“The world is saying that India is ready to fly again”
It is with such a captivating introduction that the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, started to present the much-awaited Union Budget for FY 2015-16.
Top 50 takeaways from the budget are –
- “The credibility of the Indian economy has been re-established”, said the FM; CPI inflation is 5.1 percent, WPI inflation is negative; double digit growth achievable.
- Government has facilitated construction of 50 lakh toilets in the country, target of 6 crore toilets looks achievable.
- Current Account Deficit this fiscal year is expected to be below 1.3 percent of GDP.
- FY 15 is likely to end with a GDP 7.4 percent; GDP of FY 16 likely to be 8 to 8.5 percent; India now the fastest growing large economy in the world.
- Fiscal deficit target for FY 16 to be at 3.9 percent; for FY 17 to be at 3.6 percent; for FY 18 to be at 3 percent.
- By April 2016, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is likely to put in place a state-of-art indirect taxation system.
- 12.5 crore families are now a part of the PM Jan Dhan Yojana; financial inclusion has now been made a reality.
- Government aims at proving housing for every family by the 75th year of independence; India will have 6 crore additional houses by 2022 (2 crore in rural regions, and 4 crore in urban sectors).
- All Indian villages to receive electricity by 2020.
- Apart from GST, JAM (JanDhan, Aadhar, Mobile) trinity will be a game changer in implementing Direct Benefit Transfers.
- Government shall sanction construction of 1 lakh km of new roads across the country.
- 80,000 secondary schools in India to get upgraded with better facilities.
- Skills India and Make in India will be main thrust – India to be made manufacturing hub of the world.
- INR 150 core allocated towards creation of a world class IT hub in India.
- States to be made partners in growth and development; states to receive 62 percent of the centre’s receipts.
- State PSUs to get a Capex of INR 3.17 lakh crore.
- Non-banking financial companies worth over INR 500 crore to be included under SARFAESI.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) to get an initial allocation of INR 34,699; increase in allocation by INR 5,000 crore if permitted by tax buoyancy – the highest ever allocation.
- Rationalisation of subsidies shall be the government’s aim; subsidy leakage must be plugged; well-off will be expected to voluntarily surrender LPG subsidy.
- Employment security shall be in focus, at least 1 member of each family should be employed.
- With an aim to enhance ease of doing business in India, government shall introduce a comprehensive bankruptcy code by 2015-16.
- INR 5,300 allocated for micro irrigation and drip farming projects.
- A universal social security system is to be launched by the government with special focus on the poor and underprivileged.
- SC welfare schemes to get INR 30,000 crore allocation; Proposal to set up Mudra Bank (allocation of INR 20,000 crore and credit guarantee backup of INR 3,000 crore); 5 crore small businesses led by SC/ST to be benefited.
- Government to launch tax-free infra bonds proposed for rail, road.
- Atal Innovation Mission set up to promote research collaborations between India and other countries; allocation of INR 150 crore.
- Self-employment will be promoted; youth encouraged to become job creators; startups to find a capital boost of INR 1000 crore.
- Public sector ports will be made firms under the Companies Act; corporatisation will be promoted.
- Government to set up 5 new Ultra Mega Power Projects for INR 1 lakh crore; each to have 4,000 MW generation capacity; a second unit of the nuclear power plant at Kudanakulam to be commissioned this FY.
- Government to set up INR 20,000 crore Infrastructure Fund; investments in infrastructure to go up by INR 70,000 crore.
- Credit of INR 8.5 lakh crore to be extended to farmers in FY 2015-16.
- PM Suraksha Bhima Yojana will be launched and linked to PM Jan Dhan Yojna; INR 2 lakh insurance cover to be offered at a premium of INR 12 a year; Atal Pension Yojana to launched as a pension scheme, Nayi Manzil to support the youth of minority communities.
- Commodities regulator, FMC, to be merged with SEBI; public debt management agency to be set up.
- Section 6 of FEMA to be amended.
- Gold monetization scheme to be introduced; gold coins with Ashok Charkra will be developed.
- EPF employee contribution for very low income group will be optional; no reduction in employer’s contribution.
- Visa on arrival to be extended to 150 countries from 43; boost to tourism expected.
- Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu to receive new AIIMS; IS Dhanbad to be upgraded to IIT.
- Defence allocation in budget is INR 2,46,727 crore.
- Total estimates of expenditure in the budget: INR 17 .77 lakh crore including non-plan expenditure of INR 13.12 lakh crore, and plan expenditure of INR 4.65 lakh crore.
- Corporate tax to be reduced over next four years from 30 percent to 25 percent.
- Comprehensive bill to curb black money proposed; severe penalties for tax evasion, foreign exchange non-disclosure, concealment of income, and benami properties proposed; PAN number must be quoted for all transactions over INR 1 lakh.
- Custom duty reduced on 22 items; royalty on technical services reduced from 25 percent to 10 percent.
- No change in income tax exemption limits; wealth tax to be abolished and replaced by a 2 percent surcharge on super rich; expected to generate an income of INR 9,000 crore for the government.
- Attempt to boost leather; excise duty on footwear with MRP over 1000 reduced by 6 percent.
- Service tax and education cess increased to 14 percent from 12.36 percent.
- 100 percent tax deduction on contributions made towards Swachch Bharat and Clean Ganga schemes; contributions to Sukanya Samridhi scheme to be exempt from tax.
- Tax deduction for health insurance premium increased from INR 15,000 to INR 25,000 for individual tax payers; additional deduction of INR 50,000 on contributions made towards pension schemes; transport allowance increased from INR 800 to INR 1600 per month. Total benefit to individual tax payers due to benefits announced – INR 4,44,200.
- Yoga to be included as a charitable purpose under the Income Tax Act.
- Estimated net gain from the tax proposals presented for 2015-16 likely to be INR 150.68 billion; direct tax proposals lead to a loss of about INR 8,315 crore while indirect taxes will yield a gain of INR 23,383 crore.
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