Budget 2017: What FM Arun Jaitley’s announcements mean for you
Finance minister Arun Jaitley presented on Wednesday a budget that encouraged business and provided relief to people in the lower tax bracket without succumbing to populism in the run-up to the assembly elections in five states.Updated: Feb 02, 2017, 13:23 IST
Finance minister Arun Jaitley presented on Wednesday a budget that encouraged business and provided relief to people in the lower tax bracket without succumbing to populism in the run-up to the assembly elections in five states.
In an attempt to soothe tempers frayed by demonetisation, the Centre slashed the tax rate for individuals in the Rs 2.5 lakh-Rs 5 lakh annual income bracket from 10% to 5%. However, it sought to compensate for this cut by levying 10% surcharge on individuals with an annual taxable income between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
The budget set Rs 10 lakh crore as the target for agricultural credit in 2017-18, with special emphasis on flow of funds to Jammu & Kashmir and the country’s eastern states. It also fulfilled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of granting 60 days’ interest waiver to farmers on loans from the cooperative credit structure. Besides this, the budget earmarked a sum of Rs 9,000 crore for crop insurance against natural disasters under the Fasal Bima Yojana.
Aspiring house owners found a special place in Jaitley’s budget, with a proposal to raise allocation for the Prime Minister Awas Yojana from Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 23,000 crore. However, no specific incentive was announced for first-time buyers.
In a proposal aimed at bringing cheer to 96% of the business establishments in India, Jaitley reduced the tax rate for companies with an annual turnover of up to Rs 50 crore by a whopping 25%. Also, with the Union budget extending a concessional 5% withholding tax for the next three years, Indian companies seeking foreign debt are likely to see its cost of capital fall amid a rise in overseas investor interest.
As far as small investors are concerned, a draft bill aimed at curtailing the menace of illicit deposit schemes will be introduced soon.