Budget: Petrol, Diesel Costlier, No New Tax Proposals, "Gaon-Garib" Focus

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second government, she said, had set the ball rolling for new India.

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Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will invest heavily in infrastructure and job creation

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, announcing the Union Budget for 2019-20 in Parliament on Friday, said India will become a $3-trillion economy this year. In the first Budget in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second term, the Finance Minister proposed to extend the 25 per cent ceiling to corporates with a turnover up to Rs 400 crore, permit filing of income tax returns using either Aadhaar or PAN, and announced a TDS or tax deducted at source of 2 per cent on cash withdrawals exceeding Rs 1 crore in a year. While Ms Sitharaman kept the income tax structure applicable to the small and medium taxpayer intact, she increased the surcharge on those with an annual income above Rs 2 crore.
Here are 10 major announcements made by Nirmala Sitharaman:
  1. “This year even as we are marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, I submit that our Government keeps Antyodaya at the core of all its efforts. At the Centre of everything that we do, we keep ‘gaon, garib, aur kisan',” she said. 
  2. The Finance Minister proposed to extend the 25 per cent corporate tax rate to all companies with a turnover up to Rs. 400 crore, from Rs. 250 crore at present.
  3. The Finance Minister proposed an excise duty and cess of 1 rupee per litre each on petrol and diesel, on the back of easing global crude oil prices. 
  4. Ms Sitharaman proposed to permit filing of income tax returns using either Aadhaar card or PAN card.
  5. Also, in its bid to discourage cash transactions, the government proposed to levy a TDS or tax deducted at source of 2 per cent on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs. 1 crore in a year from a bank account.
  6. Ms Sitharaman said non-resident Indians (NRIs) may get Aadhaar cards on arrival, without the mandatory waiting period. NRIs currently need to have spent 180 days to be eligible for an Aadhaar card.
  7. She said the government will ease foreign direct investment (FDI) restrictions in single-brand retail, and open up FDI in aviation, insurance, media and animation sectors. Ms Sitharaman also said the government will allow foreign investors to buy debt of listed real estate investment trusts.
  8. The government will invest heavily in infrastructure and job creation, Ms Sitharaman said in her Budget speech. The government will upgrade 1,25,000 kilometres of roads over the next five years at a cost of $11.6 billion, she added. The Finance Minister emphasised the need to strengthen infrastructure in order to enhance connectivity.
  9. India will also enter into aircraft financing and leasing activities, the Finance Minister said.
  10. Railway infrastructure will need an investment of $72 billion between 2018 and 2030, the Finance Minister said.




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