Budget 2021 highlights: Opposition slams Modi govt over 'pro-corporate' Budget; India Inc welcomes reforms

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021 in the Parliament. Track this blog for latest updates on Budget 2021 announcements, analysis and more.
  • 20:54

    Thank you for following DH's coverage of Union Budget 2021!

    For more on the Budget click here.

  • 20:52

    Decoding Union Budget 2021 in 10 minutes

  • 20:32

    Union Budget 2021 | Decoding the Budget in 10 minutes

  • 20:10

    From the Newsroom: FM Nirmala Sitharaman presents Union Budget 2021

  • 19:15

    Budget 2021 | Key income tax announcements for taxpayers

    While talking about taxes in her Budget Speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “I begin my direct tax proposals by offering my 'pranaam'to our senior citizens. Many of them, despite having foregone several basic necessities of their own, have strived to build our nation.”

    Even as there has been no change in the income tax (I-T) slabs of individual taxpayers, here are key announcements on income tax in Budget 2021:

    Read more

  • 18:21

    SII, Bharat Biotech welcome enhanced focus on health, immunisation in budget

    Leading vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech on Monday applauded the government's increased allocation for the healthcare sector and on providing Rs 35,000 crore towards Covid-19 vaccination in 2021-22 fiscal.

    "I have provided Rs 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccine in this year 2021-22. I'm committed to provide further funds if required. The Budget outlay for health and well being is Rs 2.23 lakh crore in 2021-22 as against BE of Rs 94,452 crore and marks an increase of 137 per cent," she said while presenting 2021-22 Budget in the Lok Sabha. Commenting on the budget announcements, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said that globally, spending on healthcare infrastructure and vaccines have given countries and their economies the best bang for their buck.

  • 17:57

    Budget does not address inequities, bold for its fiscal stance: Economists

    Economists hailed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for a "bold budget" focused on fiscal expansion but flagged concerns over the proposals for not addressing the problems of inequitable growth. Concerns over the impact on the sovereign rating have been sidestepped in the budget by using a wider fiscal deficit for addressing the growth needs, they said.

  • 17:38

    FM Sitharaman announces Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana to boost health system

  • 17:17

    Nirmala Sitharaman compares India's win at Gabba with country's unsuppressed thirst to succeed

    The Indian cricket team's historic Test series triumph in Australia last month was recounted in the budget speech of Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who said it epitomises the country's "unsuppressed thirst to succeed". The Indian team, ravaged by injuries to most of its key players and without regular skipper Virat Kohli who was on paternity leave, upstaged a full-strength Australia 2-1 in a four-match Test series last month.

    Read more

  • 16:54

    Congress leader Randeep Surjewala dubbed Budget "dhokhebaaz (deceptive) Budget'. He said that the provisions of the Budget would only help the rich and it lists nothing for the common people or farmers.

  • 16:51

    Budget reaction: Budget 'let down like never before', says Chidambaram

    Congress leader P Chidambaram slammed the Modi government over the Union Budget 2021. "The Budget is a let down like never before," says Chidambaram. He further added that the finance minister mentioned Narendra Modi 15 times while she mentioned farmers just 11 times.

  • 16:38

    Budget 2021 catalyst that can revive this sluggish economy, says CM B S Yediyurappa

    Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa says Union Budget for 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament has come as a catalyst that can revive this sluggish economy.

  • 16:35

    Here's what became costlier, cheaper after Budget 2021

    A large number of commonly used items, including refrigerators, air conditioners, LED lights and mobile phones, will become more expensive due to hike in customs duty on imported parts, as proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget for 2021-22.

    However, gold and silver will become cheaper as a result of rationalisation in customs duty on imports of these precious metals.

    Following is a list of imported items that will become costlier:

    Read more

  • 16:32

  • 16:28

    Poll-bound states get special focus in FM's Budget Speech; Rs 2.27 lakh crore infra projects for TN, WB, Kerala, Assam

    From Rs 1.03 lakh crore highway projects for Tamil Nadu to Rs 65,000 crore works for Kerala - four poll-bound states found special mention in the Budget speech of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday. Tabling the Budget 2021-22 in Parliament, Sithraman in her speech specifically announced Rs 2.27 lakh highway projects for four states - Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala amid approaching assembly elections.

