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Union Budget 2019-2020 Highlights

 

Finance minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2019. The first Budget of Narendra Modi government's second tenure is the maiden one for Sitharaman, who is the second woman finance minister of India after Smt. Indira Gandhi. Here are the key highlights.

 

• The Indian economy grew at 6.8%, a five-year low, in 2018-19 and fourth quarter growth slumped to 5.8% which was a 17-quarter low

• The plan to reach $5 trillion economy will involve development of heavy investment in infrastructure, digital economy and job creation

• The Finance Minister said the Government will consider relaxing FDI in aviation, insurance and single-brand retail

• The Narendra Modi government has proposed to corporate tax on companies with turnover up to ₹400 crore reduced to 25%

• Interchangeability of PAN and Aadhar card in filing of I-T returns

• New coins released for visually impaired to be made available to public

• The government will bring out a policy framework to make India a global hub of aircraft financing and leasing activities. The idea is to encourage new industries to come up leveraging India’s existing capabilities that will add more quality jobs

• A package for power sector and structural reforms will be unveiled soon

• The finance minister said cargo movement in Ganga will increase four times in four years

• Model tenancy law will be finalized and circulated to states. Around 1.5 crore homes completed in

the first phase of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The benefit will be available for affordable housing loans till March 2020

• Union government is working on the plan of providing housing to all by 2022

• The Centre is looking to introduce several reforms in the proposed national tariff policy, including penalty on gratuitous load-shedding, among others

• The government will also work towards improving electricity availability to states at affordable rates

• The government has already approved ₹10,000 crore for FAME II scheme on April 1, 2019, The funds would be used to encourage faster adoption of electric vehicles by providing right incentives and charging infrastructure.

• The Government will ask Sebi to mull a raise in MPS for listed companies from 25% to 35%,' While this move will ensure more public investing in equity markets it will also force corporates to go on a public offering spree

• The government will likely permit 100% FDI for insurance intermediaries

• Sitharaman also said the government will look at local sourcing norms for FDI for single-brand retailing sector

• The government to focus on 'Gaon, Garib, Kisan', 1.95 crore new houses to be built in rural areas

• Government plans to use rivers for cargo transportation

• Projects such as industrial corridors, DFC, Bharatmala, Sagarmala and UDAN schemes will continue to improve connectivity and increase competitiveness

• The govt plan to start an e-commerce platform on the lines of 'Amazon and Alibaba' to sell products

from MSMEs and the Khadi and Village Industries Commission

• The government has also announced a pension scheme for 30 million small traders, recognising the plight of shopkeepers, small traders

• Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that to encourage further participation of women,entrepreneurs interest subvention scheme will be extended to every district. Women entrepreneurs will also be eligible for an overdraft of ₹5000 and one woman in every SHG will be made eligible of a loan of upto 1 lakh under MUDRA scheme

• Sitharaman said making available safe drinking water to every citizen is a priority for the govt which is working towards 'Har Ghar Jal' by 2024

• Government also proposes to expand Swachh Bharat to include solid waste management in every village

• The FM proposed to start a television programme exclusively for startups that will be executed by startups themselves. This shall serve as a platform for promoting startups, discussing issues affecting

their growth, match-making with venture capitalists and for funding and tax planning, she said

• Finance Minister proposed to issue Aadhaar cards to non-resident Indians holding Indian passport on their arrival in the country, Under the present rule, NRIs with Indian passport are required to wait for 180 days to get the Aadhaar card

• A Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation will be set up in the current fiscal year as part of the measures to deepen the bond market. The government will work with the RBI and Sebi to

enable stock exchanges to allow AA-rated bonds as collateral

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will infuse ₹70,000 crore capital into public sector banks (PSBs) in the current financial year to be able to lend more

• Banks recovered as much as ₹4 trillion in the last four years under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

• Disinvestment target raised to ₹1.05 trillion for the current fiscal year, against ₹80,000 crore for 2018-19

• According to the Budget proposals, import duty to be hiked on gold and precious metals to 12.5%, from current level of 10%. India is one of the largest gold importers in the world

• The income tax exemption will account for a save of ₹2.5 lakh for a customer during the entire period of purchase

• Retail prices of petrol and diesel in India track global prices of auto fuels and not crude oil. Petrol prices were deregulated in June 2010 by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government

• The government has proposed to levy a 2% tax at source on cash withdrawal exceeding ₹1 crore in a year

• Business establishments with annual turnover more than ₹50 crore will need to offer low cost digital modes of payments

• National Research Foundation will assimilate the research grants being given by various ministries independent of each other

• Besides providing funding, the draft NEP said NRF will take care of the need to seed, build research capacity in universities and colleges

 

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