Budget 2019 highlights: Gold to get expensive, no relief in income tax

Nirmala Sitharaman presented her first budget today as India's first full-time woman finance minister, during which she said that India can become a $5 trillion economy.
  • 11:19

    Govt aims to attract 100 lakh crore in infrastructure

    The Centre is aiming to spend Rs 100 lakh crore on infrastructure upgradation over the next five years, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday.

    To achieve this, an expert committee will be set up to study the current situation relating to long-term finance and our past experiences with development financeinstitutions, and recommend the structure and required flow of funds through development finance institutions, she said in her Budget speech.

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  • 11:16

    Government stresses on affordable housing

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has addressed the housing finance industry and real estate sector, both from the supply and the demand sides.

    Great emphasis has been given to affordable housing under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), with 1.5 crore houses having been built during the last 5 years.

    Read more

  • 11:05

    TV show for startups on Doordarshan

    Start-ups will “design and execute” a dedicated TV channel for themselves on the Doordarshan platform to reach out to venture capitalists for funding.

    The proposed “channel” comes on the lines of DD Kisan, a channel which was launched in 2015 by the Narendra Modi government to exclusively cater to farmers and agrarian issues.

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  • 11:02

    Rs 400 cr allocated for creating ‘world-class institutes’

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced the allocation of Rs 400 crore to create “world-class institutions” in the field of educationfor the financialyear 2019-20.

    Sitharamanproposed to strengthen the government’s ‘Study in India’ programme which seeks to increase the number of foreign students in the country’s higher education institutions.

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  • 10:46

    Govt widening scope of Aadhaar

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced that PAN and Aadhaar have been made interchangeable to allow those who do not have PAN to file Income Tax returns.

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  • 10:42

    Railways capital expenditure outlay Rs 1.60 lakh crore, highest in history

    The national transport received a budgetary allocation of Rs 65,837 crore and a capital expenditure outlay of Rs 1.60 lakh crore, which is the highest in history.

    In the 2018-19 fiscal, the outlay for the railways was Rs 1.48 lakh crore while the Budget allocation was Rs 55,088 crore.

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  • 10:38

    Jal Jeevan Mission to provide piped water to all rural homes by 2024

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that the newly-created Union Ministry of Jal Shakti would work with the state governments to implement Jal Jeevan Mission and ensure “Har Ghar Jal” (Water in every home) by providing water through pipelines to all rural households by 2024.

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  • 10:25

    Chemicals out, cow dung, urine for farming

    It’s back to the basics in the agriculture sector with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pitching for Zero Budget Farming that involves virtually no use of chemicals.

    Under Zero Budget Farming, chemical fertilisers and pesticides make way for locally available cow dung, cow urine, jaggery and dicot flour.

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  • 05:10

    Direct Tax Code

    The direct tax code is the most anticipatedtax reform that the Narendra Modi government has been pushing for some years. If the proposed direct tax code is put into action, it will replace the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the Wealth Tax Act of 1957.
    In September 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had highlighted that the Income Tax Act was over 50 years old and needed to be redrafted.

  • 10:20

    Nirmala debuts as FM with a length budget speech

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman perhaps presented the lengthiest budget in history— comprising more than 20,200 words— almost 2,000 words more than what the then finance minister Manmohan Singh had read out in 1991.

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  • 10:11

    Women, gaon & gareeb: Govt takes rural route

    Modi 2.0 government delivered a Budget that taxed the super-rich to pay the poor, and rewarded women and rural folk, two groups thought to have voted heavily for it and wooed farmers, an aggrieved constituency no government can ignore.

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  • 09:00

    'Jobs don't get created by chanting Basava's verses'

    Jobs don't get created just by references to Basaveshwara's "work is worship" verses, the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka said on Friday, as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman often mentioned the 12th-century social reformer in her budget speech.

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  • 6-7-2019

    Budget mixes continuity with winds of change, says DBS

    India's Budget for financial year 2019-20 marks a sense of continuity but also carries winds of change, said Singapore bank, DBS Group, in a reaction commentary.

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  • 20:38

    AYUSH ministry gets Rs 1,939.76 crore

    The Modi government's aim to provide a fillip to traditional alternative medicine reflected in the Union Budget 2019-20 as theAYUSHMinistry saw around 15 per cent hike in budgetary allocation from the last fiscal.

  • 20:19

    Development friendly, future oriented budget: PM Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday described the Union Budget as citizen friendly, development friendly and future oriented, and one which will empower the poor and provide better future to the youth.

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  • 19:47

  • 19:14

    Budget 2019 Highlights: Modi 2.0's reform plan

  • 19:08

    Budget 2019: Longest Budget speech ever?

    In what could be the longest Budget speech ever delivered in independent India's history, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clocked a total time of twohours 15 minutes, going past the the record held by former Finance Minister Jaswant Singh's speech in 2003.

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  • 18:48

    Petrol, diesel, gold, cigarettes set to be dearer

    A large number of items including petrol, diesel, gold, silver, cigarettes, fully-imported cars and split air conditioners (ACs) will become more expensive due to hike in taxes, as proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget for 2019-20.

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  • 18:46

    For every rupee in govt kitty, 68 paise come from taxes

    For every rupee in the government coffer, 68 paise will come from direct and indirect taxes while states' share of taxes and duties is the single-largest expense head accounting for 23 per cent of total spending, budget documents showed.

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  • 18:40

    PPP to be unleashed to develop rail infrastructure: FM

    Railways has got a budgetary allocation of Rs 65,837 crore and the highest ever outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.60 lakh crore from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget.

