Budget 2021: Fuel prices may rise again; no change in tax slabs

Presenting the first paperless Budget for 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam laid clear emphasis on healthcare following the pandemic. While reading out the Budget speech, she said the Budget "has not been like anything so far.”
What could be heavy on the pockets of consumers is the government’s proposed farm cess of ₹2.5/litre on petrol, ₹4 on diesel. Meanwhile, the Defence Budget increased to ₹4,78,195 crore from ₹4,71,378 crore.
Here are key highlights of the Budget: 
  • Govt to set up a Development Financial Institution
NHAI and PGCIL to set up INVITs to attract global funds Proposal for New Rationalised Securities Markets Code Govt allots ₹20,000 crore for bank recapitalisation
  • Infrastructure: To spend ₹1.41 lakh crore for Urban Clean India Mission
  • Proposes voluntary Vehicle Scrappage Policy Outlay of ₹1.18 lakh crore for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways India to spend ₹1.1 lakh crore for Railways in FY22
  •  Healthcare: Govt to spend ₹64,180 crore on healthcare over six years.  Govt sets aside ₹35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccine in FY22
  •  Minimum government, maximum governance:  FM proposes to modify 'Small Companies' definition. Increase the permissible limit for Foreign Direct Investment for insurance companies to 74% from 49%.
  •  I-T return forms to now be pre-filled with Capital Gains and Bank Interest details
  •  The FM proposes extension of tax holiday for start-ups by one more year.
  • Govt proposes to make income tax appellate tribunals  faceless; to set up national income tax appellate tribunal centre: FM.
  •  Exemption from tax audit limit doubled to ₹10 cr turnover for companies doing most of their business through digital modes: FM.
  •   Advance tax liability on dividend income shall arise only after payment of dividend: FM.
  •  Dividend payment by REITs and InvITs not subject to TDS: FM.
  •   Sitharaman announces tax holiday for aircraft leasing business in Gift city.
  •   Government to provide tax exemption for relocating funds to IFSC.
  •   Income tax return filers increased to 6.48 cr in 2020 from 3.31 cr in 2014: FM.
  •   FM announces tax exemption for rental housing projects.
  •  Government to notify rules to eliminate double tax for NRIs on foreign retirement funds.
  •  World is facing a serious challenge of pandemic and its after shocks: FM.
  •  Dispute resolution scheme for small taxpayers through special committee: FM.
  •  Time limit for reopening tax returns reduced to 3 years, from present 6. Even in serious fraud, only if tax concealed has evidence of over 50 lakh, can the term go beyond: FM
  •   Senior citizens above 75 yrs of age with only pension income exempted from filing tax returns: FM.
  •  FM allocates ₹3,726 cr for forthcoming Census which will be the first digital census.
  •   Govt proposes to introduce National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill.
  •  We need ₹80,000 crore from the markets in last two months of FY21: FM.
  •   Govt needs 12 lakh crore in gross borrowings: FM.
  •  Fiscal deficit for FY22 pegged at 6.8%: FM.
  •   Fiscal deficit for FY21 pegged at 9.5%: FM.
  •  Maintained quality of expenditure: FM.
  •    Govt proposes national language translation initiative.
  •   Govt proposes deep ocean mission with outlay of more than ₹4,000 cr over five years: FM.
  •   ₹1,000 crore to be provided for welfare of tea workers: FM.
Farmers welfare:
  •  43.36 lakh wheat-growing farmers benefited from govt procurement under MSP as against 35.57 lakh previously: FM.
  •  Farmers paid ₹75,100 cr on wheat MSP in FY21: FM.
  • Social security benefits to be extended to gig and platform workers for the first time. Minimum wages will apply to all categories of workers: FM.
  •   Agri procurement has increased steadily, benefiting farmers, says FM amid opposition slogan shouting against three farm laws.
  •   Govt committed to welfare of farmers, says FM Sitharaman.
Financial Institutions:
  •  Barring four strategic areas, PSUs in other sectors will be divested, says FM announcing new disinvestment policy.