    Read more

  • 16:09

    BJP a gas balloon alive only in the media: Mamata

    West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday hit out at the BJP calling it "a gas balloon alive only in the media" and a "washing machine" for those with ill-got money. She said those who have quit TMC and joined BJP have done so to secure the money they have accumulated.

  • 16:06

    For every rupee in govt kitty, 53 paise to come from taxes

    For every rupee in the government coffer, 53 paise will come from direct and indirect taxes, 36 paise from borrowings and other liabilities, 6 paise from non-tax revenue like disinvestment and 5 paise from non-debt capital receipts. According to the Union Budget 2021-22 presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, goods and services tax will contribute 15 paise in every rupee revenue, while corporation tax will contribute 13 paise to each rupee earned.

    Read more

  • 15:59

    Budget reaction:

    “The rationalisation of import duty on gold to around 10.75% from 12.5% is a welcome move and timely. Hopefully, this is the first of a series of such cuts to make bullion an asset class that operates mainstream. It is a much-needed incentive for the organised and compliant players in the bullion and gold jewellery market. A rationalised duty structure and simplified processes are fundamental to an organised trading market. Following the appointment of IFSCA to regulate the International Bullion Exchange at GIFT City last year, the regulatory clarity in this budget around a domestic bullion exchange will spur infrastructure development and good delivery standards, enabling India to emerge as a major bullion trading hub," says Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.

  • 15:54

    Budget 2021 directly, indirectly dedicated to corporate groups. It will increase problems of farmers, common man, says Samajwadi Party. 

  • 15:54

    Rupee closes 7 paise lower at 73.02 against the US Dollar.

  • 15:45

    Budget reaction: It's a get well soon type of Budget, says Niranjan Hiranandani

    "It is a get well soon type of Budget, the ‘V’ shaped recovery being powered by the Covid-19 vaccination program.” On real estate aspects, the proposals for the annual budget reinforce the Government’s focus on affordable housing. For the home buyer, the second extension of the deadline till 31 March 2022 for the additional Rs1.5 lakh tax deduction given on loans taken to buy a house in an affordable housing project is welcome, as is the developer whose affordable housing projects also get an extension for tax benefits, for projects completed till March 31, 2022. Similarly, tax exemption for notified affordable housing for migrant workers, and the deduction on payment of interest for affordable housing being extended by a year will give a fillip to this emerging segment. As affordable housing attracts only 1% GST and Rs 1000 stamp duty in the state of Maharashtra will augment the production of affordable housing in the state. The enhanced spending on public infrastructure projects like ports, railways, airports, warehousing, gas pipelines, metro, economic corridors is laudable and welcomed by an industry that will give impetus to the employment generation and attract the essential investment to lift up the economic revival," says Niranjan Hiranandani, National President NAREDCO.

  • 15:41

    Budget 2021: Market marks its biggest gain in history.

    The marketmarks its biggest gain in history. Sensex closes up 2,314.84 points (5.00%). The previous best was on May 18, 2009, when UPA 2 was re-elected to power and Sensex had surged 2,111 points. Meanwhile,Nifty closed at 14,281.20 points up 646.60 (4.74%).

  • 15:38

    Budget reaction:“The Union Budget proposals for FY 21-22 outline several landmark proposals on much-needed reforms to funding a strong growth-oriented multi-year program of capex-led recovery post a black swan event. It is encouraging to see the FM target policy reforms and boost capital infusion into the infrastructure, SME and start-up sectors recognising them as engines of growth in the post-pandemic revival. The thrust on digital payments, e-resolution of tax-related disputes and the first virtual census also underlines the Government’s focus and continued thrust on digital infrastructure,” says Surojit Shome, Managing Director and CEO – DBS Bank India.

  • 15:29

    Spending on healthcare has given countries best bang for their buck, says Adar Poonawalla

    Budget reaction: "Globally, spending on healthcare infrastructure and vaccine has given countries and their economies the best bang for their buck. Investments in these areas have prevented hospitalizations and resulted in a healthier and more productive workforce, thereby leading to an efficient economy. Therefore we welcome the FM's emphasis on healthcare spending, and immunization especially for Covid-19 and the pneumococcal vaccines as this will help India recover rapidly from this pandemic. Hopefully, this will also encourage more innovation and expansion in the sector," says Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India.

  • 15:28

  • 15:24

    Budget 2021 comes at a time when all of us desire to give greater impetus to the economy, we thought this impetus would be qualitatively spent well and give the needed demand push if we spend big on infrastructure: Finance Minister

  • 15:24

    FM Sitharaman clarifies that despite an increase in agriculture infrastructure cess, the common man won't have to spend any extra penny from their pockets.