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  • 18:33

    Nirmala draws from Basveshwara philosophy

    Nirmala Sitharaman dwelved deeply into social reformer Basveshara's principles of ‘Kayakave Kailasa’ (work is worship) to announce the enhanced focus of the government to skill youth in new-age technologies.

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  • 18:21

    Fiscal deficit target of 3.3% realistic: Finance secy

    Dismissing apprehension over meeting fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of the GDP, the finance ministry on Friday said the lower target is realistic as the government is expecting net additional revenue of Rs 6,000 crore over the interim Budget estimates

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  • 18:16

    Maya slams budget, says it has nothing for poor

    BSP supremo Mayawati has slammed the Union Budget saying that it has nothing for the "Dalits" and "backward" communities.

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  • 18:00

    The EV Budget

    With an aim to boost the sales of Electric Vehicles (EVs), Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden Parliament Budget speech, announced tax sops for loans to buy them.

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  • 17:56

  • 17:49

    Cong slams budget as 'old wine in a new bottle'

    Describing the Union Budget as "insipid" and "old wine in a new bottle", the Congress on Friday alleged that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman belied expectations and gave no "meaningful relief" to any section of society.

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  • 17:44

  • 17:41

    Nirmala Sitharaman focuses on India and its soft power

    Nirmala Sitharaman's maiden Union Budget speech as India's first full-time female Finance Minister covered a broad spectrum of sectors.

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  • 17:37

    Budget announces safe, adequate drinking water for all

    While the majority of Indian states are suffering from a nationwide water crisis, the Union Budget 2019 has announced the provision of safe and adequate drinking water to all Indians as the priority of the government.

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  • 17:27

  • 17:22

    Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Budget: We've strongly welcomed it. Not only because some of our ideas & suggestions have been incorporated by Finance Minister, but also because it's a budget that focuses on sharpening growth, promoting pvt investments in the country. ANI

  • 17:18

  • 17:15

  • 17:13

  • 17:07

    The government is codifying the labour laws. They are not amending it, they are not reforming it. The Economic Survey recommended reforming labour laws: P Chidambaram

  • 17:05

    Taxing the rich cannot be faulted, but it is unclear if the tax has been increased from three percent to seven percent, or by seven percent: P Chidambaram.

  • 17:04

    What is this song and dance about Aadhaar?PAN was already there, then why Aadhaar?: P Chidambaram

  • 16:58
    There is nothing in the Budget that explains how the government will reverse the slide in agriculture: P Chidambaram
  • 16:58

  • 16:55

    Finance minister should have been transparent abouthow much revenue the government expects to raise with the increased taxes: P Chidambaram

  • 16:36

    Start-ups get new TV show on Doordarshan

    Start-ups will "design and execute" a dedicated TV programme for themselves on the Doordarshan platform to reach out to venture capitalists for funding.

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  • 16:22

    Sitharaman announces push for digital India

    In a technological push, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Union Budget 2019 speech that Indian Government will promote digital India.

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  • 16:15

    Piyush Goyal on Budget: Finance Minister has been very benign to the Railways. She has laid out a vision of investment of nearly 50 lakh crore over the next 10 years. I would really like to thank the Finance Minister for strengthening the resolve of the Railways. ANI

  • 16:01

    While the reduction in estimated tax revenues relative to the Interim Budget for FY2020 has been offset by an increase in the forecasts for non tax revenues and disinvestment proceeds, the realisation of dividends and surplus from the RBI, PSUs and PSBs as well as the speed with which the disinvestment programme kicks off, will be crucial to prevent a revenue slippage.

    -Aditi Nayar of ICRA

  • 15:32

    'Budget a pack of competing goals amidst slower growth'

    Global rating agency Moody's Investors Service has opined that achieving the "competing budgetary goals" of lower fiscal deficit, higher growth and larger income support to farmers and the other needy sections of the society will be challenging.

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  • 15:16

    We have been propagating collectivisation of farmers through FPOs as it allows them to get bargaining power in buying agri inputs and selling their produce. The Budget proposal of setting up 10,000 FPOs is a path-breaking step to ensure economies of scale for farmers: Sitharaman

  • 15:06

    By bringing more industries into the lower tax bracket, we are sending a clear message that we are not being rigid as regards corporate tax rates: Sitharaman

  • 14:57

    NBFCs are a critical component of our banking system. The Government has adopted a comprehensive approach for NBFC financing: Sitharaman

  • 14:56

    We all feel very bad about manual scavenging; an effective combination of Startup India and Standup India has given chance for many SCs and STs to come out of this and set up businesses on their own: Sitharaman

  • 14:52

    Startups have been given a whole set of tax benefits: Sitharaman

  • 14:51

    Tax and revenue collections are all absolutely within reasonable limits: Sitharaman

  • 14:50

    The emphasis was very clearly on the overall development of the economy. We looked at rural initiatives, which will give certain dynamic. Similarly, we looked at how urban living can be better: Sitharaman

  • 14:49

    This budget is presented with a 10-year vision in mind, it reflects long-term goals: Sitharaman

  • 14:48

    BJP hails budget as one for 'New India'

    The BJP hailed the Union budget on Friday as one for a "new India" that laid the foundation for an inclusive and progressive nation, while the Congress panned it for its "maximum intent" and "minimum content".

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  • 14:38

  • 14:35

    Budget 2019: Key takeaways from FM's Budget speech

    Here are the key takeaways from Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget speech, so far

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  • 14:24

    The Finance Minister had the possibility of giving shape to the 'virtuous' cycle and spur investment and growth. Unfortunately, the Budget failed to live up to the expectations by not addressing the big bang reforms that are now needed to propel the 'virtuous' cycle.

