On Friday July 5, Nirmala Sitharaman became India's first full time female finance minister to table the budget in the Lok Sabha.
All eyes were on her as she had a massive job at hand. On one hand, she had to fill in the shoes of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while on the other she had to lay foundation that would help India achieve its goal of becoming a $ 5 trillion economy. Presenting Modi 2.0 government's first budget, Sitharaman laid huge emphasis on investment and consumption to realise the dream of 'New India'.
Here are the top 10 highlights from Union Budget 2019:
- The budget has been presented with 10 year vision in mind, said FM Nirmala Sitharaman.
- Achieving green Mother Earth and Blue Skies through a pollution-free India.
- Making Digital India reach every sector of the economy.
- Rajdhani and Shabhdi Express will soon be replaced by 'world class modern trains'.
- Launching Gaganyan, Chandrayan, other Space and Satellite projects.
- Companies with overall turnover of 400 crore will come under 25 per cent tax bracket.
- Prices of petrol and diesel to go up by over Rs 2 per litre.
- Self-sufficiency and export of food-grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables.
- Custom duty on gold and other precious metals could be raised from 10% to 12%.
- Proposal has been made on interchangeability of Aadhaar card and PAN card.
Here is the sector-wise highlights of Union Budget 2019:
Railways has got a budgetary allocation of Rs 65,837 crore and the highest ever outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.60 lakh crore from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget.
- Rs 50 lakh crore investment will be put into the Railway Infrastructure between 2018 and 2030.
- Public-Private-Partnership has been proposed for development and completion of tracks, stock manufacturing and delivery of passenger freight services.
- Railway stations modernisation will also be launched this year.
- Developing passenger amenities seem to be the focus of the government with the planned expenditure on that count being allocated Rs 3,422.57 crore which is an additional outlay of around Rs 1,000 crore for the comfort of rail users.
- Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said his aim is to produce 100 such train sets, which will replace the Shatabdi and Rajdhani express trains in the near future.
- 657 kilometres of Metro Rail network has become operational across the country.
- Railways has also planned to provide CCTV Surveillance System at all stations and in trains by using state-of-the art video surveillance technology to enhance safety of passengers.
- CCTV surveillance system at 455 railway stations have been provided and rest of the stations are targeted by 2020-21.
The budget was expected to announce schemes for ushering in a "blue revolution". The farming sector looked upto the Bharatiya Janata Party for its promise of allocating Rs 10,000 crore for providing infrastructure like storage and marketing for small fishermen.
- 100 lakh crore will be invested in the infrastructure sector in the next 5 years.
- As much as 1,25,000 km of roads will be upgraded under Pradhan Gram Sadak Yojana under Phase III at an estimated cost of Rs 80,250 crore.
- State road networks to be developed in second phase of Bharatmala project.
- The government also proposed to build 1.95 crore houses under Pradhan Mantari Awas Yojna (Rural) GST on Electric Vehicles will be reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. Free LPG scheme and electricity connection have transformed rural India.
The government will pump in 70,000 crores into public sector banks (PSBs) to strengthen them and enhance their lending capacity.
- Domestic credit has increased to 13 per cent.
- Proposals for strengthening regulatory authority of RBI over NBFC have been made.
- Unveiling the Budget for 2019-20, the finance minister said non-performing assets of PSBs have come down by Rs 1 lakh crore.
- Andhra Bank gained 1.67 per cent, Punjab National Bank rose by 1.64 per cent, SBI by 1.48 per cent, Indian Bank by 1.40 per cent and Bank of Maharashtra by 1.21 per cent.
- PAN card and Aadhaar card could be used interchangeably to file ITR as per a proposal tabled by the government.
In the budget speech, Sitharaman termed connectivity as the "lifeblood of an economy" and enlisted a slew of initiatives undertaken by the government including PM's rural roads scheme, industrial corridors, dedicated freight corridors, Bhartamala and Sagarmala projects, Jal Marg Vikas and the Udan scheme.
- Government to launch National Transport Card.
- India's first indigenously developed payment ecosystem for transport, based on National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standards, launched in March 2019.
- Opening of waterways for cargo transportation which will help in decongesting roadways as also railways.
- Inter-operable transport card runs on RuPay card and would allow the holders to pay for bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping.
MICRO SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) account for 8 per cent of India's GDP. The sector was badly hit by demonetisation and GST reforms. It was felt that MSMEs were ignored in the interim budget presented before Lok Sabha election 2019.
- Government will create a payement platform for MSMEs
- Loans of upto Rs 1 crore will be granted to MSMEs through online portal
- Under the interest subvention scheme for MSMEs, ₹350 crores have been allocated in 2019-20 for 2% interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs on fresh or on incremental loans.
- Government has decided to extend pension benefits to small retailers and shopkeepers whose annual turnover is less than Rs 1.5 crore.
- Make in India with a particular focus on MSME is one of the major focus areas of Union Budget this year
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Indian economy will grow to become a $3 trillion economy in the current year itself, adding it is now the sixth largest in the world.
- Towards a 5 Trillion Dollar Economy.
- People's hearts are filled with Aasha (Hope), Vishwas (Trust), Aakansha (Aspirations) we will live upto the trust" said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
- Indian economy to become a 3 trillion dollar economy in the current year.
- Government aspires to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy.
(With inputs from agencies)
Watch | Budget analysis with Rajat Sharma in Aaj Ki Baat