Interim Budget 2019-2020 Main Features

Union Finance Minister (Acting) Shri Piyush Goyal on February 1, 2019 presented the Interim Budget for 2019-2020 Financial Years. Here are the main features of Interim Budget 2019-20:

  • Pradhan Mantri KIsan SAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN): Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year. This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal instalments of Rs. 2,000 each. This programme will be funded by Government of India. Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this. The programme would be made effective from 1 st December 2018 and the first instalment for the period upto 31st March 2019 would be paid during this year itself. This programme will entail an annual expenditure of Rs. 75,000 crore. An outlay of Rs. 75,000 crore for PM-KISAN for the FY 2019-20.
  • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog: To upscale sustainable genetic up-gradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows. The Aayog will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cows.
  • Separate Department of Fisheries:  India is the second largest fish producing nation in the world accounting for 6.3% of global production, registering an average annual growth of more than 7% in recent years. The sector provides livelihood to about 1.45 crore people at the primary level. To provide sustained and focused attention towards development of this sector,  Government has decided to create a separate Department of Fisheries.
  • Interest subvention:  To provide the benefit of 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing the activities of animal husbandry and fisheries, who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card. Further, in case of timely repayment of loan, they will also get an additional 3% interest subvention.
  • All farmers affected by severe natural calamities, where assistance is provided from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), will be provided the benefit of interest subvention of 2% and prompt repayment incentive of 3% for the entire period of re-schedulement of their loans.
  • Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan: ‘ Pension for the unorganised sector workers with monthly income upto Rs. 15,000. This pension yojana shall provide them an assured monthly pension of RS 3,000 from the age of 60 years on a monthly contribution of a small affordable amount during their working age. An unorganised sector worker joining pension yojana at the age of 29 years will have to contribute only Rs. 100 per month till the age of 60 years. A worker joining the pension yojana at 18 years, will have to contribute as little as Rs. 55 per month only. The Government will deposit equal matching share in the pension account of the worker every month. It is expected that at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector will avail the benefit of ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan’ within next five years making it one of the largest pension schemes of the world. A sum of Rs. 500 crore has been allocated for the Scheme. Additional funds will be provided as needed. The scheme will also be implemented from the current year.
  • Welfare Development Board: Government will also set up a Welfare Development Board under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment specifically for the purpose of implementing welfare and development programmes for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities. The Board shall ensure that special strategies are designed and implemented to serve these hard-to-reach communities.
  • MUDRA Yojana: Under MUDRA Yojana 15.56 crore loans have been disbursed amounting to `7,23,000 crore. The concept of employment is changing all over the world, now the employment generation is not confined merely to Government services or factories. With job seekers becoming job creators, India has become the world’s second largest start-up hub. We are proud of the hard work and innovative ideas of our youth.
  • Defence Budget: Defence Budget will be crossing Rs. 3,00,000 crore for the first time in 2019-20.
  • Vande Bharat Express:   Introduction of the first indigenously developed and manufactured semi high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” will give the Indian passengers world class experience with speed, service and safety. This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs. Capital support from the budget for railways is proposed at Rs. 64,587 crore in 2019-20 (BE). The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs. 1,58,658 crore. The Operating Ratio is expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18 to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and further to 95% in 2019-20 (BE).
  • Tax Collection: the tax collections increased significantly from Rs. 6.38 Lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs. 12 lakh crore this year. The number of returns filed have also increased from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore showing 80% growth in tax base. I thank the honest taxpayers of India for reposing faith in our Government.
  • Fiscal deficit:  The fiscal deficit of year 2019-20 at 3.4% of GDP. We would have maintained fiscal deficit at 3.3% for year 2018-19 and taken further steps to consolidate fiscal deficit in year 2019-20. However, considering the need for income support to farmers we have provided Rs. 20,000 crore in 2018-19 RE and Rs. 75,000 crore in 2019-20 BE. If we exclude this, the fiscal deficit would have been less than 3.3% for 2018-19 and less than 3.1% for year 2019-20
  • Debt to GDP ratio: India’s Debt to GDP ratio was 46.5% in year 2017-18. The FRBM Act prescribes that the Debt to GDP ratio of the Government of India should be brought down to 40% by 2024-25. Along with completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme, we will now focus on Debt consolidation.
  • Income Tax: Individual taxpayers having taxable annual income up to Rs. 5 lakhs will get full tax rebate and therefore will not be required to pay any income tax. As a result, even persons having gross income up to Rs. 6.50 lakhs may not be required to pay any income tax if they make investments in provident funds, specified savings, insurance etc. In fact, with additional deductions such as interest on home loan up to Rs. 2 lakh, interest on education loans, National Pension Scheme contributions, medical insurance, medical expenditure on senior citizens etc, persons having even higher income will not have to pay any tax. This will provide tax benefit of Rs. 18,500 crore to an estimated 3 crore middle class taxpayers comprising self employed, small business, small traders, salary earners, pensioners and senior citizens.
  • TDS: For salaried persons, Standard Deduction is being raised from the current Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000. This will provide additional tax benefit of Rs. 4,700 crore to more than 3 crore salary earners and pensioners.
  • – TDS threshold on interest earned on bank/post office deposits is being raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 40,000. This will benefit small depositors and nonworking spouses. Further, the TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent is proposed to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,40,000 for providing relief to small taxpayers.
  • MGNREGA Allocation: Rs. 60,000 crores are being allocated for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20. Additional amount would be provided if required.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana : Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, construction of rural roads has been tripled. 15.80 lakh habitations out of a total of 17.84 lakh habitations have already been connected with pucca roads and work is going on to complete the rest very soon. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is being allocated Rs. 19,000 crore in BE 2019-20 as against Rs. 15,500 crore in RE 2018-19. 
  • Ayushman Bharat:  To provide medical treatment to nearly 50 crore people. Already close to 10 lakh patients have benefited for medical treatment which would have cost them ` 3,000 crore through free treatment made available under the scheme. Lakhs of poor and middle class people are also benefiting from reduction in the prices of essential medicines, cardiac stents and knee implants, and availability of medicines at affordable prices through Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras.
  • AIIMS: There are 21 AIIMS operating or being established in the country presently. 14 of these 21 AIIIMS have been announced since 2014. I am happy to announce setting up of new the 22nd AIIMS in Haryana.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme: The Aspirational Districts Programme is providing targeted development to the 115 most backward districts of the country. The programme has achieved notable results with improved performance on all indicators – health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development.

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