- Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman has presented the Union Budget 2020 of India on the 1st of February, 2020. The government has taken some measures towards reaching the target of a $5 trillion economy by the end of 2022.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is only the second woman in the history of Independent India to present the Union Budget.
- Indira Gandhi was the first woman to have presented the Union Budget. In 1970, she presented the Union Budget of India for 1970-71, after she took briefly over the finance portfolio.
- She carried the budget documents in a ‘Bahi Khata’ (traditional Indian ledger), a red parcel like bag with a key hole on the emblem, breaking the age-old tradition of carrying a briefcase.
- Under Article 112 of the Constitution, a statement of estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India has to be laid before Parliament in respect of every financial year (1st April to 31st March).
- The Annual Financial Statement (AFS) is the main Budget document and is commonly referred to as the Budget Statement.
The Finance Minister said that the Union Budget Aims:
- To achieve seamless delivery of services through Digital governance
- To improve physical quality of life through National Infrastructure Pipeline
- Risk mitigation through Disaster Resilience
- Social security through Pension and Insurance penetration.
Budget 2020-21 is woven around three prominent themes:
1) Aspirational India in which all sections of the society seek better standards of living, with access to health, education and better jobs.
The three broad themes are held together by
- Corruption free – policy-driven good governance
- Clean and sound financial sector.
- The three components of Aspirational India are- a) Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development, b) Wellness, Water and Sanitation and c) Education and Skills
2) Economic development for all, indicated in the Prime Minister’s exhortation of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”. This would entail reforms across swathes of the economy. Simultaneously, it would mean yielding more space for the private sector. Together, they would ensure higher productivity and greater efficiency.
3) Ours shall be a Caring Society that is both humane and compassionate. Antyodaya is an article of faith.
Highlights of Budget 2020
Income Tax: Middle Class India Gets A Rs 40,000 Crore Boost
The new income tax slabs and rates are as under:
- Rs 5-7.5 lakh per annum: 10 percent from 20 percent earlier.
- Rs 7.5-10 lakh per annum: 15 percent from 20 percent earlier.
- Rs 10-12.5 lakh per annum: 20 percent from 30 percent earlier.
- Rs 12.5-15 lakh per annum: 25 percent from 30 percent earlier.
- Above Rs 15 lakh per annum: 30 percent without any exemptions.
- Real Estate: Benefits For Buyers And Makers Of Affordable Housing In order to boost affordable housing
- 100 New Airports, 5 New Smart Cities, 10,000-Km Gas Grid
- National infra pipeline of Rs 106 lakh crore addresses country’s needs.
- To set up project preparation facility for infrastructure projects. National logistics policy to be released soon.
- Logistics policy to create single-window e-logistics market.
- Delhi-Mumbai Expressway to be completed by 2023.
- To monetise 12 lots of highway bundles by 2024.
- Indian Railways commissioned 550 Wi-Fi facilities.
- Railways has small operating surplus.
- Solar power capacity to be set-up alongside rail tracks.
- Four station redevelopment projects to be done through PPP mode.
- More Tejas-like trains to connect iconic tourist destinations.
- 100 more airports to be developed by 2024.
- To provide 20% equity, external assistance for metro projects.
- To provide Rs 22,000 crore for power, renewable energy in FY21.
- To achieve higher export credit disbursement, a new scheme, NIRVIK is being launched, which provides for higher insurance coverage, reduction in premium for small exporters and simplified procedure for claim settlements.
Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme
- Under the proposed „Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme, a taxpayer would be required to pay only the amount of the disputed taxes and will get complete waiver of interest and penalty, provided he pays by 31st March, 2020. Those who will avail the scheme after 31st March, 2020 will have to pay some additional amount. The scheme will remain open till 30th June 2020.