  • 15:20

    Finance Minister address post-Budget conference, outlines two key features of Budget 2021:

    Finance Minister said that we chose to spend big on infrastructureacross a wide variety of sectors.We have attended to the needs of the health sector, capacity building in health given a big place.

  • 15:06

    Key takeaways from the Budget speech

  • 15:04

    Budget reaction: This is pro-growth, pro-technology budget, says Lenovo Data Center Group.

    TrackBudget 2021 reactions live updates here

  • 15:03

    Budget caters to strengthening of the agriculture infrastructure via infra fund, says PM Modi.

  • 15:01

    We have taken the approach of widening new opportunities for growth, new openings for our youth, a new high to human resources, develop new regions for infrastructure, walking towards technology and bring new reforms in this Budget. This Budget will bring several positive changes for individuals, investors, industry and infrastructure sector, says PM Modi.

  • 14:59

    The Budget talks about all-round development, says Modi.

  • 14:57

    Many experts thought that because of Covid-19, the government would increase the burden on people. However, the government understood its responsibility and pushed for increasing the Budget, says PM Modi.

  • 14:55

    In today's Budget, there is a vision for Atmanirbhar Bharat, says PM Modi. 

  • 14:49

    DH Sparks | Decoding the 'bahi khata' of Union Budget 2021

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made two bold Budget announcements, which included lining up two Public Sector Banks for disinvestment and putting up one state-owned insurance company for sale. The Foreign Direct Investment limit in insurance was also increased to 74% from the current 49% in the Budget.

  • 14:45

    Budget reaction: “The FY22 budget has turned out to be a landmark budget with the government meeting the sky-high expectations of equity markets and the general public. The focus of the government is clearly on spending to revive the economy without major changes in the taxation structure. The government is doing quality spending with a focus on infrastructure, health care, and key social programs. The fiscal deficit pegged at 6.8 per centis clearly expansionary which will aid the economy significantly. The government’s borrowing also seems quite reasonable which indicates the budget is quite well balanced. The proposals for the financial sector which include privatization of public banks and asset reconstruction company are also significant positives for the financial sector. Overall, the budget has checked most of the boxes and will help the economy,”B Gopkumar, MD & CEO, Axis Securities.

  • 14:40

    100% visionless, Budget theme sell India: TMC

    The TMC lashed out at the Centre over the Union Budget on Monday, saying it was 100 per cent "visionless" and its theme was "sell India." The remarks came after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman read out the Union Budget speech in the Lok Sabha. "India's first paperless budget is also a 100% visionless budget. The theme of the fake budget is Sell India!" TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien said. "Railways: sold, Airports: sold, Ports: sold, Insurance: sold PSUs: 23 sold!"

  • 14:37

    Budget reaction: "Deposit insurance increase from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, is a great boon for bank account holders. Making the system more efficient is a great step by the Finance Minister. The insurance industry's longstanding demand for increasing foreign holding from 49% to 74% has now been met. The whole industry is now set to change and should help in job creation in this sector. Huge investments in infrastructure projects announced in Budget 2021 will help create jobs as well as push up commodities players. IPO of Life Insurance Corporation of India should finally happen in 2021, this would give Indian another great company to invest in,"Sanjiv Bajaj, Joint Chairman & MD, Bajaj Capital.

  • 14:25

    "Superb Budget. It'll not only accelerate us in pre-Covid-19period recovery stage but also provide a direction for three to four years. The government focussed on infrastructure andasset monetisation this time... It shows the government's thinking that it's essential to involve the private sector in long run," says NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

  • 14:19

    People hadn't expected a Budget of this kind because, in a way, the government had presented five mini-budgets earlier. Several packages were announced, of which Aatmanirbhar Bharat is also a part. It's a superb Budget. The more it is praised, the less it is, says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

  • 14:16

    Budget is piece of paper if it’ll not bring better law for farmers: Harsimrat Badal

  • 14:06

    Benchmark indices continueto soar after FM Sitharaman's Budget Speech. As of now, Sensex has surged over2,000 points, and Nifty is trading above 14,000 as Dalal Street cheers Union Budget proposals.

