Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents Union Budget 2019: Highlights

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the maiden budget of Narendra Modi 2.0 government in the Lok Sabha on Friday. “Gaon, Garib and Kisan [village, poor, and farmer] is at the centre of all policies of this government. Between 2014 and 2019, we provided rejuvenated dynamic Centre-State cooperative federalism, and the GST Council, said Ms. Sitharaman.

The key highlights of union Budget 2019 are  given below :

A 10-point Vision for the decade 

Building Team India with Jan Bhagidari Minimum Government Maximum Governance.

To Achieve green Mother Earth and Blue Skies through a pollution-free India.

Making Digital India reach every sector of the economy. 

Launching Gaganyan, Chandrayan, other Space and Satellite programs.

Building physical and social infrastructure. 

Water, water management, clean rivers. 

Blue Economy. 

Self-sufficiency and export of food-grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables. 

Achieving a healthy society via Ayushman Bharat, well-nourished women & children, the safety of citizens. 

Emphasis on MSMEs, Start-ups, defence manufacturing, automobiles, electronics, fabs and batteries, and medical devices under Make in India.

Aim: Towards a 5 Trillion Dollar Economy 

Indian economy to become a 3 trillion dollar economy in the current financial year 2019 – 2020.
Union Government aspires to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy.
The basic need for investment in are Infrastructure and Digital economy. 
Job creation in small and medium firms. 
Initiatives to be proposed for kick-starting the virtuous cycle of investments. 
The Common man’s life changed through MUDRA loans.

New Measures related to MSMEs: 
Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Maindhan Scheme Pension benefits about three crore retail traders & small shopkeepers.
There will be an annual turnover of less than Rs. 1.5 crore. 
The Enrolment to be kept simple, requiring only Aadhaar, bank account, and a self-declaration. 
Around Rs. 350 crore allocated for FY 2019-20 for 2% interest subvention to all GST-registered MSMEs under the Interest Subvention Scheme for MSMEs. 
Payment platform for MSMEs to be created to enable filing of bills and payment thereof, to eliminate delays in government payments. 
India developed payment ecosystem for transport, based on National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standards.
It is launched in March 2019. 
Inter-operable transport card runs on Rupay card would allow the holders to pay for bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping. 
Bharatmala and Sagarmala projects, Jal Marg Vikas and UDAN Schemes
State road networks to be developed in the second phase of Bharatmala project. The Navigational capacity of Ganga to be enhanced via multi-modal terminals at Sahibganj and Haldia.
It is a navigational lock at Farakka by 2019-20 under Jal Marg Vikas Project Four times increase in the next four years .
It leads to cheaper freight and passenger movement and reducing the import bill.

Public-private-Partnership proposed for development and completion of tracks, rolling stock manufacturing and delivery of passenger freight services.
Around 657 kilometers of Metro Rail network has become operational across the country. 
Policy interventions to be made for the development of Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) to achieve self- reliance in the aviation segment. 
India for aircraft financing and leasing activities from Indian shores laid by the Government. 
An outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore for 3 years approved for Phase-II of FAME Scheme.
Only advanced-battery-operated and registered e-vehicles to be incentivized nder FAME Scheme.
Power at affordable rates to states ensured under ‘One Nation, One Grid’. Blueprints to be made available for gas grids, water grids, i-ways, and regional airports. 
The High-Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) recommendations to be implemented: Retirement of old & inefficient plants. 
The low utilization of gas plant capacity due to paucity of Natural Gas. Cross-subsidy surcharges, undesirable duties on open access sales or captive generation for industrial and other bulk power consumers to be removed under Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY). 

Measures to enhance the sources Of capital for infrastructure financing: Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation to be set up in 2019-2020. 
Action plan to be put in place to deepen the market for long term bonds with focus on infrastructure. 
Proposed transfer/sale of investments by Fiis/FPls (in debt securities issued by IDF NBFCs) to any domestic investor within the specified lock-in period. Measures to deepen bond markets. 
Stock exchanges enabled to allow AA rated bonds as collateral. user-friendliness of trading platforms for corporate bonds to be reviewed. 
Social stock exchange: Electronic fundraising platform under the regulatory ambit of SEBI. 
To raise capital as equity, debt or as units like a mutual fund. SEBI to consider raising the threshold for a minimum public shareholding in listed companies 
The range is from 25% to 35%. 

Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors to be made more investor-friendly. 
Government to supplement efforts by RBI to get retail investors to invest in government treasury bills and securities with further institutional development using stock exchanges. 

Measures to make India a more attractive FDI destination: 
FDI in sectors like aviation, media (animation, AVGC) and insurance sectors can be opened further after the multi-stakeholder examination. 
Insurance Intermediaries to get 100% FDI. 
Local sourcing norms to be eased for FDI in Single Brand Retail sector. 
Government to organize an annual Global Investors Meet in India
They use the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) as an anchor to get all three sets of global players (pension, insurance and sovereign wealth funds).
New Space India Limited (NSIL), a PSE, incorporated as a commercial arm of the Department of Space. 
The benefits of the Research & Development carried out by ISRO like the commercialization of products like launch vehicles, transfer to technologies and marketing of space products.

