Union minister Piyush Goyal announced a slew of measures in the Interim Budget 2019, the last Budget presented by the NDA government before the Lok Sabha elections. Those measures included a major relief for farmers, in the form of a Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, as well as individual taxpayers - such as the increase in rebate applicable under Section 87A of the Income Tax Act. With less than two weeks before the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the full-year Budget for 2019-20 - the first Budget after the NDA government's return to power in a landslide victory in May 2019, here is a summary of major announcements made as part of the Interim Budget. (Also read: Budget 2019: Full text of Piyush Goyal's speech)
In a major relief to tax payers, Mr Goyal had announced a full rebate on personal income up to Rs. 5 lakh in a year to a 25 per cent hike in standard deduction threshold.
He also announced that the standard deduction would be be raised to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000 and the TDS (tax deduction at source) threshold would be raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 on interest earned on bank and post office deposits.
A scheme - Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) - to provide direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to farmers with less than two hectares of land with effect from December 1, 2018, was announced.
The minister also announced expansion of the interest subvention for loans taken under Kisan Credit Card to farmers involved in animal husbandry and fishing.
The defence budget of the country crossed Rs 3 lakh crore-mark as the outlay for the armed forces was increased in the interim budget to Rs 3,05,296 crore against last year's revised estimate of Rs 2,85,423 crore -- a hike of 6.96 per cent. (Also read: Defence budget increased by 6.87% to Rs. 3.18 lakh crore)
With a vision to expand the country's space programme and sending an Indian astronaut into space by 2022, the government allocated more than Rs 10,000 crore for space programme in the Interim Budget.
For workers in the unorganised sector, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan was announced to provide assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 per month. Under the scheme, the workers would receive a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after 60 years of age. A worker joining the scheme on attaining 29 years of age or above will have to contribute Rs. 100 per month while those joining the at the age of 18 will have to contribute Rs. 55 per month
With an aim to support the MSME sector, the government announced 2 per cent interest subvention for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for loans up to Rs 1 crore.
Budgetary allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) was increased by Rs 5,000 crore year-on-year to Rs 60,000 crore, its highest-ever allocation to the programme since its launch in 2006.
(With inputs from IANS)