Union minister Piyush Goyal presented the Interim Budget 2019 in parliament on Friday and announced major relief for farmers and individual taxpayers. This was the last Interim Budget of the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the Lok Sabha elections due by May. In the budget speech, Mr Goyal proposed to double the threshold tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh and increased the standard deduction to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000. The proposal will benefit 3 crore middle-class tax payers, Mr Goyal said while unveiling the Budget proposals for 2019-20. Mr Goyal also announced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi for small and marginal farmers, providing Rs 6,000 per year to be transferred directly to farmers' bank accounts.
Here's what experts say on Budget 2019 announcements:
Raj Kumar, Whole Time Director & Chief Executive Officer, LIC Mutual Fund
'The budget is positive for consumption and rural economy. We don't see anything major negative on fiscal. Tax compliance will also improve due to higher slabs."
"Lot of money is being given to the tax payers by increasing the direct tax threshold to 5 lakh, increasing the standard deduction by additional 10 thousand, giving tax rebate on national income from second home and minimum support of Rs 6,000 to farmers. All these measures will fuel consumption and increase the top line of companies. However, there is slippage in fiscal deficit and that will likely increase in borrowings may have bearing on bond market. "
Raghvendra Nath, Managing Director, Ladderup Wealth Managment
"The Budget has been on the expected lines. In this budget, government has tried to cover all the people, especially farmers who were in a lot of distress and discontent. So by announcing an assured income for farmers would help to take a sting out of their distress. This has been one of the biggest benefits."
"Then the cosmetic change in the income tax slab from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh will send a positive message to the middle-class voters. As the finance minister mentioned there are almost 3 crore voters in middle class category. Hence, a large pool of people would be getting a benefit of Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 which is going to be a major benefit to them."
"Besides these two major things, the budget has been full of past achievements and future visions. From the equity stand point, there will be more income in the hands of people which would lead to more consumption and hence resulting in benefits to the economy."
"Also, the government has managed to give sops and still maintain a fiscal deficit target as a result of higher collections in indirect fronts. So, the benefit of GST collections is becoming visible, as well as more and more digitalization of income tax is helping the government mop up more taxes and thereby giving ability to provide more for social sector."