  •    Agriculture credit target at 16.5 lakh crore: FM.
  • In 2021-22 we would also bring the IPO of LIC for which I am bringing the requisite amendments in this session itself," Nirmala Sitharaman says.
  •   Government allots ₹20,000 crore for bank recapitalisation: FM.
  •   FDI in insurance increased to 74 pc from 49 pc: FM.
  •   Govt proposes investor charter across financial products: FM.
  •  Scheme for promoting flagging of merchant ships in India will be launched by providing subsidy support: FM.
  •  Govt proposes to launch hydrogen energy mission next fiscal for generating hydrogen from green power sources: FM.
  • The government on Monday announced the Jal Jeevan mission with an outlay of ₹2.87 lakh crore for 4,378 urban local bodies.
  • Centre to provide ₹18,000 crore for public buses, announces FM Nirmala Sithraman.
  •  City gas distribution network of providing CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in 100 more districts: FM.
  •   Fuel supplies were kept running without interruption during Covid-19 lockdown: FM
  •           For a 5-trillion dollar economy, our manufacturing sector has to grow in double digits on a sustained basis. Our manufacturing companies need to become an integral part of global supply chains: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
  •  FM announces 7 port projects worth more than ₹2,000 cr via PPA mode.
  •  Pipelines of GAIL (India) Ltd, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and HPCL will be monetised: FM.
  •   Framework will be put in place to allow electricity consumers to choose from more than one distribution company: FM.
  •  Finance Minister says 100 pc electrification of broad gauge rail tracks by December 2023.
  •  Ujjwala Scheme will be extended to cover 1 cr more beneficiaries. Will add 100 more districts in the next 3 years for city gas distribution: FM
  • Nifty climbs above 13,800 as FM Nirmala Sitharaman presents Union Budget 2021. Sensex up 700-points.
  •   NHAI has sponsored one InVit to attract investors. Thus 5 operational roads with ₹5,000 crore value being transferred to NHAI InVit. NHAI operational roll roads are to be monetised: FM.
  •  Meanwhile, Railways will monetise dedicated freight corridor after commissioning. The next lot of airports will also be monetised for operations and management. AAI airports in tier-2,3 cities and other railway assets are to be monetised: FM.
  • Indian Railways has prepared a national railways plan by 2030. It will bring down the logistics cost: FM Sitharaman.
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline has been expanded to 7,400 projects. Futher, projects worth ₹1.1 lakh crore have been completed under the National Infra Pipeline. We will also introduce bill to set up DFI providing ₹20,000 crore to launch the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline to fund new infra projects: FM Sitharaman.
Poll-bound promises: 
  •   Highway infra work proposed include building 8,500-km of highways by March 2022.
  • 3,500 km corridor in Tamil Nadu
  • 1,100 km in Kerala at investment of ₹65,000 cr
  • 675 km in West Bengal at a cost of ₹95,000 cr
  • 1,300 km in Assam in the next 3 years
  •  For 2021-22, I propose a sharp increase in CapitalExpenditure & thus have provided ₹5.54 lakh crores which is 34.5% more than the BE 2020-21: FM Nirmala Sitharaman.
  •  Outlay of ₹1.18 lakh crore for Ministry Of Road Transport And Highways: FM Sitharaman.
  • Government has committed ₹1.97 lakh crore for PLI schemes covering 13 sectors. Further 7 textile parks will be launched over three years: FM Sitharaman.
  •  Urban Swachh Bharat 2.0 Mission to be launched at outlay of ₹1.41 lakh crore over 5 years: FM Sitharaman.
  •  Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced ₹35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccines.
  •  Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced ₹2,83,846 lakh crore for health and wellness sector which also includes ₹35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccines.
  •   Voluntary scrapping policy announced based on fitness test -- 20 years in a personal vehicle and 15 years for the commercial vehicle. More details to be available soon.
  • We introduce the Aatmanirbhar Health Yojana with an outlay of ₹64,180 crore over six years. This will strengthen the National Centre for Disease Control. Besides this, the government will also set up 15 Health Emergency Centres:FM.

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