Striving to make a last push to its targeted vote bank, the NDA government presented its Final Union budget for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha Session held on 1st February 2019. Led by the Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, Budget 2019 considered all in round expectations of all sectors from Agriculture to tax to defense to Infrastructure and provided major reliefs & benefits to the middle class and the unorganized sector.
Here is a quick glimpse of the tax reliefs, policies and sector-specific benefits announced in the Budget 2019-20 :
For Income Tax :
- Individual and HUFs with income below Rs 5 lakh would be exempted from Income tax.
- The standard deduction for the salaried class has been increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000 as earlier.
- Individuals whose gross income is above Rs 6.5 lakh need not to pay any tax if invested in any specified provident fund and equity schemes.
- TDS threshold limit for home rent has been proposed to increase from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 2.4 lakh.
- To increase the TDS limit from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 on bank deposits and post office savings.
- Tax exemption on Capital gains as available under Section 54, has now been proposed for 2 house properties which can be availed for up to Rs 2 crore once in a lifetime.
- Relief, as provided earlier on notional rent received from unsold houses, will extend for a period of 2 years from 1 year.
- The tax department will foster the processing of ITR within 24 hrs and refunds will be paid immediately.
- It has been proposed to bring an anonyms tax system to process assessment and verification of all IT returns with zero intervention of tax officials.
- Schemes like ‘ Business loans up to Rs 1 crore in 59 minutes ‘ would be implemented to foster the flow of credit to the business sector.
For GST :
- Business units with annual turnover below Rs 1 crore will be allowed to file their GST returns online on a quarterly basis.
- Further reduction in the GST slab rates for certain goods and services will also be undertaken on recommendations of Group of Ministers(GoM).
- Further digital leveraging would be done for Indian Customs to promote Exim Transactions and RFID for logistics.
- Customs duty on 36 capital goods would be abolished.
For Farmers and the Unorganised Sector :
- Assured support income amount of Rs 6000 would be provided to small and marginal farmers. The scheme is to be effected from December 1, 2018, for farmers having land holdings up to 2 hectares.
- Initiation of the Kamdhenu scheme for promotion of animal husbandry will also be undertaken.
- Interest rebates for farm loan takers have been proposed for 2% for farmers affected by natural calamities and 3% upon timely repayment of installments.
- Further 2% rebate would be provided to farmers who pursue fishery jobs and animal husbandry through Kisan Credit Card.
- Rural allocation for the MNREGA scheme has been proposed for Rs 60,000 crore.
- Rs 19,000 crore has been further allocated for construction of rural road network under GRAM Sadak Yojana.
- Minimum support price (MSP) for 22 crops would be increased by 1.5 times for farmer groups, almost doubling their assured income.
- It has been proposed to provide 8 crores free LPG Connections to rural households under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
- To initiate a committee under NITI Aayog for the welfare of nomadic and semi-nomadic people.
- To provide Rs 3000 as assured pension to unorganized sector workers.
- To allocate Rs 500 crore for unorganized sector workers with income up to Rs 15,000 to provide Rs 3000 as retirement pension, if registered under New Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana on payment of a nominal amount of Rs 55 to Rs 100 per month.
- The threshold limit for gratuity has been increased for workers for up to Rs 30 lakh.
- It has been proposed to allocate Rs 3 lakh crore for defense budget of the country and assured to allocate more whenever needed.
- To continue and allocate more benefits under the OROP Scheme (One Rank One Pension ).
Other Initiatives :
- To digitize 1 lakh villages
- To provide a single clearance window to filmmakers to fight against piracy and cam-cording, to be introduced in the Cinematography Act.
- To build the next-gen infrastructure for the society
- To provide clean and sanitized food to every citizen by sufficing agriculture productivity and by putting emphasis on organic food production.
While the Budget 2019 received an overwhelming response from various sector experts, the finance minister also claimed it to be a growth budget for 2019-20. He further laid out his priority objectives for the coming years including job creation, social infrastructure development,anti-corruption measures, building transparency and building a pollution free clean environment for living.