  • 13:59

    Budget reaction:“Budget 2022 indeed provides a well-chartered framework to boost the travel sector. Higher allocation of Rs 2,83,846 lakh crore for health and wellness, which also includes Rs 35,000 crore for Covid-19 vaccines promises to ensure the fast rollout of mass vaccination and restoring normalcy sooner than expected. This will give a much need boost to the travel & tourism demand in the coming year. Furthermore, greater emphasis on health infrastructure also positions India as the global wellness destination of tomorrow. A greater emphasis on debt financing, coupled with the budget’s reformist tone including measures such as higher disinvestment target, raising of farm income, sops for affordable housing and various other initiatives to give an overall boost to the economy and spurring consumption & investment. These reforms & growth-oriented initiatives are all set to position India as an evolving global tourism hub and drive higher demand for funding propelling the NBFC sector,”Anirban Chakraborty, Managing Director & CEO, TFCI Ltd.

  • 13:57

    Budget 2021 focuses on accelerating pace of our progress, says Rajiv Kumar

    It's (Defence) not part of speech but it's there (part of the Budget). FM has focussed on six major pillars in the budget. Defence expenditure is important but less connected to our progress. Budget 2021 is focussed on accelerating pace of our progress, saysNITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

  • 13:56

  • 13:53

    Budget reaction: FDI in insurance being increased to 74% is a big change. The immediate impact will be for the big joint ventures to re-think their strategy in India with their domestic partners. How soon the Insurance Act will be amended to reflect these changes will, of course, remain to be seen. - Shoubhik Dasgupta, Counsel Pioneer Legal

  • 13:46

    Budget 2021 reaction: The healthcare community in India is happy to see the long-overdue focus on the sector finally taking an important part in the budgetary outlay. The increase of 137 per cent in the healthcare sector budgetary outlay is unprecedented, not only in the history of India but anywhere in the world -- Dr Rajat Arora,Founder Director at Genestrings Diagnostics Center.

  • 13:44

    Budget reaction: In my opinion, the Finance Minister had raised a lot of expectations regarding Budget 2021 and she has fulfilled all of them. Given the current times, the Budget is focussed on India's growth and is tailored to accelerate the growth rate, saysNITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

  • 13:42

    Here's the full text of FM Sitharaman’s Budget speech 2021:

  • 13:20

    Agriculture cess:

    *Agri cess of Rs 2.5/litre on petrol & Rs 4/litre on diesel
    *Agri infra cess of 2.5% on gold, silver & dore bars
    *Agri infra cess of 100% on alcoholic beverages
    *Agri infra cess of 17.5% on crude palm oil
    *Agri infra cess of 30% on kabuli chana
    *Agri infra cess of 50% on bengal gram/chick peas
    *Agri infra cess of 20% on lentil (mosur)
    *Agri infra cess of 5% on cotton (not carded or combed)
    *New agri infra cess to be applicable from February 2, 2021

  • 13:13

    The government introduces Agriculture Infra cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel.

  • 13:10

  • 13:07

    Meanwhile, in the market, bad bank for stressed asset causes jubilations in bank stocks. Nifty Bank surges by 5%.

  • 13:06

    Nothing for the common man in this Budget, says Mrin Agarwal

    Budget 2021 reaction: There is nothing for the common man in this Budget. Investors need to focus on tax efficiency in investments over tax deductions. There is no change in personal income tax rates, says Mrin Agarwal, personal finance expert.

  • 13:03

    Market reaction: Sensex zooms 1,400 points, Nifty above 14,000 as Dalal Street cheers Union Budget proposals.

    Track market live updates here

  • 13:01

    Budget 2021 | Capital expenditure hiked 34.5% to Rs 5.54 lakh cr in FY22 to push growth

    To push growth via infrastructure creation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday hiked the government's capital expenditure for FY 2021-22 by 34.5 per cent to Rs 5.5 lakh crore.

    The government's planned capital expenditure for the current fiscal has been increased to Rs 4.39 lakh crore, as against the Budgeted Rs 4.12 lakh crore.

    Read more

  • 12:52

    Budget 2021 | Key takeaways from the Budget speech

    Here are the key takeaways from Union Budget 2021 basis Sitharaman’s Budget speech:

    1) Pandemic-induced global slowdown wasn’t expected during Budget 2020. Coronavirus prompted for emphasis on Aatmanirbhar Bharat which was rolled out in May 2020. Overall Covid-19 measures by the government and RBI amount to Rs 27.1 lakh crore
    2) Healthcare is the first pillar of Union Budget 2021. The government will introduce Aatmanirbhar Healthcare Yojana with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore with a 6-year horizon. This will strengthen the National Centre for Disease Control and 15 Health Emergency Centres will also be set up. Additional Rs 35,000 crore for Covid Vaccine. The government will also launch Mission Poshan 2.0. Integrated public health labs to be set up in each district, 3,382 block public health units in 11 states.

