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Budget 2019 highlights: Tax relief, mega pension plan for unorganised workers in poll year

Budget 2019 Highlights: Finance minister Piyush Goyal presented the interim budget 2019 and proposed a slew of changes to the income tax slabs as well as a host of schemes for the farmers.

budget Updated: Feb 01, 2019 17:34 IST
HT  Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Budget,Union Budget,Budget 2019
Finance Minister outside Parliament on Friday.(HT photo)

Tax sops for the middle class, mega pension plan for the unorganised sector and assured income scheme for farmers were the highlights of the interim budget 2019, the last budget before the Lok Sabha elections, presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in Lok Sabha on Friday.

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In a big relief for taxpayers, the Finance Minister proposed that individual taxpayers having annual income upto Rs 5 lakh will get full tax rebate. Also, individuals with gross income up to Rs 6.5 lakh will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.

Among the other big announcements are the mega pension plan for workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age and an assured income for small and medium farmers.

Here are the highlights from the speech:

TAX PROPOSALS:

* Income up to Rs 5 lakh to get full tax rebate, says Piyush Goyal while reading out tax proposals.

*Individuals with gross income up to Rs 6.5 lakh will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.

* TDS threshold on rental income raised from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 2.4 lakh.

*TDS slab on interest on bank, post office deposits raised to Rs 40,000.

*Exemption on levy of income tax on notional rent on a second self-occupied house is also now proposed. Currently, income tax on notional rent is payable if one has more than one self-occupied house..

* Within two years all scrutiny of tax returns will be done electronically, without any interface between the officer and the taxpayer. Computer will anonymise the link.

*Gratuity limit increased from 10 lakh to 30 lakh rupees, says minister Piyush Goyal.

UNORGANISED WORKERS:

*Minister announces a pension scheme called Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, to provide assured monthly pension of Rs 3000 per month, with the contribution of Rs 100 per month, for workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age.

*A sum of Rs.500 crore has been allocated for the scheme. Additional funds will be provided as needed, Goyal added. The scheme will also be implemented from the current year, he said.

FARMERS:

*To provide assured income support for small and marginal farmers, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme has been approved. This initiative will benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers, at an estimated cost of Rs. 75,000 crore.

*For the welfare of farmers and for doubling their income, historic decision was taken to increase MSP by 1.5 times the production cost for all 22 crops, the minister says.

*The Finance Minister announced 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing the activities of animal husbandry and fisheries, who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card. Further, in case of timely repayment of loan, they will also get an additional 3% interest subvention.

DEFENCE FORCES:

* For securing our borders and maintaining preparedness, defence Budget crosses Rs 3 lakh crore mark in FY20.

*We have already disbursed Rs 35,000 crore for our soldiers under ‘One Rank One Pension’, substantial hike in military service pay has been announced, minister says.

FILM INDUSTRY:

*In sops for the Indian film industry, Finance minister proposes single window clearance for ease of shooting films. A facility so far available only to foreign film makers.

*Anti-camcording provision to also to be introduced to Cinematography Act to fight piracy.

RURAL PUSH:

*Government plans one lakh digital villages, says Finance Minister Piyush Goyal.

* The Finance Minister announces higher allocation for MNREGA for rural job creation.

HOMEBUYERS:

*GST on homebuyers must come down. Government has set up a Group of Ministers to bring down this burden. Government will act on the proposals they submit.

SCHEDULED CASTES/TRIBES:

*An increase in budget is proposed in the allocation for welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

FISHERIES:

To provide sustained and focused attention towards development of Fisheries, the Government has decided to create a separate Department of Fisheries. Finance Minister said that through the measure, the Government wants to promote further growth over 7% to promote livelihood of about 1.45 crore people dependent on the sector.

ALLOCATIONS FOR SCHEMES: 

*Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is being allocated Rs.19,000 crore in 2019-20 as against Rs.15,500 crore in 2018-19.

*By March, 2019, all households will be provided with electricity connection. Till now, 143 crore LED bulbs have been provided in a mission mode which has resulted in saving of Rs.50,000 crore for the poor and middle class.

HEALTHCARE:

*Goyal said through the world’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, to provide medical treatment to nearly 50 crore people in the country, around 10 lakh patients have already benefited through free treatment for medical treatment which would have otherwise cost them Rs. 3,000 crore.

RAILWAYS:

Capital support from the budget for Indian Railways is proposed at Rs.64,587 crore in 2019-20. The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs. 1,58,658 crore. The Finance Minister, who is also holding the portfolio of Railway Ministry, announced that the Operating Ratio is expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18 to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and further to 95% in 2019-20 (BE).

First Published: Feb 01, 2019 11:25 IST