Budget 2019 HIGHLIGHTS: India’s first woman Union Finance Minister in almost five decades, Nirmala Sitharaman briefed the press shortly after presenting the full-fledged Union Budget for the current financial year Friday where she proposed reforms in several sectors including PSBs, tax returns and railways. “Emphasis is on the overall development of the economy and we are focusing on the ease of living,” the Finance Minister said addressing a press conference. laying focus on the Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC), Sitharaman told the media that NBFCs are a critical component of our banking system and the government has adopted a comprehensive approach for NBFC financing.
Sitharaman proposed a Re 1 per litre cess on petrol and diesel prices, and hiked customs duty on gold and precious metals to 12.5 per cent from 10 per cent. She also said that Aadhaar card can be used in place of PAN for filing income taxes now. Also, from the current fiscal year, Rs 2-5 crore taxable income will see effective tax rate rising by 3 per cent and total effective tax rate will be higher by 7 per cent for those with a taxable income of over Rs 5 crore. She also said that the government has proposed a Rs 70,000 crore capital infusion into government-owned banks this year.
Sitharaman also said, “The Government is working towards ‘Har Ghar Jal’ by 2024, 10,000 new farmer producer organisations will be set up, 9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since October 2014, New Space India Limited (NSIL) has been incorporated to tap the benefits of ISRO.” “Railway infrastructure would need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore between 2018 and 2030. We are looking to implement one nation, one grid in the power sector,” she said.
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Meanwhile, calling it a “Green Budget”, PM Modi said, “This Budget provides an assurance to its citizens that we are in the right direction. This Budget fulfils the expectations of 21st century India.” However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, said, “Nothing new, repetition of old promises. They are talking about new India but the budget is old wine in a new bottle.”