    -Rony Anthony, Partner, Corporate Tax, PwC India

  • 14:23

    It was indeed heartening to see the FM acknowledging the taxpayers' contribution in nation building. In my view, it was a mixed budget from a personal tax perspective. While additional relief for affordable housing was proposed and new deduction introduced for interest on loan taken for electric vehicles, the budget made high earners shell-out more taxes

    -Anand Dhelia, PwC, Partner, Personal Tax

  • 14:22

    The correction in the Government of India's estimated tax revenue for FY2020 relative to the Interim Budget is entirely unsurprising, given the large shortfall in tax collections in FY2019. The marginal change in the targeted level of the Government of India’s fiscal deficit for FY2020, combined with the proposal to raise a portion of the borrowings abroad in foreign currencies, as well as the market’s expectations of continued policy rate cuts by the Monetary Policy Committee and a benign outlook for global interest rates, will cap G-sec yields in the near term.

    Nevertheless, the market will closely scrutinize the incoming trends for revenues, disinvestment proceeds and expenditures, to assess the evolving likelihood that the fiscal target of 3.3% of GDP for FY2020 will be achieved.

    -Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA

  • 14:18

  • 14:09

    Adhir Chowdhury on Budget 2019:Nothing new, repetition of old promises. They are talking about new India but the budget is old wine in a new bottle. Nothing new, no plan for employment generation, no new initiatives. ANI

  • 14:05

    Budget 2019-2020: Full text

  • 14:03

    By assuring a pukka house and an LPG connection to every household by 2022 the Budget has reaffirmed the Prime Minister’s commitment to provide ease of living to the common man and also realise the dream of ‘New India’: Rajnath Singh

  • 13:56

    Nothing much was expected on GST since all the ground work had already been done by the GST Council. The Budget has focused on Customs Duties and Excise by increasing rates on items such as Gold. Obviously, this has been done to compensate for fluctuating GST revenues. Overall, a mediocre Budget- more on grand statements, less on practical implementation measures.

    -Mohan Lavi, Bengaluru-based tax expert

  • 13:54

    Considering the overwhelming mandate that the government has received it was expected that the government will start running on the reform front. Particularly to provide a roadmap for the next 100 days. From this point of view, the budget is clearly disappointing. Increasing customs duty takes us back is clearly retrograde and selective approach to increasing customs duty moves away from the objective of the unifying it.

    Much of the revenue mobilisation measures are by cesses and surcharges – which is clearly to deny the share of revenues to the states. There is not much on banking reforms except allocation of Rs 70,000 crore on recapitalisation. The announcement of decisions relating to GST may be contested by the states because it should have been done by GST Council.

    –Govinda Rao, Member 14th Finance Commission.

  • 13:48

    Congratulations to the Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi and FM Nirmala Sitharaman for the budget 2019-20. The budget besides being a policy document for boosting growth, serves the larger interest of all sectors of the Economy: Arun Jaitley

  • 13:48

    Modi on Budget 2019:The middle class will progress with this budget, development work will expedite even more. The tax structure will simply and infrastructure will modernise

  • 13:47

  • 13:46

  • 13:37

    PAN, Aadhaar interchangeable for ITR filing: FM

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said PAN and Aadhaar have been made interchangeable, allowing those who do not have PAN to file income tax returns.

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  • 13:35

    Govt to encourage faster adoption of electric vehicles

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said there will be a comprehensive restructuring of National Highways Programme to ensure the creation of National Highways Grid of desirable capacity.

    Read More

  • 13:34

    'Need structural reforms to reach $5 trillion economy'

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said India needs to make structural reforms to achieve USD 5 trillion economin the next few years.

    Read More

  • 13:32

    Budget 2019 Highlights: Modi 2.0's reform plan

    Nirmala Sitharaman presented her first budget today as India's first full-time woman finance minister at the Parliament, emphasizing on India achievinga $5 trillion economy. She has listed various new reforms and schemes, including a new commercial wing in ISRO, One Nation One Card for mobility, One Nation One grid for gas, water, etc.

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  • 13:28

    Budget 2019: Aadhaar Card to NRIs with Indian passport

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday proposed to issue Aadhaar cards to non-resident Indians holding Indian passport on their arrival in the country.

    Read More

  • 13:28

    Programmes will be accelerated, red tape reduced: FM

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the NDA government had set the ball rolling for a 'New India' in its first term and programmes will be accelerated and red tape reduced going forward.

    Read More

  • 13:25

    Govt aims to build 1.95 cr houses under PMAY-Gramin

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the government will build 1.95 crore houses under the Pradhan Mantari Awas Yojna (PMAY) - Gramin over the next two years.

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  • 13:25

    Govt to infuse Rs 70,000 cr into state-owned banks

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced that the government will pump in 70,000 crore into public sector banks (PSBs) to strengthen them and enhance their lending capacity.

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  • 13:24

    Govt to create payment platform for MSMEs: Sitharaman

    The government on Friday proposed creating a payment platform for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to enable filing of bills and facilitate timely payments.