Direct Taxes 
Tax rate reduced to 25% for companies with annual turnover up to Rs. 400 crore.
The Surcharge increased on individuals having taxable income from Rs. 2 crores to Rs. 5 crore and Rs. 5 crores.

India’s Ease of Doing Business ranking under the category of ‘paying taxes’ jumped from 172 in 2017 to 121 in 2019. 
Direct tax revenue increased by over 78% in the past 5 years to Rs. 11.37 lakh crore 

Affordable housing 
Additional deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs for interest paid on loans borrowed up to 31st March 2020 for purchase of house valued up to Rs. 45 lakh. The overall benefit of around Rs. 7 lakh over a loan period of 15 years. 

Boost to Electric Vehicles 
Additional income tax deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh on interest paid on electric vehicle loans. Customs duty exempted on certain parts of electric vehicles. 

Other Direct Tax measures 
Simplification of tax laws to reduce genuine hardships of taxpayers: Higher tax threshold for launching prosecution for non-filing of returns.

Relief for Start-ups Capital 
It gains exemptions from sale of residential house for investment in start-ups extended till FY21. 
‘Angel tax’ issue resolved- start-ups and investors providing information in their returns not to be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuations of share premiums. 
Funds raised by start-ups to not require scrutiny from Income Tax Department o E-verification mechanism for establishing the identity of the investor and source of funds. 
Special administrative arrangements for pending assessments and grievance redressal No inquiry in such cases by the Assessing Officer without obtaining approval of the supervisory officer. 

Interest on certain bad or doubtful debts by deposit-taking as well as systemically important non-deposit taking NBFCs to be taxed in the year.

International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) Direct tax incentives proposed for an IFSC: 100 % profit-linked deduction in any ten-year block within a fifteen-year period. 
Exemption from dividend distribution tax from current and accumulated income to companies and mutual funds. 
Exemptions on capital gain to Category-iii Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). Exemption to interest payment on loan taken from non-residents. Securities Transaction Tax (STT) 
STT restricted only to the difference between settlement and strike price in case of exercise of options.

Indirect Taxes 
Basic Customs Duty increased on cashew kernels, PVC, tiles, auto parts, marble slabs, optical fibre cable, CCTV camera. 
Exemptions from Custom Duty on certain electronic items now manufactured in India withdrawn. 
End use based exemptions on palm stearin, fatty oils withdrawn. Exemptions to various kinds of papers withdrawn. 
5% Basic Custom Duty imposed on imported books. 
Customs duty reduced on certain raw materials such as: Inputs for artificial kidney and disposable sterilised dialyser and fuels for nuclear power plants etc. 
Capital goods required for manufacture of specified electronic goods.

Defence equipment not manufactured in India exempted from basic customs duty Other Indirect Tax provisions Export duty rationalised on raw and semi-finished leather.
Increase in Special Additional Excise Duty and Road and Infrastructure Cess each by Rs. 1 per litre on petrol and diesel.
Custom duty on gold and other precious metals increased Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme for quick closure of pending litigations in Central Excise and Service tax from pre-GST regime.

Other Indirect Tax provisions 
Export duty rationalised on raw and semi-finished leather Increase in Special Additional Excise Duty and Road and Infrastructure Cess each by Rs. 1 per litre on petrol and diesel.
Custom duty on gold and other precious metals increased Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme for quick closure of pending litigations in Central Excise and Service tax from pre-GST regime.

Grameen Bharat / Rural India Ujjwala Yojana and Saubhagya Yojana 
The lives of every rural family, dramatically improving ease of their living. Electricity and clean cooking facility to all willing rural families by 2022. 
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana — Gramin (PMAY-G) aims to achieve “Housing for All” by 2022: 
Eligible beneficiaries to be provided 1.95 crore houses with amenities like toilets, electricity and LPG connections during its second phase (2019-20 to 2021-22). 
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMSSY) A robust fisheries management framework through PMMSY to be established by the Department of Fisheries. 
To address critical gaps in the value chain including infrastructure, modernization, traceability, production, productivity, post-harvest management, and quality control. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) 
Target of connecting the eligible and feasible habitations advanced from 2022 to 2019 with 97% of such habitations already being provided with all weather connectivity. 
Around 30,000 kilometers of PMGSY roads have been built using Green Technology, Waste Plastic and Cold Mix Technology, thereby reducing carbon footprint kilometers of road length to be upgraded over the next five years under PMGSY Ill with an estimated cost of RS. 80,250 crore. 
Private entrepreneurships to be supported in driving value-addition to farmers’ produce from the field and for those from allied activities. 
Dairying through cooperatives to be encouraged by creating infrastructure for cattle feed manufacturing, milk procurement, processing & marketing. 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organizations to be formed to ensure economies of scale for farmers. Government to work with State Governments to allow farmers to benefit from e-NAM. 
Zero Budget Farming in which few states’ farmers are already being trained to be replicated in other states. 
Focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level. Convergence with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives. 
Around 1592 critical and over exploited Blocks spread across 256 District being identified for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. 
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) fund can be used for this purpose.

