Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. Photograph:( Reuters )
The Budget was focussed on farmers and unorganised sectors for which Goyal announced a number of schemes.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today presented the final Budget of Narendra Modi government's current tenure. This was an interim Budget, keeping in view the elections which are just months away.
The Budget was focussed on farmers and unorganised sectors for which Goyal announced a number of schemes. Here are the big takeaways from this year's Budget:
No tax for income upto Rs 5 lakh: Piyush Goyal proposed that individuals earning up to Rs 5 lakh would get a full tax rebate for this fiscal. Since this is a rebate and not a slab change, it will not impact the tax incidence of those with larger incomes.
The Finance Minister also said, "Individuals with gross income up to Rs 6.5 lakh will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities." Standard deduction too has been increased to Rs 50,000 from the current level of Rs 40,000.
Assured farmer income: Piyush Goyal announced in his Budget speech that the government has decided to provide Rs 6000 per income support to farmers who hold less than two hectares of land. The amounts, Goyal said, will be provided under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi in three instalments. "The scheme will benefit 12 crore families and cost government Rs 75,000 crore per year," Goyal said.
Pension for 10 crore labourers: Goyal also announced a pension scheme for the unorganised sector. "A pension scheme is being launched called Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, to provide assured monthly pension of Rs 3000 per month, with the contribution of Rs 100 per month, for workers in unorganised sector after 60 years of age," he said in his Budget speech today.
Highest ever defence budget: The government also showcased its resolve towards the defence forces by enhancing the defence budget beyond Rs 3 lakh crore, the highest in any year so far. "Our soldiers protect the country on the borders and they are our pride. We have allocated more than Rs 3 lakh crore in this budget for securing our borders, which is the highest so far. If necessary, additional funds would be provided," he said presenting the Interim Budget for 2019-20.
One lakh digital villages: Goyal said that mobile data usage in India has increased by a phenomenal 50 per cent within no time and the cost of data and voice calls in the country are now possibly the lowest in the world. "We aim to have one lakh digital villages in the next five years," he added.
Power for all by March 2019: Highlighting the government's focus on providing power to all, the finance minister said 2.5 crore families were without electricity in 2014 and that the government has provided power to almost all families. "Through Saubhagya scheme, every village in India has been connected to electricity and by March 2019, all families will get electricity," Goyal said.