    Read More

  • 13:21

    FM proposes Legacy Dispute Resolution scheme to solve litigations in service tax and excise

  • 13:12

    FY20 fiscal deficit target revised to 3.3% against 3.4%

  • 13:10

    Markets crash as FM keeps mum on government's fiscal management; Sensex crashes 300 points, Nifty drops 100

  • 13:08

    Excise duty on petrol and diesel increased by 1 rupee

  • 13:07

    Budget speech has reiterated the already known steps in GST like simplified returns and e-invoices. The "nudge" mentioned in the Economic Survey doesn't feature in the Budget Speech. - Mohan Lavi

  • 13:07

    Increase customs duty on gold and precious metals from 10% to 12.5%

  • 13:03

    Imported defence items to be exempted from basis customs duty: FM

  • 13:01

    Surcharge raised on people with income of Rs 2-5 crore rupees and beyond

  • 13:01

    Overhaul of tax assessments with faceless assessments helps encourage compliance and remove personal interactions. - Rony Antony , Partner - Corporate Tax, PwC India

  • 12:59

    Affordable housing gets a boost in the Budget- Additional deduction of Rs 1.5 Lakh proposed for housing loan taken before March 31, 2020 if the value of house is Rs 45 Lakh or less - Anand Dhelia - Partner - Personal Tax, PwC India

  • 05:07

    The road to $5-trillion economy

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the Economic Survey 2019 outlines a vision to achieve a $5-trillion economy by FY25. To meet the target, India needs a sustained 8 per cent GDP growth, according to the Economic Survey estimate. Meanwhile, India's GDP growth rate has decelerated from 6.6 per cent to 5.8 per cent and in turn, the country lost out on the fastest-growing major economy tag to China. It will be interesting to see how the Union Budget tackles this situation, that demands a substantial growth in the rate.

  • 12:55

    FM proposes 2% TDS on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs 1 crore annually

  • 12:52

    I propose to make PAN and Aadhaar interchangeably usable: FM

  • 12:51

    Interest deduction on housing loan under Section 80EE increased by Rs 1.5 lakh for home loans taken on self-occupied house property by 31/3/2020

    Housing sector: enhanced interest reduction of 7 lakh across loan period for homeowners in affordable housing space

  • 12:50

    The Government has moved the GST Council to reduce the rate of GST on EV's from 12% to 5%. If the Government wants to really boost purchase of EV's, they should permit Input tax credit at least for the first few years of service. -Mohan Lavi

  • 12:48

    Increasing FDI limits in sectors like aviation & insurance is a huge positive since these sectors are highly capital intensive and a constant request by India Inc. –Rajesh Thakkar, Partner/ Transaction Tax, Tax & Regulatory Services

    Standardisation of laws subsequent to the streamlining into 4 labour codes, is expected to reduce litigation and disputes -Jiger Saiya, Partner/ Tax & Regulatory Services

    Start-ups to witness tax planning, investment opportunities and regulatory discussions via TV channels set-up specifically for this sector. This will bolster new entrepreneurs to understand the tax & regulatory framework in India along with possible fundraising opportunities -Sohrab Bararia, Associate Partner/ Indirect Tax

  • 12:46

    The reduction of rates for corporates will accomplish the government's stated position to reduce tax rates across corporates.

    - Rony Antony, Partner, Corporate Tax, PwC Indiaon corporate tax cut

  • 12:46

    Funds raised by startups will not require any scrutiny by the Income Tax dept, says Sitharaman

  • 12:44

    EV adoption gets big push

    GST on EVs reduced from 12 to 5%.

    Will provide additional income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid, loans taken to purchase electric vehicles. This amounts to a benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh over the loan period to buy electric vehicles, says Sitharaman

  • 12:43

    Corporate tax: Currently lower rate of 25% is applicable on companies having annual turn over Rs 250 crore. This is now enhanced to Rs 400 crore. 0.7% companies will be taxed at the rate of 30%

  • 12:39

    Direct tax revenue has increased by 78% since 2013-14. It is now growing at double-digit rate every year: FM

  • 12:36

    India's sovereign external debt to GDP is among the lowest globally at less than 5%. Govt will start raising a part of its gross borrowing program in external markets in external currencies: Sitharaman

  • 12:36

    Budget 2019: Aadhaar Card to NRIs with Indian passport

    The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden Budget speech, said that Aadhaar Card will be givento NRIs with an Indian passport, after arriving in India without waiting for mandatory 180 days.

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  • 12:34

    Govt to modify present policy of retaining 51% stake in PSUs: Sitharaman

  • 12:33

    Government announces new series of coins will be made available for public use shortly.

  • 12:32

    Disinvestment target set at Rs 1.05 lakh crore for FY 20

  • 12:31

    The proposal to let FIIs and FPIs to invest in debt securities issued by NBFCs would provide a much-needed boost of capital to a sector now starving of capital; an important prop to several sectors, particularly, real estate and automobile which are reeling for lack of finance to purchasers/buyers.

    -Milind Kothari, Managing Partner, BDO India, Partner & Head, Tax & Regulatory Services

  • 12:27

    Markets, on the back of boost to NBFCs, erases losses. Sensex, Nifty trading flat

  • 12:27

    Government assures credit guarantee for the sound NBFCs

    1-time, 6-month partial credit guarantee to the PSBs to buy some NBFC loans

    Sound NBFCs should get funding from Banks and Mutual Funds: FM

  • 12:26

    "The Government’s commitment to Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) such as Delhi-Meerut, as well as suburban and metro connectivity across the country will provide an impetus to transit-oriented developments (ToDs) across the country. These ToDs are emerging as prominent hubs for commercial, retail, coworking and entertainment-oriented developments, which also become a source of PPP revenue for the Government to fund such large infrastructure projects"

    -Aashish Agarwal, Senior Director, Valuation & Advisory Services at Colliers International India.

  • 12:25

    "By allowing FII's and FPI's to invest in debt papers of NBFC's will create and give a boost to the much-needed liquidity to the NBFC's. This may eventually help ease out the liquidity crisis in the Real estate sector among other business"

    - Suresh Castellino, Executive National Director, Capital Markets & Investment Services at Colliers International India

  • 12:23

    "The proposed announcement of the increase in minimum shareholding threshold from 25% to 35% is a move to increase public participation in listed entities thereby fortifying the fundamentals of Governance. One would need to evaluate once the fine print is available ( as the FM mentioned that SEBI will be issuing the requisite circulars) as there would be some clarifications expected including on grandfathering of existing situations, movement to the desired threshold"

    -Anil Talreja, Partner, Deloitte India.

