Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Narendra Modi 2.0 government's maiden Budget in the Lok Sabha on Friday, with a focus on stimulating infrastructure and foreign investment at a time when India's gross domestic product growth (GDP) slumped to 5.8 percent in the March quarter: the slowest pace in 20 quarters.
Sitharaman announced there would be no changes in personal income tax rates, but levied an additional surcharge on the super rich. She also sought to propel growth with reduction in corporate tax and sops to housing sector, start-ups and electric vehicles.
Some major announcements included digital payments getting cheaper, the government launching an ATM-like 'One Nation One Card' for pan-India travel and new model rental laws to promote affordable housing.
Some key takeaways of her speech:
Jal Shakti Ministry will look at the management of water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner and will work with states to ensure Har Ghar Jal, to all rural households by 2024 under Jal Jeevan Mission.
Over 9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since 2 October, 2014 under the leadership of Modi, Sitharaman added. "More than 5.6 lakh villages have become open-defecation free. I propose to expand the Swachh Bharat mission to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village," said Sitharaman.
The government will bring in new education policy to propose changes in school, higher education. It also proposed to set up a national research foundation to fund, coordinate and to promote research in the country. "National Research Foundation will assimilate research grants by ministries," Sitharaman said
The government proposes to extend pension benefit to three crore retail traders with an annual turnover less than Rs 1.5 crore under Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Man Dan Scheme. Centre will create a payment platform for MSMEs for payment of bills.
Hundred new clusters will be set up in 2019-20 to enable 50,000 artisans to come into the economic value chain
To provide further impetus to affordable housing, additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest paid on loans borrowed up to 31 March, 2020, for purchase of house up to Rs 45 lakh.
Updated Date: Jul 05, 2019 17:22:16 IST