    Read more

  • 12:50

    Budget 2021 announcements:
    1. The government proposes to relax norms to attract more foreign investment in the infrastructure sector.
    2. FM proposes tax exemption for aircraft leasing companies.
    3. Tax exemption for notified affordable housing for migrant workers.

  • 12:47

  • 12:45

    The government proposed to review 400 old customs duty exemptions this year through extensive consultation. The revised customs duty extensions will be place from October.

  • 12:44

      Budget 2021 announcement: 

    The government announced more sops for startups, as it extended capital gains exemption by one more year to incentisefunding.

  • 12:40

    The tax exemption has been announced for affordable housing for migrant workers.
    The deduction on payment of interests of affordable housing has been extended by 1 year.
    Serious tax offences of concealment of income of over Rs 50 lakh can be reopened after 10 years.
    Thegovernment cuts the timeline for reopening of tax cases to 3 years from 6 years.

  • 12:38

    States to get 41 per cent share of taxes as per the 15th Finance Commission recommendation. The government has accepted the recommendation.

  • 12:34

    Other Budget 2021 announcements: 

    > The government proposes national language translation initiative.
    > The government proposes deep ocean mission with outlay of more than Rs 4,000 crore over five years.
    > FM allocates Rs 3,726 cr for forthcoming Census which will be the first digital census.
    > The government to borrow Rs 80,000 crore in the remaining two months to meet FY21 expenditure.

  • 12:33

    The government plans to set up faceless I-T Resolution Committee.

  • 12:29

    Senior citizens above 75 years need not file income tax returns, says FM. This is in case they have only interest income and pension.

  • 12:26

    Budget 2021 | Good news for gig economy workers

  • 12:23

    The finance minister said that the fiscal deficit will reach below 4.5 per cent by FY26.

  • 12:20

    FY21 fiscal deficit pegged at 9.5% of GDP | Revised capital expenditure for FY21 pegged at Rs 34.50 lakh crore | FY22 fiscal deficit pegged at 6.8% of GDP

  • 12:16

  • 12:16

    The allocation to rural infrastructure development has been increased to Rs 40,000 crore in next fiscal from Rs 30,000 crore in FY21.

  • 12:14

    The government has proposed to set up a Central University in Leh.

  • 12:12

  • 12:08

    Budget 2021: Boost for startups

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, "For startups, we are allowing 1% companies to grow without any restriction on their paid-up capital."

  • 12:04

    Amid ongoing farmers protest, the agriculture credit target has been pegged at Rs 16.5 lakh crore for FY22. The agriculture infrastructure fund has been increased by Rs 40,000 core.

  • 12:01

    FM announces Rs 18,000 cr scheme for public transport in urban areas

    The government on Monday announced a Rs 18,000 crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas. In the first paperless Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there will be 100 per cent electrification of broad gauge rail tracks by December 2023. She also said a record Rs 1,10,055 crore will be provided for railways, of which Rs 1,07,100 crore will be for capital expenditure in 2021-22. (PTI)

  • 12:01

    The finance minister announced setting up separate administrative structures for cooperatives. The government proposed further recapitalisation of state-owned banks, earmarks Rs 20,000 crore for the same.

  • 11:56

    The finance minister pegs divestment target at Rs 1.75 lakh crore for FY22.

  • 11:54

    FM Sitharaman says disinvestment of BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corp, BEML, Pawan Hans, Nilanchal Ispat to be completed in FY22. She adds other than IDBI Bank, two more public sector banks to be taken up in FY22. The IPO of LIC will also be completed in this fiscal.

  • 11:51

    Budget reaction 2021: "With a focus on Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the announcement of the establishment of 7 textile parks by Modi government in Budget 2021 should be welcomed with open arms. It's a big boost for the local textile industry. And, this will help India become a world leader in the textile sector," says Anuj Mundra, Chairman and MD, Nandani Creation.