  • 12:21

    Government proposes to provide Rs 70,000 crore of capital to PSBs: Sitharaman

  • 12:21

    To popularise sports at all levels, National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons to be set up under Khelo India: Sitharaman

  • 12:20

    Provision Coverage Ratio is at its highest in 7 years: Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 12:20

    FM Sitharaman proposes to develop 17 iconic tourism sites

  • 12:16

    I propose issuing Aadhaar Card to NRIs with Indian passport, after arriving in India without waiting for mandatory 180 days: FM

  • 12:13

    I propose to increase women SHG interest subvention to all the districts in India

    An overdraft of Rs 5000 shall be allowed in Jan Dhan bank accounts

    One woman in every SHG will also be made eligible to take loan up to Rs 1 lakh under Mudra scheme, says Sitharaman

  • 12:11

    Govenment plans to modernise railway stations this year: Sitharaman

  • 12:09

    Programmes will be accelerated, red tape reduced: FM

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the NDA government had set the ball rolling for a 'New India' in its first term and programmes will be accelerated and red tape reduced going forward.

    Read more

  • 12:08

    35 crore LED bulbs have been distributed under the Ujala Yojana. Rs 18,341 crore savings has been achieved from this annually: Sitharaman

  • 12:07

    "The budget is not very different from the interim budget even as market participants await fiscal deficit proposals. Trade will be fluctuating. Until the fiscal deficit proposals are heard, one should not jump to conclusions." - Deepak Jasani, head of retail research, HDFC securities

  • 12:05

    The government is planning to streamline multiple labour laws into 4 labour codes, says Sitharaman

  • 12:04

    A TV channel for startups as a platform to be set up. It will be designed and executed by startups themselves, says Sitharaman

  • 12:02

    Training in AI, IoT technology will also receive push, says Sitharaman

  • 11:59

    Draft legislation to be presented for higher education

    By concerted efforts, we have now 3 institutions -- two IITs and IISc Bengaluru in top 200 institutes in the world. We will improve the performance of higher learning institutesfor 2019-20.India has the potential to become the hub of higher education to attract foreign students, says Sitharaman

  • 11:55

    A new education policy to transform India into one of the global best education systems. Focus on research and innovation by creating a National research foundation to encourage research in India.

  • 11:55

    Rwilways would be encouraged to invest more in the suburban railways through special purpose vehicles (SPVs): Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:53

    India will reach 100% ODF by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, says Nirmala Sitharaman

    'Gandhipedia' to be developed byNational Council for Science Museumsto make people more aware of Gandhian values, says Sitharaman

  • 11:51

    9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since October 2, 2014 -- the day Swachh Bharat was launched. 5.6 lakh villages have become open defecation free, as well, says Nirmala Sitharaman

    2 crore Indians have been made literate digitally.Every panchayat to have Internet connectivity,says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:49

    "Safe and adequate drinking water is a priority of the government.Har Ghar Jal", says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:47

    Markets in red as Nirmala Sitharaman reads out the budget. Sensex down 113.21 points

  • 11:46

    Will invest widely in agri infrastructure with encouraging private entrepreneurship.Zero budget farming to be promoted, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:42

    Nearly 1,25,000 km of roads will be upgraded under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana at estimated cost of nearly Rs 80,200 crore: Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:42

    Department of fisheries will address critical gaps in the value chain, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:39

    Time has come to harness India's space ability commercially. New Space India Limited, a public sector enterprise, has been incorporated to tap the benefits of R&D carried out by ISRO. The company will spearhead commercialization of various space products, says Sitharaman

  • 11:37

    By 2020, every rural family will have electricity and clean cooking energy: Sitharaman

  • 11:36

    Great move to simplify NRI investments - it will make the operations efficient and reduce the reporting burden: Anubhav Shrivastava of Infinity Alternatives

    Tenancy law will release more supply and disincentivise real estate hoarding. Make tenancy agreements more equitable, he adds

  • 11:33

    Local sourcing norms will be eased for single-brand retail: Nirmala Sitharaman

    Propose to merge NRI investment route with FPI scheme route: Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:30

    Govt to examine suggestions in opening up FDI in aviation, media, animation and AVGC sectors, says Nirmala Sitharaman

    Propose 100% FDI in insurance intermediaries

  • 11:30
    Several reforms would be undertaken to promote rental housing, current rental laws are archaic as they do not address lessor-lessee relationships fairly, says Nirmala Sitharaman
  • 11:27

    The government will work with RBI and Sebi to enable AA rated bonds as collateral.

    Social stock exchange mooted for social organisations

  • 05:04

    Union Budget 2019: Maiden Budget speech for India's first full-time woman FM

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Modi 2.0 government's first Budget on July 5, 2019. As she presents her Budget speech in Parliament, India will decode her Budget taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of the annual exercise. Ahead of the Sitharaman's Budget announcement, let us look at some of the key points that can form the fulcrum of Union Budget 2019-20.

  • 11:25

    India requires investment of 20 lakh crore every year, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:24

    Govt to create payment platform for MSMEs: Sitharaman

  • 11:23

    A model tenancy will be formalised and distributed to states: Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:23

    Rs 10,000 crore committed for FAME-II to encourage adoption of electric vehicles, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:22

    FM: We don't look down upon legitimate profit earning. Gone are the days of policy paralysis & license quota control regime. India Inc are India's job creators, nation's wealth creators. Together with mutual trust we can gain, catalyse past & attain sustained growth.

