Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that the tax-related proposals in the Finance Bill are aimed at helping the poor and the middle-class people living on a tight budget.
The Minister, while moving the Finance Bill for consideration and passage in Lok Sabha, also took a swipe at the Congress, saying unlike the previous UPA dispensation, the Modi government in its interim budget did not reduce levies of SUVs which are used by rich persons.
In the Finance Bill 2019, the Minister proposed to raise tax rebate for people having annual income up to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2,500 to Rs 12,500, which will effectively ensure that they don't have to pay any tax. Those having an income of up to Rs 8-9 lakh too can take advantage of this if they invest in tax saving schemes.
In the Bill, standard deduction has also been raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000, besides a host of tax benefits to home buyers.
The tax proposals are aimed at helping "poor and middle-class people living on a tight budget", Goyal said while moving the Finance Bill which contains tax proposals of the government.
The next government, which will be formed after the upcoming general elections, will come out with full budget in July. It will also come up with a Finance Bill containing the tax proposals for 2019-20.
Elaborating on his tax proposals, Goyal said that decision to raise the rebate for people having an annual income of Rs 5 lakh was to provide greater certainty about tax liability as salary payments to them is subject to Tax Deduction at Source (TDS).
The proposal, Goyal added, was welcomed with euphoria within and outside the House and will provide requisite impetus to savings and boost economic growth.
He said the Modi government during the last four-and-a-half years tried to benefit every section of society and taxpayers.
As a result, he said, the tax base in the country increased, the tax collection doubled in the last five years and India has become the fastest growing major economy in the world.
Higher collections, he said, have enabled the government to earmark more resources for the socially and economically deprived sections of the society.
The Minister said that the proposal to raise standard deduction from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 and hiking TDS limit on interest income from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 will provide relief to senior citizens.
The housing sector, he added, will too get a boost on account of the proposals including interest subvention, allowing capital gains tax exemption on the purchase of two flats from proceeds of sale of a house and hiking rebate on repayment of home loans.
The government, he added, was working to ensure a house for every citizen when India celebrates its 75th year of Independence.
The government's policies have helped in keeping the property prices under check, he said, adding the non-performing assets (NPAs) too have remained low in the sector, probably because "housewives insist that the home loans are repaid in time".