NEW DELHI: Ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the Interim Finance Minister (FM) Piyush Goyal’s Interim Budget 2019 today in the Parliament dwelled a good deal on income tax concessions for individuals, a farm relief package, support for small businesses and some ‘populist spending measures’.
Among the last-mentioned aspect, the FM announced the “Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan”, a scheme to provide an assured monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 per month for workers in the unorganised sector who earn up to Rs. 15,000 per month.
Under the scheme, the workers will receive a monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 after attaining 60 years of age.
“Half of India’s GDP comes from the sweat and toil of 42 crore workers in the unorganised sector. We must provide them a social security coverage,” said the FM.
He said the mega pension scheme will benefit all workers under the unorganised sector including household helps, rickshaw pullers, agricultural labourers and beedi workers.
What, however, is currently drawing the loudest whistles and claps in the social media is his announcement about individual taxpayers:
“Your tax provides toilets, healthcare, education and many more. Thank you, taxpayers!”
Individual taxpayers with income up to ₹5 lakh taxable income will get a full tax rebate, he then announced.
Even those earning ₹6.5 lakh will not have to pay tax if they invest in specified savings, he added.
The tax slabs, however, will remain unchanged.
An estimated three crore middle-class taxpayers will be benefitted.
TDS on fixed deposits and postal deposits will be exempted for interest earned up to ₹40,000 from ₹10,000 currently.
Exemption on TDS on rent has been increased to ₹2.4 lakh. The benefit of the rollover on capital gains up to ₹2 crores will be increased to investment in two residential houses. This benefit can be availed only once in a lifetime.
The benefit under 80IBA of the I-T Act will be extended for one more year for affordable housing.
Stars of the Income Tax Universe:
- No tax till Rs 5 lakh income for individuals taxpayers
- Standard deduction increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000 for salaried class
- Individuals with gross income up to 6.5 lakh rupees will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities
- TDS threshold for home rent increased from Rs 1.8 lakh to 2.4 lakh
- Interest income up to Rs 40,000 in post offices and banks made tax free
- Capital gains tax exemptions under Section 54 to be available for increased to Rs 2 crore. Capital gains exemption to be available on 2 house properties
- Income tax relief on notional rent from unsold houses extended to 2 years from 1 year
- Income Tax returns to be processed within 24 hours and returns will be paid immediately
- Within nearly two years, almost all assessment and verification of IT returns will be done electronically by an anonymised tax system without any intervention by officials
Summing it up in a single Tweet:
— Chitra Subramaniam (@chitraSD) February 1, 2019
The budget illustrated a very clear description of the path of money in the entire budget cycle:
— PIB India (@PIB_India) February 1, 2019
An interesting part of this budget speech was the future-looking aspect of it.
”We are poised to become a $five trillion economy in the next five years. The government’s vision is to make India a $10 trillion in next eight years,” said Goyal.
He then proposed a 10-point vision for 2030:
√ A next-gen infrastructure
√ A Digital India
√ A pollution-free India that drives on electric vehicles.
√ Expansion of rural industrialisation
√ Clean rivers and safe drinking water
√ Development of the coastline and utilisation of the blue economy
√ Placing an Indian astronaut in space
√ Self-sufficiency in food, export of food and organic farming
√ Healthy India, distress-free healthcare and comprehensive wellness system
√ Maximum governance
Referring to the spectrum auction and coal block auction, FM has pitched for transparency. He said that the Real Estate Development and Regulation Act of 2016 and Benami Properties Act have shown the central government’s intent for maintaining transparency.
@ Housing, Electricity:
The Modi government has built 1.53 crore houses under the housing scheme. The FM claimed that the number of houses built is five times more than before.
He also said that back in 2014, 2.5 crore households were without electricity. He said that under Saubhagya Yojona, the central government has provided almost every house a free electricity connection
The FM announced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, which will transfer Rs 6,000 per annum for each small and marginal farmers. The money will be transferred in three instalments and will be sent to farmers’ bank accounts. This scheme will benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers with a holding of less than 2 hectares of land. The central government will be spending at an estimated cost of Rs 75,000 crore.
@ Aam Aadmi:
The FM said that EPFO membership has increased by 2 crores in past two years. He said that contribution to new pension scheme has been increased to 14 per cent from 4 per cent. The FM said that the gratuity limit has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.
The FM underscored that the women have been the central government’s topmost priority. Out of the total, 75 per cent beneficiaries are under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. FM Goyal has also said that working women are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave. Apart from these, the Pradhan Mantri Matritva Yojana is empowering women across the country.
@ Unorganized Sector:
The FM said that the Central government has launched a pension scheme named Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, under which, the workers in the unorganized sector will get a monthly pension of 3000 rupees per month after 60 years of age.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his budget speech 2019 said that the defence budget has enhanced beyond Rs 3 lakh crore. FM Goyal has said that Rs 35,000 crore has been disbursed for soldiers under ‘One Rank One Pension’.
@ Individual Tax Payer:
People having annual earnings up to Rs 5 lakh, will be exempted from paying Income Tax.
All assessment and verification of Income Tax returns will be done electronically and the income tax returns will be processed within 24 hours and refunded simultaneously.