  • 11:50

    Budget 2021 reaction: “It is very encouraging to see the focus on healthcare in the budget and a 137 per cent increase in outlay in healthcare and wellness over last year. There appears to be integrated attention to epidemiology, diagnostics and treatment at all levels including district and blocks,” says Charu Sehgal, Partner and Leader, Lifesciences and Healthcare, Deloitte India.

  • 11:47

    JUST IN | FDI in insurance companies increased to 74% from 49%; discoms get Rs 3 lakh crore outlay.

  • 11:44

    The government proposes Securties Market Code.

  • 11:43

    Pipelines of GAIL (India) Ltd, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and HPCL will be monetised, says FM in Budget for 2021-22.

  • 11:40

    Railways to monetise dedicated freight corridors, says FM Sitharaman in her Budget speech on monetisation of assets.

  • 11:38

    Over 13,000 km length of roads at a cost of Rs 3.3 lakh cr has already been awarded under Rs 5.35 lakh cr Bharatmala project of which 3,800 km have been constructed. By March 2022 we'd be awarding another 8,500 andcomplete an additional 11,000 km of National Highway Corridor: FM

  • 11:37

    FM Nirmala Sitharaman proposes three future-dedicated freight corridors.

  • 11:36

    The government has committed Rs 1.97 lakh crore for PLI schemes covering 13 sectors. Further 7 textile parks will be launched over three years.

  • 11:31

    Infrastructure gets boost in the Budget 2021. Here are some of the major allocations: 

    > Rs 5,000 crore to be transferred to NHAI InViT. National Highway Authority of India, PGCIL to sponsor one InviT each.
    > Rs 1.18 lakh crore allocated for Road and Highway ministry.
    > Railway Infrastructure: National Rail Plan for 2030 to create a future-ready railway system by 2030.
    > Dedicated Freight Corridors for western and eastern India to be commissioned by 2022.

  • 11:30
  • 11:28

    Govt proposes capital expenditure for FY22 at Rs 5.54 lakh crore.

  • 11:26

    The government announces scrapping policy, which will be voluntary, to encourage environment-friendly vehicles and reduce pollution and oil import bill. Vehicles will undergo a fitness test after 20 years for personal vehicles and 15 years for commercial vehicles. The details will be shared by the ministry separately.

    Meanwhile, the government allocates Rs 1.97 lakh crore for PLI schemes over 5 years.

  • 11:24

    Hinting at the 7.7 per cent contraction in the eceonomy, FM Sitharaman said, "Only three times has the Budget followed a contraction in the economy. This time, unlike before, the situation is due to a global pandemic. Budget 2021 provides every opportunity for economy to capture pace and grow sustainably."

  • 11:21

    The Urban Swachh Bharat scheme will be implemented with an outlay of over Rs 1.4 lakh crore.

    The government has allocated Rs 35,400 crore towards Covid-19 vaccines for FY22.

  • 11:20

    Six Pillars of Budget 2021 | Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lays down six pillars of budget 2021 as follows:

    1. Health and well-being
    2. Physical and financial capital and infra
    3. Inclusive development
    4. Human capital
    5. Innovation and Research & Development (R&D)
    6. Minimum government and maximum governance

  • 11:18

    Urban Swacch Bharat mission 2.0 get an allocation of Rs 1,41,678 crore.

  • 11:15

    For the first pillar, that is health, the government has allotted Rs 64,180 crore for Atmanirbhar Swasthya Yojana.

  • 11:12

    Budget 2021 relies on 6 pillars, says FM Sitharaman.

  • 11:10

    Meanwhile, Sensex surges over 550 points, Nifty above 13,780 as Nirmala Sitharaman presents Union Budget 2021.

    Track live updates of the market here

  • 11:08

    Adding that what India endured with Covid-19 in 2020 is Sui generis, the finance minister said, "Global economy was already in throes of a slowdown in 2020. Could've never imagined the health crisis that was about to unfold when we presented Budget for 2020."

  • 11:06

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the preparation of this year's Budget was under circumstance like never before. She lauded the government's Covid-19 response and said, "The risk of not having a lockdown was a too big a risk".

  • 11:02

    FM Nirmala Sitharaman presents Union Budget 2021 in Parliament.

  • 11:00

    FM Nirmala Sitharaman to deliver Budget Speech shortly.

  • 10:59

      President Ram Nath Kovind with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, before the Budget Session of the Parliament, in New Delhi. Credit: PTI Photo

  • 10:55

    Will Sitharaman break her own record in delivering longest Budget Speech this year?

