Highlights of Budget 2020-21

As received from Dr G Srikumar, Chennai:

M G Warrier

Here are all the key highlights from Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget speech:

* New optional tax slabs: New income tax slabs will be available for those who forgo exemptions.

Taxable income slabs
Taxe rates
Up to Rs 2.5 lakh
Rs 2,50,001 to Rs 5,00,000
Rs 5 Lakh to Rs 7.5 Lakh
Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh
Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12.5 lakh 20%
Rs 12.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh 25%
Rs 15 lakh and above 30%

* To simplify the tax system and lower tax rates, around 70 of more than 100 income tax deductions and exemptions have been removed.

* Dividend Distribution Tax abolished; Companies will not be required to pay DDT; dividend to be taxed only at the hands of recipients, at applicable rates

* New power generation companies will be offered 15% tax rate.

* Tax on cooperative societies reduced to 22% without exemptions.

* Taxpayer charter to be instituted in the tax charter, a part of our statutes, to end tax harassment. Tax harassment will not be tolerated, says FM.

* Propose to amend Companies Act to bring criminal liability in certain areas.

* To amend I-T Act to allow faceless appeals.

* To launch new direct tax dispute settlement scheme -- Vivaad se Vishwaas scheme.

*Interest and penalty wived

* To look at ensuring that contracts are honoured.

* Proposes new National Policy on Official Statistics will improve data collection and dissemination, using tech.

* Tax holiday for affordable housing extended by 1 year.

* Govt plans to raise funds via Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) initial public offer.

* NRI will be allowed to invest in certain G-sec.

* FPI limit in corporate bonds raised to 15% from 9%.

* Govt doubles divestment target for the next fiscal at Rs 2.1 lakh crore.

* FY20 fiscal deficit revised to 3.8% from 3.3% in the current fiscal.

* For FY21, fiscal target seen at 3.5%.

* Net market borrowing for FY20 at Rs 4.99 lakh crore; For FY21 it's pegged at Rs 5.36 lakh crore.

* To help bank depositors, govt increases depositor insurance to Rs 5 lakh from current Rs 1 lakh.

* Encourage PSBs to approach capital markets for fund raising.

* Banking Regulation Act to be amended to strengthen Cooperative banks.

* National recruitment agency: New common entrance test for government non-gazetted jobs and public sector banks.

* 5 new Smart cities to be set up via PPP model.

*Rs 1.7 lakh crore allocated to transportation

* 100 more airports to be set up by 2024 to support UDAN scheme

* Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken; Delhi-Mumbai expressway and two other projects to be completed by 2023.

* NHAI to monetize 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6,000 km before 2024.

* Young engineers and management graduates will be roped in for infrastructure projects under Project Preparation Facility.

* National Logistics Policy will soon be released, creating single window e-logistics market

* Rs 6,000 crore for Bharatnet programme; Fibre to Home connections under Bharat Net will be provided to 1 lakh gram panchayats this year itself

* New policy for private sector to build Data Centre Parks.

* 5 archeology sites to be developed for world-class museums

* Rs 2,500 crore for tourism promotion.

* National gas grid will be expanded to 27,000 km from 16000 km

* Rs 22,000 crore to power and renewable energy

* FM urges 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.

* Advise to shut thermal plants if they don't meet emission norms.

* 5 measures for Railways:
*Large solar power capacity to be set up alongside rail tracks, on land owned by Railways

* More Tejas-like trains for tourists.

* Four stations will be redevelopment with the help of PPP model.

* Launches Rs 186, 00 crore worth Bengaluru suburban transport project; 20% equity will be provided be the Centre

* Aspirational India: Agriculture-- 16 action points to aid farmers
* Agriculture market needs to be liberalised; govt proposes to handhold farmers, says FM

* Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts being proposed

* Govt will help 20 lakh farmers for setting up solar pumps.

* Farm market will to be liberalized.

*PM Kusum scheme will be expanded to 20 lakh farmers.

* Supporting states to focus on one product for one district so as to make way for Horticulture to gain momentum

* Change in incentive scheme for chemical fertilisers. We will encourage balanced use of all fertilizers, a necessary step to change the incentive regime which encourages excessive use of chemical fertilizer

* Will help 15 lakh farmers to set up solar sets.

