Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed parliament today with details of the Union Budget 2021, the first after a difficult year for the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She announced foreign direct investment (FDI) hike in insurance to 74 per cent from 49 per cent with foreign control under safeguards. The Finance Minister has set a target of Rs 16.5 lakh crore as agricultural credit. Her budget speech comes after a difficult year for the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down businesses for months, leading to lost earnings, curtailed consumer spending and job cuts. "The total impact of Atmanirbhar Bharat and measures by RBI was Rs 27.1 lakh crore, which amounts to 30 per cent of GDP," Ms Sitharaman said. "2021 is a year of many milestones," she said.
The ninth budget - including an interim one - of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put weightage on creating jobs and rural development - two areas hit hardest by the pandemic. Today's budget will have to go far beyond what the mini-budget in September 2019 achieved by reducing corporate tax, and the subsequent economy-booster announcements during the lockdown necessitated by the pandemic. The budget comes as an economic vaccine for the pandemic-battered economy and to steer India with the much-needed stimulus to boost demand and consumer confidence.
Here are the live updates of Union Budget 2021:
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced an outlay of Rs 4071.23 crore for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the 2021-2022 fiscal, a decrease of Rs 303 crore from last year.
The allocation to Prasar Bharati has been reduced to Rs 2640.11 crore from Rs 2889.36 crore allotted to it in the last fiscal.
However, the budget for other autonomous bodies like Press Council of India and Films and Television Institute of India (FTII) went up, with the PCI getting Rs 20 crore this time compared to Rs 8.9 crore in 2020-21 and FTII getting Rs 58.58 crore this time as compared to Rs 49.40 crore last fiscal.
For Indian Institute of Mass Communication, the government has earmarked Rs 65 crore, up from Rs 61.30 crore allocated for 2020-21.
Describing the Union budget as "confusing and directionless", West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Monday said that it has failed to stimulate demand in the economy.
Mr Mitra also criticised the budget claiming that sufficient funds have not been allocated to West Bengal for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating the damage caused by cyclone Amphan.
The Minority Affairs Ministry was allocated ₹ 4,810.77 crore in the 2021-22 Union Budget on Monday which is ₹ 805.77 crore more than than the revised figures of the previous fiscal.
In the budget presented for 2021-22 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, it is proposed to give ₹ 4,810.77 crore to the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
The budget estimate for the Ministry of Minority Affairs in the financial year 2020-21 was ₹ 5,029 crore and later the revised allocation was ₹ 4,005 crore.
Of the proposed allocation to the ministry, ₹ 1,378 crore is for the pre-matric scholarship scheme and ₹ 468 crore is for the post-matric scholarship.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the government has come out with open and transparent Budget and has not made any attempt to hide anything under the carpet.
She said that the focus of the Budget 2021-22 has been on spending big on infrastructure and attending to the needs of healthcare sector for reviving Indian economy which is expected to contract by 7.7 per cent in the current fiscal ending March.
Briefing media after the presentation of Budget in Parliament, Ms Sitharaman said the government has not lost opportunity to clean up its own book.
The 2021-22 union budget evoked responses on expected lines in Karnataka on Monday with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa saying it has come as a catalyst that can revive the sluggish economy and opposition leaders slamming it as "Aatma Barbad" "Aatma Vanchane".
BS Yeddiyurappa said he strongly believed that the budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will act as a "speed booster" to the economy which was badly hit due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing it as pro-poor and pro-middle class, he said it was impossible to expect a better budget amidst the pandemic.
India on Monday set aside over Rs 7,100 crore in its budget for 2021-22 as development assistance for countries in its neighbourhood as well as in Africa and Latin America, with Bhutan getting the maximum allocation of Rs 3,004 crore while Rs 100 crore will be given to Chabahar port project in Iran.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated Rs 18,154 crore to the Ministry of External Affairs in the union budget, out of which Rs 7,148 crore has been earmarked as aid to countries.
As per the revised estimates, India's development assistance in 2020-21 was Rs 5,369 crore.
