Budget 2019: Highlights

Nirmala Sitaraman, first full-time female Finance Minister, breaking the trend of the briefcase with a traditional ‘bhai khaata’ (red cloth) presented her debut budget at the Lok Sabah on 5th July 2019. The budget did see some positive aspects like offshore government borrowing, the rescue of NBFC’s, bank recapitalization and removal of angel tax. But also saw a hike in petrol and diesel prices by Rs 1. Here are some highlights of today’s budget.

Budget highlights

  1. Fiscal deficit in FY 19 at 3.3% of the GDP.
  2. The government will start raising part of borrowing in foreign currency.
  3. ATM-like Transport card for universal travel on various modes of transport (metro, road, railways, etc).
  4. PAN and Aadhaar can be used interchangeably. To file Income Tax returns, Aadhaar number can be used.
  5. 2% tax levied on cash withdrawals exceeding ₹1 crore in a year from bank accounts. This is to discourage business payments in cash and encourage digital payments.
  6. New series of coins for rupees one, two, five and ten. Introduction of ₹20 coin.
  7. Public Sector Banks: ₹70,000 crore for recapitalization, proposed.
  8. Railway Infrastructure: ₹50 lakh crores proposed.
  9. ₹1 hike on fuel Excise.
  10. 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will be permitted for insurance intermediaries.
  11. To permit investments made by FIIs/FPIs in debt securities issued by Infrastructure Debt Fund – Non-Bank Finance Companies (IDF-NBFCs) to be transferred/sold to any domestic investor within the specified lock-in period.
  12. To increase public shareholding in listed companies from 25% to 35%.
  13. Proposal to provide Aadhaar cards for NRIs with Indian passports, after their arrival without waiting for 180 days.
  14. ₹1.05 lakh crore disinvestment target for the year. By undertaking the strategic sale of PSUs and consolidation of PSUs in the non-financial space.
  15. Proposed to enhance surcharge on individual income of Rs 2-5 crore and over Rs 5 crore by 3% and 7% respectively.
  16. Proposed to increase Customs duty on gold and other precious metals from 10% to 12.5%.
  17. To lower the GST rate on electric vehicles from 12% to 5%. Additional income tax deduction of ₹1.5 lakh on interest on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles.
  18. ₹1 crore worth of loans proposed to MSMEs.
  19. The Government will extend pension benefits to 3 crore retail traders and shopkeepers who have a revenue of less than ₹1.5 crore. Under Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Maandhan Scheme.
  20. Additional deduction of ₹1.5 lakh on loans up to March 31, 2020, for buying affordable houses, giving a₹ 7 lakh benefit to home buyers.
  21. ₹5 lakh minimum limit announced for taxpayers.
  22. To resolve the angel tax issue, startups will not be subject to any scrutiny with respect to valuation.
  23. A public sector enterprise, New Space India Limited (NSIL) has been incorporated to tap benefits of ISRO.
  24. To bring in new national educational policy to transform Indian education into one of the best in the world, with a focus on research and innovation.
  25. To promote innovative Zero Budget Farming.
  26. By 2022, the 75th year of Independence, every single rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the connection, will have electricity and clean cooking facility.
  27. To host the Global Investor Meet in India.
  28. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana phase 3 is envisaged to upgrade 1,25,000 km of road length over the next 5 years. 
  29. New Jal Shakti ministry will work with states to ensure Har Ghar Jal for all rural houses by 2024.
  30. 17 iconic world-class tourist sites to be developed.
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