“People’s hearts filled with Aasha (Hope), Vishwas (Trust), Aakansha (Aspirations)” – Finance Minister
After so many speculations, the much-awaited Indian Union Budget 2019-20 was finally presented by the newly appointed Hon’ble Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Siharaman in the Indian Parliament on July 05, 2019.
The Budget broadly focused on tax, healthcare, housing, electric vehicles, start-ups, decentralization of powers to RBI, fighting NPA’s, technology, infrastructure and education to name a few. The Government wants to achieve $5 trillion economy by 2024, basis which the Budget has been prepared with a long term forecast.
The Budget at a glance
Vision for the Decade
• Interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar. Aadhaar can be used wherever PAN is required.
• Pre-filling of Income-tax Returns for faster, more accurate tax returns
• Faceless e-assessment with no human interface to be launched.
• Tax rate reduced to 25% for companies with annual turnover up to Rs. 400 crore
• Surcharge increased on individuals having taxable income from Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 5 crore and Rs. 5 crore and above.
• Basic Customs Duty increased on cashew kernels, PVC, tiles, auto parts, marble slabs, optical fibre cable, CCTV camera etc.
• Exemptions from Custom Duty on certain electronic items now manufactured in India withdrawn.
• 5% Basic Custom Duty imposed on imported books
• 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
• Constitution of National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (NAAAR).
Start Up Boosters
• Propose easing angel tax for startups.
• Angel tax: Won’t require scrutiny from I-T department for startup.
• E-verification mechanism for establishing investor identity and source of funds for startups.
• ‘Stand Up India' Scheme to continue till 2025.
• New television channel for start-ups.
Focus on Education
• National education policy to propose major changes in both secondary and higher education
• Swayam Initiative – Digital education to be promoted
• Greater focus on research and development – National Research Foundation to fund and promote research – pooling of research grants from various ministries and disbursing them, preventing duplication of research projects
• For the Youth – New national educational policy to transform the Indian education system
Relief for MSMEs
• 350 crore rupees allocated for 2% interest subvention for all GST-registered MSMEs on fresh or incremental loans
• MSME: Large-scale extensive reforms planned, government to create a platform for MSME payments
• MSME to get loans up to 1 crore within 59 minutes. Loans worth Rs. 350 crore already disburse
Liberalisation of FDI
• 100 per cent FDI permitted in Insurance Intermediaries
• Single Brand Retail – relaxation in local sourcing norms proposed
• Sectoral caps for FDI in certain sectors to be liberalised (e.g. aviation, media, insurance, etc.)
• Focus on investment in infrastructure, national highways and aviation sectors
• The second phase of Bharat Mala to develop state highways
• A comprehensive restructuring of national highways will be taken up
The future of transportation: Electric Vehicles
• Lower GST Rate from 12% to 5% on Electric vehicle and Additional Income Tax Deduction of 2.5 Lakh on Interest paid on loan taken to purchase an electric vehicle
• To make electric vehicles affordable, additional IT deduction on 1.5 lakh on interest paid on loan taken to purchase electric vehicles
Technology intensive economy
• Solar storage batteries and chargers included in 35AD deduction: FM
• Program of mass scaling of LED Bulbs – Approx. 35 Crores of LED bulbs distribute
• Machines and robots to be deployed for scavenging
• Focus on VR, AI, Robotics training to youth to align India with the World
Schemes introduced in the Budget
• Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 for quick closure of pending litigations in Central Excise and Service tax from pre-GST regime
• Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Maandhan Scheme: Pension benefits to about three crore retail traders & small shopkeepers with annual turnover less than Rs. 1.5 crore.
• Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship” (ASPIRE): 80 Livelihood Business Incubators (LBIs) and 20 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) to be setup in 2019-20. 75,000 entrepreneurs to be skilled in agro-rural industry sectors