Union Budget 2019 – The Key Takeaways, Glass Ceiling Hitters, and Other Plans for New India

With a concrete vision to turn India into $5 trillion economy by 2025, Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance Minister of India) presented the Modi 2.0 government’s maiden budget in Lok Sabha. The budget 2019 sounds more like a relief to many as it has great plans of growth to almost every sector – from education to infrastructure. India’s first full-time woman Union Finance Minister on Friday also proposed to start an exclusive TV channel for startups under Doordarshan. 

With the success of “Reform, Perform, Transform” principle, Modi-led government now forecasting the roadmap of new India that majorly focuses on strengthening India’s education sector, boosting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, making direct and indirect taxation easier, enhancing India’s presence in space, and transforming rural lives through better strategies and investment-led reforms. 

Key Takeaways from Sitharaman’s maiden Budget speech in Parliament:

For Taxes:

  • Purposefully, there is a hike in surcharge on super-rich– 3% surcharge for Rs 2 crore income; 7% on Rs 5 crore and above.
  • Slight changes in annual turnover bars – 25% corporate tax annual turnover limit raised to Rs 400 crore from Rs 250 crore; quarterly filing for taxpayers with less than five crore annual turnover.
  • An increase of 78% to see in Direct Tax revenue, whereas no change in personal income tax rates.
  • To shift business payments from cash to digital – 2% tax deduction (TDS) at the source will be applied whenever cash withdrawals via bank exceeds Rs 1 crore annually.
  • Changes to bring smiles & relief – Interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar Card.

For Economy:

  • Target to become a $3 trillion economy in FY20 – proposed changes to domestic & foreign investments; creation of the blueprint for gas, water grids and regional airports.
  • Expanding the beloved Swachch Bharat Abhiyan by opening doors for solid waste management in every village. 
  • Funds allotted for betterment – Rs. 100 lakh crores to be invested for infrastructure over the next five years; Public sector banks to be provided with Rs 70,000 crores to boost capital.
  • Foot raised to boost investments – setting up a Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation; opening up of FDI in aviation, media, animation AVGC and insurance; increasing the statutory limits for foreign investments in some companies.

For Indian Startup Ecosystem:

  • Celebrating the Indian entrepreneurs’ potential – Doordarshan-like TV channels to be screened for startups and managed by startups as well. 
  • Improving the existing ones – Governments to streamline multiple labour laws; Standup India Scheme will continue emerging the desi talents. 
  • No more scrutiny by IT department required for Startups; Women-led policy articulation to encourage women entrepreneurship.

For Education Sector:

  • Foundation of more powerful opportunities – National Research Foundation to be set up to strengthen overall research in the country; Gandhipedia to be developed to spread positive Gandhian values among youth; National Sports Education Board under Khelo India scheme for enhancing sports persons. 
  • Dreaming to be a hub of higher education – Government proposed “Study in India” programme to attract foreign students. 
  • Allotment of Rs 400 crore made for world-class higher education institutions in FY2020 itself.

Other highlights:

  • Pension benefit to be extended – retail traders and shopkeepers with an annual turnover less than 1.5 crores will get pension of 3 crore under Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Man Dhan Scheme.
  • To offer ease of travelling – Government proposed to issue Aadhaar cards for NRIs with Indian passport after coming to India, instead of them waiting for mandatory 180 days.
  • The shifts to propose better tomorrow for everyone – GST on EVs lowered from 12% to 5%; India’s ease of doing business ranking jumped up from 172 to 121; Public holding in listed firms may go up to 35% from the current 25%. 

(Source: www.firstpost.com | www.yourstory.com

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