Interim Finance Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal today presented the sixth and the last Union Budget of the present Government, in the absence of the Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley. This is just an interim budget before the presentation of the full budget for the year which will be presented by the new Government post the elections.
Ahead of Budget: The Government has notified its increase in contribution to Central Government employees NPS fund from 10% earlier to 14%.
General Comments and Proposals:
1. Inflation in Dec 2018 was 2.19%
2. Average inflation brought down to 4.6%
3. Fiscal deficit cut from 6% to 3.46%
4. Current account deficit down to 2.5% of GDP
5. INR 2.34 billion received as FDI during the last year.
6. Highest liberalisation in automatic FDI
7. 98% rural sanitation achieved by Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan
8. 5.4 lakh villages have been declared open defecation free
9. INR 19,000 Crores allocated to Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana in 2018-19
10. INR 27,505 crores allocated to Pradhan mantra Awaa Yojana in 2018-19
11. INR 30,634 crores allocated to National Health Mission in 2018-19
12. Ayushman Bharat provided medical treatment to 50 Crore people.
13. 100% electrification for all households to be achieved by Mar 2019.
14. Minimum Support Scheme of INR 6,000 py to all small farmers holding land below 2 hectares called PM Kisan.
15. This scheme to be applicable from Dec 2018 and will be distributed in 3 instalments of INR 2,000 each to be directly credited to their Bank accounts.
16. INR 75,000 Crores allocated for this scheme. 12 Crore farmers to benefit from this scheme.
17. Allocation for MNREGA increased to INR 60,000 Crores.
18. Increase in contribution to Central Government employees NPS fund from 10% earlier to 14%
19. 2% interest subvention for farmers extended to animal husbandry and fisheries.
20. Additional 3% benefit for timely repayment of farm loans.
21. Farmers severely affected by natural calamities will get 2% interest subvention
22. Gratuity limit increased from 10 lakhs to 30 lakhs
23. ESI eligibility increased from INR 15,000 to INR 21,000 pm
24. Anganwadi workers to get 50% income increase
25. Mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector. Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan launched to provide assured monthly pension of 3,000 rupees per month, with a contribution of 100 rupees per month, for workers in the unorganized sector after 60 years of age.
26. 10 crore workers to be covered under PM Pension Yojana
27. Welfare Development Board to be set up for nomadic communities.
28. 8 crores free LPG connections under PM Ujjwala Yojana
29. 70% beneficiaries of the PM Mudra Yojana are women
30. PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana training 1 crore youth.
31. 3% tax benefit for women-owned MSMEs
32. INR 3 lakh Crores allocated for the defence sector.
33. 27 kms of Highways being built every day, with Indian becoming the world’s fastest highway developer.
34. IMR 64587 crores allocated to Railways for FY 20.
35. Aim to achieve 1 lakh digital villages in next 5 years.
36. 34 lakh Jan Dhan bank accounts to be opened.
37. Allocation to North Eastern States at INR 58,116 crores, up by 21%.
38. 80% growth in tax base
39. 98.54% of the total returns filed for AY 2018-19 have been accepted without any scrutiny.
40. Only 0.46% of all Income Tax returns were taken up for scrutiny last year.
41. All returns to be scrutinised and assessed and refund issued within 24 hours from next assessment year.
42. Income Tax assessment will be completely online by anonymous tax officials with the taxpayer and the assessment officer not knowing the identity of each other from next assessment year.
43. Quarterly GST returns to be soon introduced for businesses having turnover up to INR 5 cores.
44. GST burden on housing to be reduced soon.
45. India will become $ 10 trillion economy by next 8 years.
46. Indian astronaut to be put in space by 2022.
47. Comprehensive Healthcare system for all citizens by 2030.
48. Fiscal deficit for 2019-20 estimated at 3.4% of GDP
49. Total expenditure up from INR 24 lakh cores to INR 27 lakh crores.
50. INR 38,572 crores allocation for National Education Mission
51. Budget allocation for SC/STs increased to INR 76800 Crores
Direct Tax proposals:
1. No specific change in personal income tax slabs
2. Individual tax payers having annual taxable income up to INR 5 lakhs will get full tax rebate
3. Hence including the Chapter VIA deductions, hence individuals having income up to INR 6.50 lakhs will be fully exempt from tax.
4. Interest on Home Loans, NPS, and Medical Insurance deductions will ensure people even having higher income will not have to pay any tax.
5. Standard deduction for salaried employees raised from INR 40,000 to INR 50,000
6. Income Tax on notional rent in owning more than one house exempted on second self-occupied property.
7. TDS threshold on interest on Bank deposits and Post Office deposits increased from INR 10,000 to INR 40,000
8. TDS threshold of TDS on rent increased from INR 1.80 lakhs to INR 2.40 lakhs per annum.
9. The benefit of roll-over of capital gains exemption u/s 54 will be increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for capital gains up to INR 2 Crores. This benefit can be availed once in a lifetime by an individual.
10. The benefits u/s 81IBA of affordable housing scheme has been extended for one more year for housing projects approved up to 31st March 2020.
11. The period of levy of TDS on notional rent on unsold inventory by builders extended from one year to two years.
CA. Sanjay Thampy
FCA, Grad. CWA, CS, DBM
An avid blogger, Sanjay is based in Mumbai and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.