Union Budget 2020: Nirmala Sitharaman presents her second budget, Key highlights

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting her second budget today amidst a rapidly worsening economic outlook. The GDP touched a 6-year low of 4.5% in the July-September quarter last year. The finance minister is likely to announce government expenditure on infrastructure and cut personal tax to boost spending.

The budget comes a day after the government’s own economic survey predicted weak GDP growth for the next financial year. The Economic Survey 2019-20 tabled in the parliament on Friday predicted the GDP growth between 6% and 6.5% in the fiscal year starting 1 April. If this prediction holds true, this will be up from the current 5%. The survey also said that the fiscal deficit target for the current financial year may need to be relaxed to revive economic growth.

Here are the key highlights of today’s budget:

  • Govt extends additional Rs 1.5 lakh tax benefit on interest paid on affordable housing loans to March 2021
  • ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme for direct tax payers whose appeals are pending at various forum, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (PTI)
  • A system to be launched soon, for instant online allotment of PAN on the basis of Aadhaar, without the need for filling any application form
  • Registration of charity institutions to be made completely electronic, donations made to be pre-filled in IT return form to claim exemptions for donations easily
  • Turnover threshold for audit of MSMEs to be increased from 1 crore to 5 crore rupees, to those businesses which carry out less than 5% of their business in cash
  • Option to be provided to cooperative societies to be taxed at 22% plus 10% surcharge and 4% cess, with no exemptions or deductions. To be exempted also from Minimum Alternative Tax
  • To boost startups, tax burden on employees due to tax on Employee Stock Options to be deferred by five years or till they leave the company or when they sell, whichever is earliest
  • Concessional corporate tax cut to be extended to new domestic companies engaged in power generation
  • Substantial tax benefit will accrue to individual tax payers under the new personal income tax regime
  • Dividend Distribution Tax to be removed, companies will not be required to pay DDT; dividend to be taxed only at the hands of recipients, at applicable rates
  • Income above 15 lakh rupees will continue to be taxed at 30%
  • Govt. proposes to sell part of its holding in Life Insurance Corporation by way of Initial Public Offering
  • Nominal GDP growth for the year 2020-21 estimated at 10%, on the basis of trends available
  • We wish to enshrine in the statute a taxpayers’ charter; I would like to reassure taxpayers that we remain committed to taking measures to eliminate tax harassment: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting Budget 2020 at the Budget Session 2020.
  • Deposit Insurance Coverage to be increased from 1 lakh rupees to 5 lakh rupees
  • Robust mechanism is in place to monitor and ensure health of all scheduled commercial banks and depositors’ money is absolutely safe.
  • India will host #G20 Presidency in 2022, 100 crore rupees to be allocated for making preparations for this historic occasion, where India will drive global economic agenda.
  • Parameters and incentives to be provided to states who take measures for cleaner air in cities above 1 million population – 4,400 crore rupees allocated for this
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has given tremendous results, Gross Enrolment Ratio is now higher for girls than for boys at all levels
  • 8,000 crore rupees over five years to be provided for quantum technologies and applications
  • Fibre to Home connections under Bharat Net will be provided to 1 lakh gram panchayats this year itself, 6000 crore rupees provided for Bharat Net
  • Soon, policy for private sector to build Data Centre Parks throughout the country; our vision is that all public institutions be provided with digital connectivity
  • National Gas Grid to be expanded from 16,200 km to 27,000 km; reforms to be introduced to deepen gas markets, enable ease of transactions and transparent price recovery
  • 100 more airports to be developed by 2024 to support the UDAN scheme
  • 1.7 lakh crore rupees to be provided for transport infrastructure in the coming financial year
  • I urge all states and UTs to replace conventional energy meters by pre-paid smart meters in 3 years, this will give consumers the freedom to choose supplier and rate as per their requirements: Sitharaman
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: I propose to provide Rs 22000 crores to power and renewable energy sector in 2020-21 (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman: Setting up large solar panel capacity alongside the railway tracks on land owned by railways, a proposal is under consideration. More Tejas type trains will connect iconic destinations. (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman – #BudgetSession2020: I propose to provide Rs 27300 crore for development for industry and commence for year 2020-21 (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman: We propose Rs 99300 crores for education sector in 2020-21 and Rs 3000 crores for skill development. (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman: There is a shortage of qualified medical doctors both general practitioners and specialists; it is proposed to attach a medical college to a district hospital in PPP mode; details of the scheme to be worked out soon. (ANI)
  • Youth and fishery extension work to be enabled by rural youth as Sagar Mitras, 500 fish farmer producing organisations to be set up: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (PTI)
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: My Budget 2020 is woven around three themes- aspirational India to boost the standard of living; economic development for all; and building a humane and compassionate society (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman during her Budget speech: Efforts we have made in the last five years and the enthusiasm and energy of our youth are the ignition of our growth. (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman: GST has resulted in efficiency gains in the transport and logistics sector, inspector raj has vanished, it has benefitted Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME). Consumers have got an annual benefit of 1 lakh crore rupees by GST. (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman: I pay homage to visionary leader Late Arun Jaitley, the chief architect of Goods and Services Tax. GST has been the most historic of the structural reforms. GST has been gradually maturing into a tax that has integrated the country economically. (ANI)
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman: GST has resulted in efficiency gains in the transport and logistics sector, inspector raj has vanished, it has benefitted Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME). Consumers have got an annual benefit of 1 lakh crore rupees by GST. (ANI)
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech: With renewed vigour, under PM’s leadership, we commit ourselves to present the people of India with all humility and dedication. People have reposed faith in our economic policy. (ANI)
  • Vineet Agarwal, Senior Vice President, ASSOCHAM: Our expectation from #Budget2020 is broadly that how will govt policies align towards country’s&PM’s goal of $5 trillion economy. We’re expecting some areas of guidance from the govt&policies that could help us to lead towards that (ANI)
  • Amit Gossain, MD, Kone Elevators on #Budget2020: Real estate sector should become an industry& I think they will do something about it. Real Estate is still struggling. There are liquidity crisis. It should be taken care of. Once real estate picks up it is good for employment too (ANI)
  • Congress expresses hope Union Budget would provide relief to salaried class through tax cuts and invest in rural India besides providing healing touch to common man, industry facing ‘hardship’ since demonetisation (PTI)
  • Sitharaman is seen holding a folder containing the Union Finance Budget documents at the North Block in New Delhi on Saturday.
  • Sitharaman arrives in parliament

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