Saturday, 2 February 2019

Budget 2019: Govt doles out sops for farmers, middle class and poor in pre-poll Budget

Goyal showered tax sops for the middle class and announced an annual income support of Rs 6,000 for small farmers as he presented a please-all Budget on Friday.

BHUBANESWAR: Reaching out to a large electorate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Modi government on Friday announced a cash dole for small farmers, a mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector and gave tax rebate to those earning up to Rs 5 lakh per annum.

Among the major sops, finance minister has announced Rs 6,000 per annum direct cash transfer to farmers owning less than two hectares of land. The move, months before general elections, is likely to benefit 12 crore farmers. Rs 60,000 crore has also been set aside for MGNREGA, the rural employment scheme, with Piyush Goyal adding that the allocation can be increased further.

"Farmers earlier did not get full cost for their produce. Farmers income has reduced over the years. Income support to farmers small and marginal farmers Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) has been approved. Famers having 2 hectares and less will be provided with Rs 6000 per annum directly into their accounts," Goyal said.

The amount will be directly transferred to the accounts of farmers in three equal installments.

The ruling TRS in Telangana claimed the cash dole for farmers announced in the union budget was an "imitation" of the 'Rythu Bandhu' scheme in the state with slight modifications.

 The government has lowered customs duty on import of parts and components of such vehicles to 10-15 per cent to promote domestic assembling of electric vehicles.

 Goyal said more than 70 per cent of Mudra yojna beneficiaries were women. He said the Narenadra Modi-led government has also taken several steps to empower women, including the Pradhan Mantri Matritva Yojana and providing 26 weeks of maternity leave.

 Benefit of rollover of capital tax gains to be increased from investment in one residential house to that in two residential houses, for a taxpayer having capital gains up to 2 crore rupees; can be exercised once in a lifetime.

 Finance Minister proposed a full tax rebate for those earning Rs 5 lakh for the next financial year.

 Rs 76,800 crore allocated for welfare of SCs/STs. Budget allocation to North East region increased by 21 per cent to Rs 58,166 crore for 2019-20.

 Tax collection increased to Rs 12 lakh crore this year, returns filed to 6.85 crore. 

 The national centre for artificial intelligence is under consideration. Along with that a national AI portal will be developed soon.

 Defence budget for the first time has increased to Rs 3 lakh crore and additional funds will be provided. Over 100 operation airports in the country and domestic passenger traffic has doubled in last five years.

 Mega Pension Yojana, namely Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, to provide assured monthly pension of 3000 rupees per month, with contribution of 100 rupees per month, for workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age. 

 More than 70 percent of the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana are women and it additionally helps them set up businesses and other entrepreneurship related activities.

 Gratuity limit increased from 10 lakh to 30 lakh rupees.

 Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog to look after effective implementation of policies and schemes for the welfare of cows.

 Rs 60,000 crore allocated for MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).

 The current account deficit is likely to be only 2.5 percent of the GDP this year, Finance Minister said.

 Markets open flat, Sensex opens 10 points up and NIFTY starts the day with a gain of 15 points ahead of presentation of Budget 2019.

 The farm relief package may cost anywhere between Rs 70,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore, according to sources.

 Bankers also expect government to announce steps that may help the industry tackle the bad loans menace.

 Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways said, "The way the government has increased the investment in railways, from installing CCTV cameras to WiFi, I believe further investment in railways will certainly be increased.

 "We as a government have restored fiscal sanity which the previous government had completely violated," says Jayant Sinha on Budget 2019.

 The rupee depreciated by 9 paise to 71.17 in early trade on the forex market amid strengthening of the American currency and caution ahead of interim budget.

 Income support scheme for distressed farmers who have seen their incomes stagnate because of plunging prices, barely enough to pay for loans and input costs.

 The Budget documents will contain revenue and expenditure projections for the entire 2019-20 fiscal year beginning April 1, but a 'Vote on Account' will seek Parliament nod for the expenditure side.

 Fitch Ratings warned of a second consecutive year of fiscal slippage in the event of Finance Minister Piyush Goyal resorting to populist spending to win over lost vote base.

 Women taxpayers are expected get higher basic exemption of Rs 3.25 lakh or even at par with senior citizens, as per sources.

 Income tax exemption thresholds may raise. Basic exemption limit may be raised from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh for individuals of less than 60 years of age and from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh for those aged 60 years or more but less than 80. 

 Reduction of GST expected on electric vehicles, which is likely to generate jobs and also would attract investors.

 The government could target the poorest of the poor (possibly 40 per cent of the BPL population) based on the 2011 census. 

 Piyush Goyal may also look at higher interim dividend from RBI and deferring subsidy payouts on fertiliser as well as LPG and kerosene to provide funds for the populist schemes.

 Allocation for micro, small and medium enterprises and other initiatives including Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban and Rural) may increase. This might include more benefits for women entrepreneurs.

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