  • 11:20

    India's first indigenous payment ecosystem for transport based on National Common Mobility Card was launched PM in March 2019, enabling people to pay multiple types of transport charges, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:20

    Finance Minister bats forPPPs in railway infrastructure

  • 05:01

    Hello and welcome to DH's live coverage of Union Budget 2019. All eyes will be set on Parliament, and especially on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she presents her maiden Budget speech. This live-blog will keep you apprised of the developments, minute-by-minute, through the day. Stay tuned.

  • 11:18

    657 km of metro rail network has become operational in the country, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:17

    Schemes such as BharatMala, Sagarmala and UDAN are bridging rural-urban divide and improving our transport infrastructure, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:15

    It is the right time for India to enter aircraft financing and leasing, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:14

    There is a need to invest heavily in infra, digital eco & job creation in MSMEs, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:13

    We have set the ball rolling for a new India, planned and assisted by the Niti Aayog, a broad based think tank: Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:11

    The Economic Survey promoted the theme of " Nudge" for taxationpurposes also. Nudge was supposed to encourage taxpayers to move from tax avoidance to tax compliance. It would be interesting to see how this concept of Nudge is introduced for a new law such as GST.

    - Mohan Lavi, Bengaluru-based Indirect Tax Expert.

  • 11:08

    We aim to become $3 trillion economy this year itself: Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:08
    We have shown by our deeds that the principles 'perform, reform, transform' can indeed succeed. Have set the ball rolling for a 'New India': Nirmala Sitharaman
  • 11:07

    FM quotes and Urdu couplet: "Yaqeen ho to koi raasta nikalta hai hawa ki oat bhee le kar chirag jalta hai."

  • 11:06

    "India went from $1.85 trillion economy to $2.7 trillion in 5 years. It is well within our capacity to reach $5 trillion economy within few years", says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • 11:05

    "Our objective is: Mazboot desh ke liye Mazboot Nagrik", says Nirmala in her Budget Speech

  • 11:03

    Watch: Union Budget 2019 live

  • 10:55

    A security guard stands in front of the copies of the Budget to be distributed in Parliament ahead of presentation. Photo: Reuters

  • 10:53

    Budget YSK: Revenue Budget

  • 10:45

    Market insiders suggest that they hope nothing negative comes in the Budget. Budget day data for the last 10 years suggests bulls took control of the stock market only on five instances.

  • 10:44

    Budget YSK: Stagnation

  • 10:43

    Budget YSK: Deflation and Disinflation

  • 10:41

    Markets wiping away most of the gains made early in the morning. Sensex trading flat as of now.

  • 10:41

    Budget YSK: Contingency and Consolidated Funds

  • 10:39

    Nearly 30 minutes before Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget Speech, Nifty PSU Bank index is trading flat.

  • 10:37

    Union Cabinet meeting begins in Parliament

  • 10:37

    Rupee slips 20 paise to 68.70 vs USD in early trade ahead of Budget

    The rupee opened on a weak note and declined by 20 paise to 68.70 against the US dollar in opening trade Friday, ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget.

    Forex traders said rupee slipped marginally against the US dollar as market participants awaited cues from the Union Budget to be presented in Parliament.

  • 10:36

  • 10:28

    We do expect sufficient signalling to revive investment climate in the economy and to address the issues of banking and financial sector reforms. We hope that the despondency on the slowing economy doesn't lead to laxity in fiscal consolidation.

    - Govinda Rao, Member, 14th Finance Commission.

  • 10:28

    Economic Survey invokes religion to stop tax evasion

    Invoke the doctrine of "pious obligation" as well as blend principles of behavioural economics with spiritual norm to tackle tax evasion and wilful defaults, suggests the EconomicSurvey.

    Read more

  • 10:26

    FinMin ditches briefcase, carries 'bahi khata' instead

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, ahead of her maiden Budget speech, carried a 'bahi khata' (ledger) instead of a briefcase.

    Read more

  • 10:23

    Nirmala Sitharaman meets President

    President Ram Nath Kovind poses for a photograph with Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman, MoS Anurag Thakur and her team ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2019-20, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. PTI

  • 10:22

    Budget 2019: When & where to watch Budget live stream

    Narendra Modi-led NDA government will present the maiden Budget of its second term on Friday. You can watch the Buget live stream here

  • 10:16

    The first Union budget of independent India covered a period of seven-and-a-half months from 15 August 1947 to 31 March 1948 and was interim budget. A budget for the year had been passed in March but it ceased to be operative due to the division of the country into India and Pakistan.

  • 10:16

  • 10:11

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives to present the 2019 budget in Parliament. Photo: Reuters

    Liquidity crunch, which has crippled Indian Financial Systemsince the IL&FS fiasco, might find a mention in Nirmala Sitharaman's speech

  • 10:09

    Singh’s 1991 speech was the longest at 18,364 words. Only Jaitley in his 2014-15 budget speech came close to this record at 16,552 words. The average post-1990 budget speech has been roughly 13,600 words. Sinha made the longest budget speeches on average in the post-liberalization era (average of 14,895 words). Manmohan Singh came a close second (average of 14,086 words).

    The longest budget speech was by Arun Jaitley in 2014. It lasted two and a half hours and included a break as well

  • 10:06

  • 10:03

    FM to do a tightrope walk in Budget 2019-20

    A mini-stimulus to take the economy out of five-year low alongside giving some tax relief to common man may be on the cards, as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman does a tightrope walk balancing the needs of the economy and fiscal constraints in her maiden Budget.