According to the budget documents, Bhutan will get a total of Rs 3,004 crore compared to the revised estimate of Rs 2,261 crore in 2020-21.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced the much-awaited voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and polluting vehicles.
Presenting the Budget for 2021-22 in Parliament, Ms Sitharaman said that under voluntary vehicle scrapping policy, personal vehicles would undergo fitness test after 20 years while commercial vehicles would require it after completion of 15 years.
Welcoming the policy, Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister Nitin Gadkari said the policy will lead to new investment of around ₹ 10,000 crore and create as many as 50,000 jobs.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday hit back at Rahul Gandhi's claim that the Budget favours certain crony capitalists, saying Congress-ruled Kerala-government in the past had handed over a port in the state to the same businessman on invitation basis.
Soon after the Budget presentation, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Narendra Modi government plans to hand over India's assets to crony capitalists through stake sale in public sector companies and financial institutions, including two PSU banks and an insurance company, in the next fiscal.
"Forget putting cash in the hands of people, Modi government plans to handover India's assets to his crony capitalist friends," he said after the presentation of the Union Budget.
The BJP on Monday hailed the Union Budget as one for an "Aatmanirbhar Bharat'', and asserted that this all-inclusive budget will strengthen the economy and double farmers' income.
Ruling party leaders lauded the budget for its focus on a number of measures, including capital expenditure, tax exemption for senior citizens and incentives for start-ups among others.
The Union budget is all-inclusive and touches every section of society, BJP president JP Nadda said while expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The effects of the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on some goods can be felt immediately. Some of the items that have become cheaper includes gold and silver, and those that became costlier include solar cells and mobile phone. Read
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday flayed the Union Budget, saying it reflects the Centre's "persistent efforts to sideline" non-BJP ruled states.
His reaction came hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget for 2021-22.
The Punjab CM claimed that the Budget was "reflective of the BJP-led central government''s total apathy towards the common man, the middle class and farmers".
Amarinder Singh criticised the Centre for the "stepmotherly" treatment meted out to Punjab and other northern states, claiming that it was "designed" to cater to the poll-bound states of West Bengal and south India with a massive infrastructure development allocation for these regions.
The Ministry of Science and Technology has been allocated Rs 14,793.66 crore in the budget 2021-22, a 20 per cent increase from the current fiscal.
The Centre today earmarked a sum of Rs 2,217 crore for tackling air pollution in 42 urban centres, even as it shrunk the budgetary allocation for the environment ministry from the 2021 fiscal by nearly eight percent for 2021-22.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the Narendra Modi government of planning to "handover India's assets to crony capitalist friends".
In his reaction to the union budget presented in parliament on Monday, Gandhi also alleged that the government had not put money in the hands of people in the situation created by COVID-19.
"Forget putting cash in the hands of people, Modi Govt plans to handover India's assets to his crony capitalist friends," Mr Gandhi said in a tweet.
The Congress leader had earlier in the day said the government should support MSMEs, farmers and workers for generating employment.
He had also sought an increase in healthcare expenditure and defence expenditure.
Appreciating the ''first digital budget'' of India, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda on Monday congratulated Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her team and said the efforts made in the budget will play an important role in creating jobs in the country.
"This is the first digital budget. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, this budget is making the rules and regulations easier and will increase the ease of living for common people," said the BJP president.
He said the budget was presented under uncommon circumstances and it has a sense of reality and a thrust on development.
"This budget is for everyone. This budget will fulfil the hopes and aspirations of elderly, youths, women, along with labourers of organised and unorganised sectors and also of small and large industrialists. I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this inclusive budget that is dedicated to the all-round welfare of all citizens. Also congratulations to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her team," he said.
Mr Nadda called ''health and wellbeing, financial capital, inclusive growth, human capital, innovation, research and development and minimum intervention'' as the pillars of the budget.
This was probably the toughest budget yet for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as his government navigates the twin challenges of steering the $2.7-trillion Indian economy out of an unprecedented recession while ensuring more resources to fight the century's worst pandemic."
