LIVE: Red parcel-like bag replaces old brown briefcase as Finance Minister Sitharaman presents her maiden budget


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting her first budget in parliament for 2018-19. She was appointed as the country’s new finance minister after Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a historic second term in May this year.

Finance Minister

Experts are expecting her to announce a mini-stimulus to take the economy out of a five-year low alongside giving some tax relief to the common man. Sitharaman may have to walk on a tightrope while balancing the needs of the economy and fiscal constraints in her maiden Budget.

Today’s budget, as reported by PTI, is also expected to boost spending at the cost of short-term slippage in fiscal deficit targets as she lays down the Modi 2.0 government’s road map for the economy and the nation for the next five years.

Only yesterday, the Economic Survey for 2019-19 predicted that economic growth in the current fiscal year could rise to 7.0% from the 6.8% for the year that ended 31 March, which was the slowest pace in five years. It also said that the government should ensure that the policy actions are predictable and provide guidance in order to check economic policy uncertainty, which greatly influences domestic as well as foreign investments in the country.

The Union cabinet on Friday approved Sitharaman’s budget paving the way for the finance minister to present it in the Lok Sabha. One striking difference between this budget and Sitharaman’s predecessor was in the way it was presented. The brown briefcase of the past has been replaced by a red parcel-like bag with a keyhole on the emblem.

Here are the key highlights of today’s budget.

  • PM Narendra Modi: Ye desh ko samridh aur jan jan ko samarth banane wala budget hai. Is budget se gareeb ko bal milega. yuva ko behtar kal milega.
  • Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha: Nothing new, repetition of old promises. They are talking about new India but the budget is old wine in a new bottle. Nothing new, no plan for employment generation, no new initiatives. (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman: To provide further impetus to affordable housing, additional deduction of 1.5 lakh rupees on interest paid on loans borrowed upto 31 March 2020 for purchase of house up to Rs 45 lakhs (ANI)
  • Propose to increase cess on petrol and Diesel by Re 1: FM Niramala Sitharaman
  • I propose measures to discourage business payments in cash. TDS of 2 per cent on cash withdrawal from bank account on amount exceeding Rs 1 crore: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • A step towards Ease of Living of Taxpayers – Interchangeability of Aadhaar and PAN Card while filing Income Tax Returns: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Additional Rs 1,50,000 deduction on housing loan: FM Niramala Sitharaman
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: India’s sovereign external debt to GDP is among the lowest globally at less than 5%. Govt will start raising a part of its gross borrowing program in external markets in external currencies. (ANI)
  • FM Niramala Sitharaman: 100 lakh crore for infrastructure over the next 5 years. Propose to set up expert committee to look at long term finance, this committee shall recommend flow of funds.
  • Record recovery of Rs 400000 crore in last 4 years through Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and other measures: FM Niramala Sitharaman
  • Public Sector Banks to be provided Rs 70,000 cr to boost capital so that credit can be improved: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Propose issue of Aadhaar for NRI with Indian passports after their arrival in India without the 180-day waiting period: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Under PMAY (Urban), over 81 Lakh houses with investment of about Rs 4.83 Lakh Cr have been sanctioned of which construction has started in about 47 Lakh houses. Over 26 Lakh houses have been completed of which nearly 24 Lakh houses have been delivered, to beneficiaries, says FM (ANI)
  • We will introduce a special TV programme to exclusively cater to the Indian startups, said finance minister Niramla Sitharaman.
  • Happy and satisfied to report that India will be made Open Defecation Free on October 2nd, 2019, as per the dream of PM Modi: FM
  • Proposal to increase minimum public shareholding in companies to 35 percent from 25 percent to deepen the corporate bond market: FM
  • FM Sitharaman: 9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since Oct 2, 2014. More than 5.6 lakh villages have become open defecation free.We have to build on this success. I propose to expand the Swachh Bharat mission to undertake sustainable sold waste management in every village (ANI)
  • By 2022, I would like to assure the nation that every single rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the connection, will have an electricity and a clean cooking facility: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • By 2022, every single rural family will have electricity, clean cooking facility: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • “9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since October 2014,” says FM Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • Jal Shakti ministry will ensure water supply to all rural households by 2024, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Further opening up of FDI in aviation, media, animation AVGC and insurance to be examined, in consultation with stakeholders; 100% FDI to be permitted for insurance intermediaries: FM
  • Annual Global Investors’ Meet to be organized in India, using NIIF as the anchor to get key sets of global players to come and invest in India: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Schemes such as Bharat Mala, Sagarmala and UDAN are bridging rural urban divide and improving transport infrastructure: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • 100% FDI will be allowed in insurance intermediaries: FM Nirmala Sitharaman in #Budget2019 speech
  • We have shown by our deeds that the principles ‘perform, reform, transform’ can indeed succeed. Have set the ball rolling for a ‘New India’: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: Railway infrastructure would need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crores between 2018 and 2030. PPP to be used to unleash faster development and the delivery of passenger freight services. (ANI)
  • Government envisions using rivers for cargo transportation, which will also decongest roads and railways: FM Nirmala Sitharaman, in her first budget.
  • India will become $3 trillion economy in 2019-20, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: From 1.85 trillion dollars in 2014, the economy has reached 2.7 trillion US dollars; we can very well reach 5 trillion dollars in the next few years
  • We have shown by our deeds that the principles ‘perform, reform, transform’ can indeed succeed. Have set the ball rolling for a ‘New India’: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman: The recent election was charged with brimming home and desire for a bright and stable ‘New India’. Voter turnout was highest; every section came to stamp their approval for performing Government (ANI)
  • Finance Minister’s parents Savitri and Narayanan Sitharaman arrive in parliament to witness their daughter’s first budget.
  • We need to invest heavily in infrastructure and the digital economy.
  • We added one trillion dollars in our economy in the last five years. Our target for 5 trillion dollars is possible.



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