* Krishi UDAN scheme for agri exports on international and national routes. This will also improve value realization in North East and tribal districts.

* Railways will set up Kisan Rail through PPP arrangement, for transportation of perishable goods.

* For better marketing and export, supporting states will focus on one product for one district, so that high focus is given at district level for horticulture to gain momentum

* Zero Budget farming focus of the government.

* Viability gap funding to be provided for setting up warehouses.

* Financing on Negotiable Warehousing Receipts to be integrated with e- National Agricultural Market

* Rs 2.83 lakh crore allocated to agriculture and irrigation

* Rs 1.23 for Rural development and Panchayti Raj

* Agri credit target raised to Rs 15 lakh crore from Rs 12 lakh crore.

* Milk processing capacity to be doubled to 108 tonne from 53 tonne by 2025.

* NABARD Refinancing Scheme to be further expanded.

* MGNREGS to be used to develop fodder farm.

* Will further expand on SHGs for alleviation of poverty.

Fisheries: Framework for development, management and conservation of marine fishery resources to be put in place.

* Fish production to be raised to 200 lakh tonnes by 2022-23

*Youth and fishery extension work to be enabled by rural youth as Sagar Mitras, forming 500 fish farmer producing organizations.

* Rs 3.6 lakh crore allocated to water sanitation and pipeline project; Rs 12,300 crore for Swachh Bharat.

* Our government is committed to Open Defecation Free country, in order to sustain ODF behaviour and to ensure no one is left behind.

* Rs 99,300 crore allocated for education sector, Rs 3,000 crore rupees for skill development

* Urban local bodies to provide internships for young engineers for a period of up to one year.

* External commercial borrowings and FDI to be leveraged to improve the education system.

* A medical college to be attached to a district hospital in PPP mode, viability gap funding to be set up for setting up such medical colleges.

* US-like SAT exam to be held in African and Asian countries for benchmarking foreign candidates who wish to Study In India

* Degree-level full-fledged online education programme to be offered by institutes in top 100 in National Institutional Ranking Framework

* New Education Policy to be announced soon.

* To launch 2 new National science scheme

* Rs 69,000 crore allocated to healthcare sector.

* Indradhanush immunization plan expanded to cover 12 new diseases,.

* Viability gap funding window to be set up to cover hospitals, with priority given to aspirational districts that don't have hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat.

* Propose Rs 35,600 crore nutrition-related plan.

* Over 6 lakh anganwadi workers have been equipped with smartphones to upload the nutrition status of 10 crore households.

Other announcements:
* Rs 4,400 crore for clean air

* Rs 53,700 crore to ST schemes

* Rs 85,000 crore for SC, OBCs schemes

* Rs 9,500 crore for senior citizens scheme

* India will host G20 Presidency in 2022, Rs 100 crore to be allocated for making preparations for this historic occasion, where India will drive global economic agenda

* This is the Budget to boost income and purchasing power of Indians, says Sitharaman.

* This Budget is woven around three prominent themes: Aspirational India; Economic Development for All; A Caring Society

* Proliferation of technologies such as analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, bioinformatics and number of people in productive age group at its highest, point out two cross-cutting developments.

* Sitharaman cites a poem -- Pyara Watan.

* Budget aims to meet hopes and aspirations of all the sections of the society.

* Govt has taken several steps to formalisation of economy.

* Govt wants to improve the life of the people through Rs 100 lakh crore infrastructure pipeline projects.

*FM terms GST as historic structural reform; says it integrated country economically

* GST has resulted in efficiency gains in transport and logistics sector, inspector raj has vanished, it has benefitted MSME Consumers who have got a annual benefit of Rs 1 lakh crore by GST.

* 6 million new taxpayers have been added.

* Average household now saves nearly 4% more on the monthly basis after implementation of GST.

* Govt says aim is to achieve seamless delivery of services through digital governance.

* GST resulted in Rs 1 lakh crore gains to consumers, removed inspector raj and helped transport sector.

* India uplifted 271 million people out of poverty.


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