4 lakh.
  • For making more homes available under affordable housing, the benefits under Section 80 – IBA of the Income Tax Act is being extended for one more year, i.e. to the housing projects approved till 31st March 2020.

As per the Union Budget 2019-20 ,benefit of rollover of capital gains under section 54 of the Income Tax Act will be increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for a tax payer having capital gains up to 2 crore.

Textile Sector

  • Two major schemes implemented by the Ministry of Textiles — the Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme and the Remission of State Levies— have seen lower allocation for 2019-20. Allocation for the textiles sector in the Interim Budget has been reduced by over ₹1,000 crore.
  • Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme

The Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme was introduced by the Government in 1999 to facilitate new and appropriate technology for making the textile industry globally competitive and to reduce the capital cost for the textile industry.

In 2015, the government approved “Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS)”for technology upgradation of the textiles industry. 

        The FM provided 10 dimensions of the government’s vision 2030 for India

  1. Building next generation infrastructure in all sectors comprising roads, railways, seaports, airports and inland waterways is the first dimension to provide an “ease of living”.
  2. To build a “Digital India NSE 0.00 %” that reached every corner of the economy and every citizen.
  3. Clean and Green India – an India that drives electric vehicles, with renewables becoming major source of energy, bringing down import dependence and increasing energy security for our people
  4. Expanding rural industrialization using modern industrial technologies, based on the ‘Make In India’ approach, using grassroot MSMEs and startups across the country.
  5. India is now on its way to becoming a global manufacturing hub in many sectors.
  6. “Clean Rivers” with safe drinking water to all Indians using micro-irrigation techniques.
  7. “Oceans and coastlines” – India becoming a launchpad of the world by placing an Indian astronaut in space by 2022″.
  8. Self-sufficiency in food and improving agricultural productivity with emphasis on organic food.
  9. A healthy India, with a distress-free and comprehensive wellness system for all
  10. “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” with proactive, responsible, friendly bureaucracy and electronic governance.

 

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