    Read more

  • 10:02

    Historical facts about the Union Budget

    Manmohan Singh gave the longest budget speech in the history of independent India. The budget document was about 16,068 words

    Since liberalisation, 28 budgets (excluding interim ones) have been presented by six finance ministers: Manmohan Singh (1991-1996), Yashwant Sinha (1998-2003), Jaswant Singh (2003-2004), P. Chidambaram (1996-1998, 2004-2009, 2013-2014), Pranab Mukherjee(2009-2013), and Arun Jaitley (2014-2019)

    Morarji Desai has presented the most budgets(10) followed by P Chidambaram(9) and Pranab Mukherjee(8)

    The 1950-51 budget announced the creation of a body that went on to become the planning commission

  • 09:59

    Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman with Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur (L) and her staff leave the Finance Ministry for Parliament House to table the General Budget 2019-20. AFP

  • 09:58

  • 09:54

    "Good luck Nirmala Sitharaman ji. You are an inspiration for all our Nanhi Kali girls around the country. Hoping to see you hit many boundaries in the parliament ‘stadium’ this morning!" - Anand Mahindra on Twitter

  • 09:52

    The Economic Survey for 2018-19 has reaffirmed the slowdown in the domestic economy and has indicated a marginal and gradual pick up in the ongoing financial year (2019-20), contingent on a pick-up in private investments and consumption. India’s economic growth is expected to grow by 7% in 2019-20, a 0.2% increase from 2018-19.

  • 09:51

    Agri or Interest: What gets top billing in Budget?

  • 09:48

  • 09:48

    We believe that the government is likely to tap small savings in case there are extra funds required to meet certain
    expenditure rather than issuing market securities.

    - Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings

  • 09:38

    Economic Survey draws attention to Goddess Lakshmi

    The Economic Survey emphasised the importance of equal treatment for men and women drawing on mythological references and the Vedas.

    Read more

  • 09:32

  • 09:27

    Key expectation from this budget is simple: The spending on economy to kickstart the growth engine.SME and infrastructure should befocus areas

    - Rahul Shah, Vice-president - Equity Advisory Group

  • 09:19

    Ahead of budget, Sensex breaches 40,000 mark yet again

  • 09:17

    Economic Survey flags high tax regime for jet fuel

    Unpredictable changes in global crude oil prices were compounded by high domestic tax regime on jet fuel in 2018-19 for the airlines industry, according to the Economic Survey.

    Read more

  • 09:11

    India can extract $1 billion worth of gold from e-waste

    India can extract $1 billion (Rs 6,900 crore) worth of gold from mining of urban e-waste, according to Economic Survey 2018-19.

    Read more

  • 09:07
  • 09:06

    Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at Finance Ministry

  • 05:06

    The road to $5-trillion economy

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Economic Survey 2019 outlines a vision to achieve a $5-trillion economy by FY25. To meet the target, India needs a sustained 8 per cent GDPgrowth, according to the Economic Surveyestimate. Meanwhile, India'sGDP growth rate has decelerated from 6.6 per centto 5.8 per cent andin turn the country lost out on the fastest-growing major economy tagto China. It will be interesting to see how Union Budget tackles this situation, that demands a substantial growth in the rate.

  • 09:04

    Also, there is expected to be a big push for infrastructure spending including on roads and railways to drive growth which had slowed to a five-year low of 5.8 per cent in the first three months of 2019 -- well below China's 6.4 per cent. The slowdown is also reflected in high-frequency numbers such as IIP and automobile sales numbers.

  • 09:02

    Some believe Nirmala Sitharaman may give relief to the common man by raising personal income tax threshold for certain categories while at the same time, upping spending on agriculture, healthcare and social sectors.

  • 09:00

    The government is banking on the behavioural economics for this. “As people often indulge in conspicuous consumption to convey their social status, top 10 highest tax payers within a district can be highlighted and accorded due recognition. This may take the form of expedited boarding privileges at airports, fast-lane privileges on roads and toll booths, special “diplomatic” type lanes at immigration counters, etc,” the survey said.

  • 08:58

    Tightrope walk for Nirmala Sitharaman

    A mini-stimulus to take the economy out of five-year low alongside giving some tax relief to common man may be on the cards, as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman does a tightrope walk balancing the needs of the economy and fiscal constraints in her maiden Budget.

    Read More

  • 08:57

    The budget should factor in the challenges in tax revenues, especially GST, while remaining on the fiscal consolidation path. The focus for expenditure should be specifically on sectors which have a larger ‘multiplier’ on growth so as to improve the growth prospects and encourage job creation.

    -- Suvodeep Rakshit, Senior Economist

  • 07:58

    Budget Explained: What is Revenue Budget?

    Revenue receipt and revenue expenditure make up the Revenue Budget. Revenue receipt includes funds the government earns through taxes such as income tax, service tax, corporation tax, interest receipts, dividends and profits and other receipts of Union Territories.

    Read more

  • 07:40

    Task cut out for Nirmala Sitharaman

    As Nirmala Sitharaman sets out to present her first budget, according to the analysts, her task seems to be cut out due to

    1) deep agrarian distress

    2) slowdown in Automobiles and consumer demand

    3) NBFC crisis and rising pressures in real estate and housing

    4) need to provide tax relief to the middle class and

    5) required push for a revival of capex cycle in the economy. We believe that shortfall in the direct tax and GST collections post an incremental challenge to balance fiscal math.

  • 07:36

    Proposal for naming landmarks after top taxpayers

    The Economic Survey 2019 has proposed naming the important landmarks in every district in honour of the top 10 taxpayers in that area, in a bid to boost compliance.

    “The highest taxpayers over a decade could be recognised by naming important buildings, monuments, roads, trains, initiatives, schools and universities, hospitals and airports in their name,” the survey authored by Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) KV Subramanian said.

    Read More

  • 07:32

    Growth and finances at target

    "We believe it may be a budget where the government looks to shore up its finances, increase tax collection and stimulate growth," Anubhav Shrivastava, Partner at Infinity Alternatives says.

