Union Budget 2019: National security, economic growth in focus

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today presented the annual budget for the year 2019-2020 in Lok Sabha with her maiden speech recognising the massive turnout in the elections.

“It is reflective of a new India, which wants national security and economic growth to remain in focus,” Sitharaman told the House during her budget speech.

She said that India is on course to become a $3 trillion economy this year and $1 trillion was added in the last five years.

She hoped that India’s economy will reach $5 trillion in the next few years.

On railways she said, “It is estimated that Railway infrastructure would need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore between 2018 and 2030.”

She proposed public-private partnership for Railways for more tracks and connectivity.

“The New Metro Rail Projects for a total route length of 300 kilometers have been approved during 2018-19. Also, during 2019, about 210 kms metro lines have been operationalized. With this, 657 kms of Metro Rail network has become operational across the country,” Sitharaman said in her speech.

The Finance Minister proposed to allow social enterprises to be listed on stock exchange under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

She said, ” We will take up measures to make RBI & SEBI depositories inter-operable.”

She said that the government will examine suggestions of further opening up of FDI in Aviation, Media, and Insurance sectors in consultations with stakeholders.

Allocating Rs 350 cr for interest subvention to GST-registered MSMEs, she said that Modi government stresses on perform, reform, transform – the qualities of ‘New India’.

Since ‘connectivity’ is the lifeblood of economy, the schemes such as ‘Bharatmala’, ‘Sagarmala’ and UDAN are bridging the rural and urban divide, improving our transport infrastructure, the FM said.

Looking to implement ‘One Nation, One Grid’ in power sector. The government will also finalise a model tenancy law and circulate to states. She shared plans of improving rural electricity.

“Every single rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the electricity connection, will have electricity by 2022,” she stressed in her speech.

A blueprint will be prepared for gas grids, water grids and regional airports.

She said that government keeps “Gaon, Garib and Kisan” at the centre of everything we do, of every programme.

On agriculture, she said that there is a need to replicate Zero Budget Farming, to go back to basics, which will help Doubling Farmers Income.

Here’re key highlights of Union Budget 2019-20

– 1.95 cr houses to be constructed under PMAY from FY20-22
– Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana – Phase 3 envisaged to upgrade 1.25 lakh km of road length at an estimated cost of Rs 80,250 crore.
– 1.5 cr rural houses have been constructed under Pradhan Mnatri Awas Yojana-Grameen in the last five years and 1.95 cr houses are proposed to be constructed from FY20-22
– Every single rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the electricity connection, will have electricity by 2022
– To merge NRI portfolio route with FPI route
– Pension benefit to be extended to around 3 crore retail traders and shopkeepers with an annual turnover less than 1.5 crores under Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Man Dhan Scheme
– Government will examine opening up FDI further in aviation, media. Local sourcing norms to be eased for single-brand retail FDI
– Govt will examine opening up FDI further in aviation, media
– We will invest heavily in agricultural infrastructure
– To invest Rs 80,250 cr for upgradation of roads under PM Gram Sadak Yojana
– Govt. is contemplating to organize annual Global Investors Meet in India
– Ease of doing business applies to farmers too. 10,000 new-farmer producer organisations will be set up.
– Integrated water ministry to make sure ‘Har Ghar Jal’ by 2024. Jal Shakti Mantralaya will work with states to ensure Har Ghar Jal for all rural houses by 2024, under Jal Jeevan Mission.
– To harness India’s space ability commercially, a public sector enterprise, New Space India Limited (NSIL) has been incorporated to tap the benefits of ISRO.
– 80 Livelihood business incubators and 20 technology business incubators to be set up in 2019-20 under ASPIRE to develop 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries
– Swachh Bharat mission to undertake solid waste management in every village
– A National Research Foundation proposed
– National education policy to be brought in to transform Indian educational system and major changes in school and higher education.
– ‘Gandhipedia’ is being developed about positive Gandhian values
– Under Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Saksharata Abhiyan, Bharat Net is targeting internet connectivity in local bodies in every panchayat in the country; this will be speeded under Universal Service Obligation Fund.
– India will be made Open Defecation Free on October 2nd, 2019, as per the dream of PM Narendra Modi
– The government is committed to expanding ‘Khelo India’ scheme. To popularize sports at all levels, National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons to be set up under the scheme.
– Govt will focus on new-age skills like artificial intelligence, IoT, 3D printing, virtual reality and robotics for skill empowerment of youth
– ‘Stand Up India’ scheme to continue till 2025
– 35 crore LED bulbs have been distributed under Ujjwala Yojana which saved 18,341 crore saved annually
– proposal to commence television channel for start-ups
– 17 new tourist sites to be developed.
– Multiple labour laws to be streamlined to into a set of four Labour Codes, to standardize registration and filing of returns and reduce disputes
– Aadhaar cards to be issued to NRI’s holding Indian Passport without having to wait for the necessary 180 days
– Govt proposes to expand Women SHG interest subvention programme to all districts in the country. Rs 1 lakh loan under MUDRA scheme for one woman in every SHG.
– Rs 400 crore under head, World Class Institutions in 2019-20, more than 3 times the revised estimates of previous year; Study in India to commence to bring in foreign students into Indian higher education system
– The government aims to bring greater ease of living in the lives of its citizens
– Govt will set up 100 new clusters for 50,000 artisans in FY20
– NPAs have reduced by one lakh crore in last one year. PSB to be provided Rs 70,000 crore to boost credit
– Mission for integrating traditional artisans and their creative products with global markets to be launched; patents and Geographical Indications to be obtained for them where necessary
– Annual turnover limit for 25% corp tax raised to Rs 400 cr from Rs 250 cr
– New Re 1, Rs 5, 10 and 20 coins would be available for public use soon
– Govt to modify present policy of retaining 51% stake in PSUs
– Regulation of HFCs to move to RBI from NHB
– India’s sovereign external debt to GDP is among the lowest globally at less than 5%. Govt will start raising a part of its gross borrowing program in external markets in external currencies.
– Proposal for easing angel tax on start-ups
– Net owned fund requirements to be reduced from 5000 crore to 1000 crore rupees, to facilitate onshoring of international insurance transactions and enable opening of branches by foreign reinsurers
– Govt to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure sector over next five years
– Funds raised by start-ups will not be subject to scrutiny by IT Department
– Govt is considering to go below 51% to an appropriate level of ownership stake in non-financial PSUs on case to case basis
– Additional Rs 1.5 lakh deduction on interest paid for affordable housing loans till March 2020
– Govt. to make PAN and Aadhaar cards inter-changeable to file tax returns
– GST rate on electric vehicles already proposed to be lowered to 5%. Additional income tax deduction of rs 1.5 lakh on interest on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles
– To discourage cash payment in businesses, 2% TDS on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs 1 cr in a year from one bank account
– Proposal to give relief in levy of securities transaction tax
– Measures to carry forward and set off losses for startups and increase in period of exemption of capital gains from the sale of residential house for investment in startups up to March 2021.
– Increase in surcharge for those earning Rs 2-5 cr & for those earnings above Rs 5 cr
– An additional deduction of Rs 1,50,000 on interest on loans borrowed under affordable housing
– All companies having annual turnover of Rs 400 crore, will now be under the bracket of 25%. This will cover 99.3% of all the companies
– Effective income tax increase of 3% for those earning Rs 2-5 cr
– Import of defence equipment not manufactured in India exempt from customs duty
– Those having an annual income up to Rs 5 lakh are not required to pay any income tax.
– Crude prices have softened. Petrol and diesel get costlier as cess increased by Re 1.
– Custom duty on Gold and other precious metal increased by 2.5% to 12.5%

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