"I want to reason it out. I am not saying that Public Sector Banks won't be there. But they should become strong enough to scale up. But some Public Sector Banks are not improving despite capital infusion": Nirmala Sitharaman on privatisation of banks #BudgetWithNDTVpic.twitter.com/ItPvDH2bYI- NDTV (@ndtv) February 1, 2021
Announcing the Union Budget for 2021-22 on Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said a gas pipeline project will be taken up in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir."
- We chose to spend big on infrastructure, spanning across roads, bridges and power generation.
- We have also given opportunity to private sector for setting up Development Finance Institution (DFI).
- For funding infra, we have come up with developmental financial institution with all lessons from IDBI.
- For financial sector, disinvestment will continue, LIC will have IPO, insurance sector will have more FDI.
- Accounting of government revenue and expenditure is a lot more transparent.
- Today's budget will enhance India's self confidence.
- The principles in these budget include new opportunities for growth, for youth, new dimension to human resources, go towards progress.
- Will have positive impact on investors, industry and infrastructure.
- Few budgets have seen such positive reception.
- Our government has strived to keep the budget transparent.
- India has been proactive in fighting coronavirus.
- This budget will help wealth and wellness, jaan bhi jahaan bhi.
- The focus on healthcare in this budget is unprecedented
- This budget has focused on development in south, northeast and north, making Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal business powerhouses.
- This budget has promised unprecedented increase in infra spending.
- Growth and job creation will be helped by this.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, announcing Budget 2021 aimed at reviving an economy badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, said the country's healthcare spending would be doubled to Rs 2,23,846 crore and added that 35,000 crore would be spent on Covid vaccines. Capital expenditure will be increased to ₹ 5.54 lakh crore, which is around 34 per cent higher than last year. The government also announced infrastructure projects in states like Bengal and Assam, where polls are due by May. While there were no big tax announcements, the Finance Minister announced a reprieve for pensioners who are 75-plus, who will no longer be required to file tax returns. Ms Sitharaman said the Budget was prepared in circumstances like never before and that the government was fully prepared to back and facilitate a reset of the economy."
India's first paperless budget is also a 100% visionless budget.Theme of the fake budget is Sell India!- Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) February 1, 2021
Common people ignored. Farmers ignored.
Rich get richer,nothing for middle class,poor get poorer (1/3)
-No tax relief for salaried class- Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) February 1, 2021
-Nothing much for women except the lip service towards existing schemes
-Nothing much fr children who lost out on their studies due to exacerbated digital divide
What we have
-new Privatisation targets
-manifesto promises to election going states
This BJP government reminds me of the garage mechanic who told his client, "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder." #Budget2021- Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) February 1, 2021
- Government cuts timeline for reopening of tax cases to 3 years from 6 years.
- Serious tax offences of concealment of income of over Rs 50 lakh can be reopened after 10 years.
- Compliance burden reduced for 75 year and above
- Exemption from ITR for seniors with only pension and interest income
- 1.18 lakh crore revenue deficit grant to 17 states
- States to get 41 per cent share of taxes as per 15th Finance Commission recommendation; government has accepted the recommendation
We have launched one nation, one ration card scheme through which beneficiaries can claim their rations anywhere in the country. Migrant workers in particular benefit from scheme. One nation, One ration card plan is under implementation by 32 states & UTs: FM Nirmala Sithraman. pic.twitter.com/bbyS5KmcWn- ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2021
- Upcoming census could be the first digital census
- 3,768 crore allocated for census
- Rural infrastructure fund increased from 30K crore to 40K crore.
- 1,000 more mandis to be integrated to eNAM
- 16.5 lakh crore agricultural credit target
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala scheme to extended to one crore more beneficiaries.
- 100 more cities to get gas pipelines.
- A framework to be put in place to give power consumer option to chose discoms.
- Finance Minister says 100 pc electrification of broad gauge rail tracks by December 2023.