Budget 2019: Tax benefits take centerstage

Presenting the Union Budget 2019 which is an interim one ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the NDA government’s sixth Budget, which is for a “New India and is meant for all Indians.”
Highlights of Budget 2019:
  • India poised to become a $5 trillion economy in 5 years
  • We aspire to become a $10 trillion economy in 8 years
  • Fiscal deficit for 2018/19 seen at 3.4% of GDP
  • Defence Budget crosses ₹3 lakh crore mark in FY20 Budget
  • Budgetary support for railways for FY20 is ₹64,587 crore 
  • Direct tax collections estimated at ₹12 lakh crore in FY19
  • ₹1.3 lakh crore undisclosed income brought under tax net
  • 3,38,000 shell companies detected and their directors disqualified
Tax benefits  
  • Salary earners, pensioners to get tax benefit. No income tax for annual income up to ₹5 lakh
  • Salary earners of up to ₹6.5 lakh income to not pay tax if they make tax-related investments
  • Standard deduction to be raised from ₹40,000 to ₹50,000
  • No tax if you own second house 
  • No TDS on post office savings up to ₹40,000
  • No TDS on rental income up to ₹2,40,000 per year 
  • No tax on notional rent on second house 
  • Capital gains tax exemption under Section 54 raised to ₹2 crore 
  • Tax on notional rent on unsold inventory to not be paid for 2 years 
Bounty for farmers, unorganised labour  
  • All farmers affected by natural disasters to get 2% interest subvention upfront for entire loan period 
  • Current account deficit for 2018/19 seen at 2.5% of GDP
  • Farmers up to 2 hectares of land to come under PM Kisan Nidhi Scheme
  • Poor farmers to get ₹6,000 per year under PM Kisan Nidhi Scheme in 3 instalments of ₹2,000 each (with effect from December 2018)
  • Government announces Rashriya Gokul Mission to support poor owning cows. Rashriya Gokul Mission cow scheme to get ₹750 crore in the current year
  • Gratuity cap doubled to ₹20 lakh from ₹10 lakh
  • Government to implement mega pension scheme for unorganised labour.  Mega pension scheme is for people with income up to ₹15,000 per month
  • Unorganised labour to get ₹3,000 per month after age of 60 under mega pension scheme. 
  • Government to contribute 14% under New Pension Scheme 
  • Total of 8 crore cooking gas cylinders to be distributed by next year under PM Ujwala Yojna 
  • A National Programme for Artificial Intelligence covering 9 areas to be promoted 
  • Government projects to source 25% material from SMEs
  • SME loans with ticket size of ₹1 crore to get 2% interest subvention 
  • GEM platform to cover all public sector enterprises to promote local industry, trade 
  • Single window clearance to be made available to Indian film makers 
  • National education mission to get ₹38,572 crore FY20
  • Integrated child development scheme to get ₹27,584 crore FY20
  • SC, ST welfare to get ₹76,800 crore FY20
  • North-east states to get 21% higher budget allocation at ₹58,166 crore in FY20

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