About Shahree Bharat/ Urban India
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban (PMAY-Urban)
Over 81 lakh houses with an investment of about Rs. 4.83 lakh crore sanctioned of which construction started in about 47 lakh houses. 
Over 26 lakh houses completed of which nearly 24 lakh houses delivered to the beneficiaries. 
Around 13 lakh houses so far constructed using new technologies. More than 95% of cities also declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). 
Almost 1 crore citizens have downloaded Swachhata App. 
Gandhiji’s resolve of Swachh Bharat to make India ODF by 2nd October 2019.
Rashtriya Swachhta Kendra inaugurated at Gandhi Darshan, Rajghat on 2nd October, 2019. 
Youth New National Education Policy brought which proposes Major changes in both school and higher education Better Governance systems Greater focus on research and innovation. 
The National Research Foundation (NRF) proposed to fund, coordinate and promote research in the country. 
To assimilate independent research grants given by various Ministries. 
To strengthen overall research ecosystem in the country.

Ease Of Living 
About 30 lakh workers joined the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Scheme that provides Rs. 3,000 per month as pension on attaining the age of 60 Approximately 35 crore LED bulbs distributed under UJALA Yojana leading to cost saving of Rs. 18,341 crore annually.
Solar stoves and battery chargers to be promoted using the approach of LED bulbs mission. A massive program of railway station modernization to be launched. Nari Tu Narayani/women 
Approach shift from women-centric-policy making to women-led movements. 

India’s Soft Power 
Proposal to consider issuing Aadhaar Card for NRls with Indian Passports on their arrival without waiting for 180 days. 
Mission to integrate traditional artisans with global markets proposed, with necessary patents and geographical indicators.  Around 18 new Indian diplomatic Missions in Africa approved in March, 2018, out of which 5 already opened. 
Another 4 new Embassies intended in 2019-20. 
The Indian Development Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) proposed17 iconic Tourism Sites being developed into model world class tourist destinations. 
The Present digital repository aimed at preserving rich tribal cultural heritage, to be strengthened. Banking and Financial Sector NPAs of commercial banks reduced by over Rs. 1 lakh crore over the last year. 

Banking and Financial Sector 
NPAs of commercial banks reduced by over Rs. 1 lakh crore over the last year. Record recovery of over Rs. 4 lakh crore affected over the last four years. Provision coverage ratio at its highest in seven years. 
Domestic credit growth increased to 13.8%. 
Measures related to PSBs: Rs. 70,000 crore proposed to be provided to PSBs to boost credit. 
PSBs to leverage technology, offering online personal loans and doorstep banking, and enabling customers of one PSBs to access services across all PSBs. The Reforms to be undertaken to strengthen governance in PSBs.

Measures related to NBFCs: 
Proposals for strengthening the regulatory authority of RBI over NBFCs to be placed in the Finance Bill. 
Proposals for strengthening the regulatory authority of RBI over NBFCs to be placed in the Finance Bill. 
The requirement of creating a Debenture Redemption Reserve will be done away with to allow NBFCs to raise funds in public issues. Steps to allow all NBFCs to directly participate on the TReDS platform. 
The return of regulatory authority from NHB to RBI proposed, over the housing finance sector. Rs. 100 lakh crore investment in infrastructure intended over the next five years. 
The committee proposed to recommend the structure and required flow of funds through development finance institutions. The major steps to be taken to separate the NPS Trust from PFRDA. 
The Reduction in Net Owned Fund requirement from Rs. 5,000 crore to Rs. 1,000 crore proposed.

Measures related to CPSEs: 
The target of Rs. 1, 05,000 crore of disinvestment receipts set for the FY 2019-20. Government to reinitiate the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India, and to offer more CPSEs for strategic participation by the private sector. 
The Government to undertake strategic sale of PSIJs and continue to consolidate PSUs in the non-financial space. 
Government to consider going to an appropriate level below 51% in PSUs where the government control is still to be retained on a case to case basis. Present policy of retaining 51% Government stake to be modified to retaining 51% stake inclusive of the stake of Government controlled institutions. Retail participation in CPSEs to be encouraged. 

To provide additional investment space: 
Union Government to realign its holding in CPSEs Banks to permit greater availability of its shares and to improve depth of its market. Government to offer an investment option in ETFs on the lines of Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS). 
This will also have a beneficial impact on demand situation for the government securities in the domestic market.

Achievements during 2014-19 
Around 1 trillion dollar added to Indian economy over the last 5 years (compared to over 55 years taken to reach the first trillion dollar). 
India is now the 6th largest economy in the world, compared to 11th largest five years ago. 
Indian economy is globally the 3rd largest in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms. Strident commitment to fiscal discipline and a rejuvenated Centre-State dynamic provided during 2014-19. 
The Structural reforms in indirect taxation, bankruptcy and real estate carried out.
The average amount spent on food security per year almost doubled during 2014-19 compared to 2009-14. 
The Patents issued more than trebled in 2017-18 as against the number in 2014. 

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