  • 07:31

    Focus on NBFC

    With debt market staring at a crisis due to stress in India's shadow banking sector, many in the markets are expecting a special bailout package for the non-banking financial corporation in the budget. Outstanding corporate bond/NCDs are Rs 32 lakh crore in India. Of this about Rs 12.7 lakh crore are issued by SOEs, thus carrying, theoretically, a tacit guarantee from the government India; (a further Rs 2.2 lakh crore (or 7%) are issued by Private Commercial Banks which carries limited default risk; Private NBFCs (Rs 10.3 lakh crore or 32%) and Private corporate (Rs 6.9 lakh crore or 22%) is where the markets are worried about the maturities and credit rating profile with some degree of granularity.

  • 07:28

    Economic Survey Recap: 8% GDP growth a must for $5-tn economy

    India's economy should grow at 7% in the financial year 2019-20, but the country needs a sustained 8% growth rate per annum to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024, the Economic Survey for 2018-19 tabled in parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.

    Read more

  • 07:25

    Tricky situation for the government on growth front

    The government, which would be focussing on providing a much-needed boost to the growth, has been caught up on a sticky wicket. While, in a bid to boost GDP growth, the government might look at boosting expenditure, yet they will have to tread along a thin line in order to adhere to fiscal deficit targets. The government has been relying on market borrowings as its major source of financing the fiscal deficit. In addition, small savings, provident funds, external assistance, and short term borrowings have also become useful avenues for the government to finance the fiscal deficit.

  • 05:40

    When and how to watch Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget Speech LIVE

    You can watch the Budget speech live on DeccanHerald.combeginning 11 am. You can also check outDH's special Budget pageto watch Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman deliver Budget Speech.

  • 05:37

    Modi govt needs to get its numbers right

    Nirmala Sitharamanfaces different conditions than her predecessor. In the months since the Interim Budget, India’s economy has taken a turn for the worse. In May, we learned that the economy had grown at only 5.8% in the three months between January and March, significantly lower than expected. The monsoon -- crucial for growth in agriculture, which employs half or more of India’s workers -- has under-performed. Rain in June was a third less than expected; it was the fifth-driest of June in a century. That means consumer demand in India will be under further pressure and the government will be expected to step in to support spending and provide welfare.

    Click here to read more.

  • 05:34

    Economic growth high on govt's agenda: FM Sitharaman

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said economic growth is high on the agenda of the Narendra Modi 2.0 government and various steps are being taken to accelerate the GDP.

    Click here to read more.

  • 05:32

    Budget may set stage for new Income-Tax Act

    The long-pending overhaul of the country’s direct tax laws could finally move forward later this year with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) now in place and the Union government backed by a huge majority.

    Click here to read more.

  • 05:28

    FM has her task cut out

    Inflation menace

    The Interim Budget 2019 focused on the major problem of inflation that affects the poor and middle class on a large scale. It can be expected that the Union Budget 2019 will include provisions to defend the society from the onslaught of inflation.

    Fiscal Deficit

    Containing the fiscal deficit will be one of the major challenges of the Union Budget. According to the Interim Budget 2019, from the high of almost 6 per centseven years ago, the fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4 per centin 2018-19.

    The balance

    An important aspect of the Union Budget willbe to balance the fiscal stability and GDP growth. NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said the Economic Survey 2019reflects the government's resolve to maintain fiscal stability while pushing up GDP growth rates by measures to accelerate private investment. He said the report provides a comprehensive and clear picture of economic trends and challenges ahead.

  • 05:27

    The Unemployment Problem

    Niramla Sitharaman will have her task cut out while dealing with the unemployment problem in the country. According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data, India'sunemployment rateat 8.1 per cent is at a45-year high.

  • 05:27

    Income Tax Exemption

    Life Insurance can play a prominent part in the Budgetas theinsurance companies want Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to increase the tax exemption limits for insurance policies. At present, life insurance premiums paid are exempt from taxation under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. This is part of the Rs 1.5 lakh exemption limit.However, insurers want the government to introduce separate limits for life insurance.

  • 05:17


    The BJP manifesto also promised toestablish 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers under Ayushman Bharat and setup 75 new medical colleges/postgraduate medical colleges.Healthcare was the focus of battle in the run-up to the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. The Budget thus, can possibly have a vital space for the improvement of healthcare facilities in the country.

  • 05:16

    Education may top the charts

    The BJP manifesto declared that the new government willenable investment of 1 lakh crore in higher education through Revitalising of Infrastructure and Systems in Education. In all possibility, education is going to have a prominent role in the upcoming Union Budget.

  • 05:16

    Corruption-free India

    The current government has stressed repeatedly on the need to wipe out black money and create a corruption free country. It was in this regard that the much-debated demonetisation step was taken by the government. Will the Budget also focus on this?

  • 05:15

    Agriculture loanis going to be a highly anticipated topic of the new Budget, especially keeping in mind the recent problems faced by the farmers because of the water scarcity and loans.

  • 05:14

    Will farmers' income be doubled?

    In its manifesto released before the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, the BJP promised that itwill aimto double farmer'si income by 2022 and enable the creation of 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organisations.

  • 05:13

    Corporate Tax

    The Union Budget maypropose to phase out tax exemptions that have led to litigation. A corporate tax rate of 25 per cent is already available since 2018-19 for corporates with sales less than Rs 250 crore.

  • 05:12

    Change in income tax slabs on the cards?

    The Interim Budget 2019increased the tax rebate to Rs 12,500 for taxpayers whose taxable income was up to Rs 5 lakh. However, there was no change brought in the basic exemption limit. It is expected that the Union Budget may increasethe basic exemption limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, as this would benefit even those taxpayers who are not eligible for the Rs 12,500 tax rebate.