File photo. Photograph:( ANI )
'The budget testifies that the path we are on is right and that we will reach our target,' PM Modi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed the nation after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the newly-elected government's budget for the first year.
Opening his post-budget address, the prime minister said that the budget "has given hope to the country".
"It testifies that the path we are on is right and that we will reach our target," PM Modi said, adding that the budget will help facilitate the creation of 'New India'.
"The middle class will progress with this budget, development work will expedite even more. The tax structure will simply and infrastructure will modernise," PM Modi said.
"The budget for a 'New India' has a roadmap to transform the agriculture sector of the country, this budget is one of hope," he added.
Sitharaman's maiden budget is being largely seen as a "balanced one".
Ashok Jha, former finance secretary, called it a "pretty balanced budget".
"There are concessions given to various sectors, in fact, there is a simplification of taxation, trying to reduce tax payers' hassles," Jha told WION.
"There are indicators of growth in the budget. 70,000 crore push to public sectors banks, governance reforms in public sectors banks. All these are growth-inducing things," Gautam Chikermane, vice president, ORF told WION.
Ashok Jha, former finance secretary, calls it a pretty balanced budget. 'There are concessions given to various sectors, in fact, there is a simplification of taxation, trying to reduce tax payers' hassles'#Budget2019— WION (@WIONews) July 5, 2019
Watch post budget analysis LIVE: https://t.co/iSR65rv97J pic.twitter.com/6dgSRNJyy3
Some of the key highlights of Sitharaman's budget speech today featured no taxation for those earning less than 5 lakh per annum. The government decided to hike the petrol price by Rs 1 per litre and customs duty on gold as well.
A slew of benefits was announced for startups. Going by Sitharaman's budget presentation, the Modi government 2.0 seems to have given a big push to infrastructure, technology, rural development, startups and has also promised to make housing affordable and hassle-free process to boost investment.
During the Budget speech, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India's sovereign external debt to GDP was among the lowest globally at less than 5 per cent.
Budget 2019: India will become a $3-billion economy this year, says Nirmala Sitharaman
"The fiscal deficit this year is 3.3 per cent, brought down from 3.4 per cent," Sitharaman said.
"More than 120 crore Indians now have Aadhar card, therefore for ease of taxpayers I propose to make PAN card and Aadhar card interchangeable and allow those who don't have PAN to file returns by simply quoting Aadhar number and use it wherever they require to use PAN," the finance minister said.
Highlights of Tax policy:
- Direct tax revenue increased by 78 per cent.
- Excise hike on Rs 1 litre on petrol, diesel
- Customs duty on gold increased by 2 per cent
- Cheaper home loans for houses up to 45 lakhs
- Proposal to levy TDS of 2 per cent on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs 1 crore in a year from a bank account.
- Tax benefits for buying electric vehicles.
- Easing of Angel tax for startups.
- Additional income tax deduction on loans taken on e-vehicles.
- All companies with an annual turnover of Rs 400 crores to now come under the 25 per cent bracket. It will cover 99.3 per cent of all the companies.
- Tax deduction for affordable housing.
- Interchangeability of PAN, Aadhar.
- Discourage making cash payments in business transactions.