Interim Budget has plenty to cheer for farmers, workers & tax-payers

New Delhi: With just a few months left for general elections, Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today tabled Interim Budget for 2019-2020 that has plenty to cheer for farmers, working class and tax-payers.

Tax exemption till Rs 5 lakh, Rs 6000 per annum for farmers with less than two hectares of land and pension scheme for those working in unorganised sector are some major highlights.

Piyush Goel, who stepped in as interim Finance Minister after Arun Jaitley had to fly to New York for medical treatment, said, “This is not just an Interim Budget, but a medium for country development. The country is changing because of the ‘josh’ of the Indian citizens. Development has become a movement in our government.”

“We have only created the foundation now, now with the people together we will make a huge building of this country,” he added.

All for agriculturists
All farmers with less than 2 hectares of land holding will receive Rs 6000 per year. The amount will be distributed in three instalments and transferred directly to farmers’ bank accounts. This has assured income support for small and marginal farmers has been approved under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.

“This initiative will benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers, at an estimated cost of Rs. 75,000 crore, this will enable farmers to earn a respectable living,” said Goyal in the Lok Sabha.

Allocation to MNREGA has been hiked to Rs 60,000 crore for 2019-20, said Goyal. He further said the government had spent Rs 1.7 lakh crore to supply food grains at cheaper price to poor in 2018-19 as against Rs 92,000 crore in 2013-14.

In place of rescheduling of crop loans, all farmers affected by severe natural calamities will get two per cent (2%) interest subvention and an additional three per cent (3%) interest subvention upon timely repayment.

“Farmers income have doubled. The fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4% in the revised estimate of 2018-19,” said Goyal.

Beginning speech, Goyal said, “India is solidly back on track. We have prepared the foundation for better growth of life and marching towards growth and prosperity.”

Huge allocation for Defence
India’s defence forces will get more than Rs 3 lakh crore for the first time in from the Budget. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced that Indian defence forces will get all the support they need from the government and the citizens of the country and he is proud to announce that the Narendra Modi government has already disbursed over Rs 35,000 crore for the One Rank One Pension, as promised in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) election manifesto for the 204 Lok Sabha election.

Goyal announced that more money will be sanctioned for the defence forces over and above announced in the Interim Budget 2019 if there is a need for it.

The allocation of Rs 2,95,511.41 crore represented a growth of 7.81 per cent over Budget Estimates (Rs 2,74,114.12 crore) and 5.91 per cent over Revised Estimates (Rs. 2,79,003.85 crore), respectively for the financial year 2017-18.

Pension for unorganised workers
Piyush Goyal Friday announced launch of Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan (PMSYM) scheme to provide unorganised workers an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after 60 years of age. The scheme will attract matching contribution of Rs 100 per month from government as well as from workers. Besides, pension scheme for unorganised workers, Goyal also announced hiking of tax free gratuity to Rs 30 lakh from existing Rs 20 lakh for employees having service of more than five years.

“We are launching Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan today. The scheme will provide assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000, with contribution of 100 rupees per month, for workers in unorganised sector after 60 years of age,” Goyal said.

The Minister informed the House that the government will also provide a matching contribution of Rs 100 for every unorganised workers covered under the scheme, which is expected to benefit 10 crore workers in next five years. He said, “The scheme will benefit 10 crore workers in unorganised sector, may become the world’s biggest pension scheme for unorganised sector in five years.” He said that there are around 42 crore unorganised sector workers, which contribute toward the growth of national economy.

The Minister also informed the Lok Sabha that the government is providing Rs 500 crore initially for the scheme in the Budget. The workers under the scheme will have to contribute Rs 100 per month and equal contribution would be paid by the government.

The scheme will cover all those unorganised sector workers like autorikshaw driver, whose income is up to Rs 15,000 per month. Goyal also announced hiking limit of tax free gratuity to Rs 30 lakh in his maiden budget speech. The government had doubled the tax free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh in March last year. Hiking gratuity limit will enable employers to pay higher tax free gratuity to their employees who have worked for them for more five years.

Delight for tax-payers
The Finance Minister announced that individual taxpayers earning upto Rs 5 lakh need not pay any tax. Those who have gross income upto Rs 6.5 lakh also will not have to pay any tax if investments are made upto Rs 1.5 lakh. Standard tax deduction for salaried persons raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000.

He further announced that TDS threshhold on banks and post office deposits raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,0000. TDS threshold on rental income raised from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 2.4 lakh.
He further said, “Benefit of rollover of capital tax gains to be increased from investment in one residential house to that in two residential houses, for a taxpayer having capital gains up to 2 crore rupees; can be exercised once in a lifetime.”

WATCHOUT FOR…
* Farmers with less than 2 hectares of land will receive Rs 6000 per year
* Pension scheme for unorganised workers
* IT slab raised to Rs five lakh
* Rs three lakh crore allocation for defence

 

SAY NO TO PIRACY
To promote entertainment industry, single window clearance for Indian filmmakers will be introduced. In order to eliminate piracy, a new scheme called Anti-camcord regulations will be introduced in the Indian Cinematograph Act to prevent piracy and contact theft of Bollywood films, the Minister said.

 

FAST & FURIOUS
Railways gets Rs 64580 crore in this Interim Budget. All unmanned level crossing in broad guage network has been eliminated, Goyal, who also holds Railway portfolio, said. He added the country has more than 100 functional airports and the domestic air passenger traffic have doubled.

 

NT Bureau