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will deliver the Budget Speech shortly. And it is to be seen whether she breaks her own record in delivering the longest speech this year. In Budget 2020,Sitharaman broke all records making the 163-minute speech the longest Budget speech in India's history in terms of duration. Last year's Budget speech went for 2 hours 43 minutes, comprising of 13,128 words. Last year, Sitharaman broke her own record from her first Budget speech in 2019, which was two hours and 17 minutes long.

  • 10:53

    Congress MPs Jasbir Singh Gill and Gurjeet Singh Aujla wear a black gown to the Parliament, as a mark of their protest against the three farm laws.

  • 10:50

    In Pics | 'Bahi khata' goes digital: FM Sitharaman to present budget on a tablet

    In the pandemic-hit era,Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2021 on a tablet. Here's a look at FM Sitharaman and her team:

  • 10:47

    JUST IN | Union Cabinet approves the Union Budget 2021-22 that will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament.

  • 10:43

  • 10:41

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds a folder case containing the Union Budget 2021-22, during the Budget Session at Parliament House in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. MoS Finance Anurag Thakur is also seen. Credit: PTI Photo

  • 10:39

    Budget 2021: Get full details about union budget on this mobile app

    For the first time ever, the union government is going paper-less. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is ditching 'bahi kata' for a modern tablet to present the Union Budget 2021-22 later today (February 1) at 11:00 am. Previously, to maintain secrecy, the finance ministry used to group more than 100 people for printing budget documents near parliament and on the presentation day, they used to be distributed to parliament members and media.

    Read more

  • 10:31

    Budget 2021: Nirmala Sitharaman meets President Kovind ahead of Budget Speech

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday called on President Ram Nath Kovind before presenting the Union Budget 2021-22. As per established tradition, the Finance Minister met the President at the Rashtrapati Bhawan before heading to Parliament. The Union Cabinet will meet at 10.15 am to clear the Budget. Also before the actual presentation, the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.

  • 10:29

    Union Budget 2021 | Here's what you can expect from the Budget

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to generously allocate funds for development, put more money in the hands of the common man to spur demand as she presents the Budget at 11 am in the Parliament. Tune in to DH Radio tolook at some of the major expectations from the Budget with Annapurna Singh, Assistant Editor, Business at DH.

  • 10:25

    WATCH | FM Sitharaman's Budget Speech Live here:

  • 10:21

    Meanwhile,Union Cabinetmeeting has begun ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2021-22 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Parliament today.

  • 10:10

    Interactive | Reading FM Sitharaman's mind before the Budget Speech

  • 10:09

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan arrive at the Parliament.

  • 10:07

    As 'bahi khata' goes digital, here’s a lowdown on the tradition of carrying Budget briefcase:

    1. ‘Budget’ originates from the French word Bougette, which means leather briefcase

    2. Carrying the Budget briefcase is a tradition been handed over from the British.

    3. The Budget briefcase is the Indian equivalent of the ‘Gladstone box’ used in the British budget.

    4. In 1860, the then British budget chief William E Gladstone used a red suitcase with Queen’s monogram embossed in gold to carry his bundle of papers. It came to be known as ‘Gladstone Box’

    5. Gladstone’s speeches were extraordinarily long and thus he needed a briefcase to carry his speech papers, dubbed Gladstone’s box.

  • 10:06

    Budget 2021 Explained: What is indirect tax?

    This is Budget Explained from DH Radio. Answering your frequently asked questions on Union Budget 2021. In this episode, we look at the concept of indirect tax. Indirect tax is levied on goods and services and not on the income or revenue of an individual or a company.

  • 10:02

  • 09:55

  • 09:50

    FM Sitharaman will deliver the Budget Speech in less than two hours now. As we all wait for major Budget announcements, let us have a look at some of the Budget speeches that incorporated poetic verses.

    Budget 2017 | Arun Jaitley

    In the Budget where the government started a war against black money, Jaitley took to poetry to welcome the new regime.

    "Nayi duniya hai, naya daur hai, nayi hai umang,
    Kuch the pahle se tariqe to kuch hain aaj ke rang-dhang.
    Roshni aake jo andheron se takdai hai,
    Kaale dhan ko bhi badalna pada aaj apna rang."

    Translation: It's a new world, it's a new regime, new hope and under this bright light, even black money was forced to change its colour.

    Read more

  • 09:47

    Moments before the finance minister presents the Budget 2021, the Indian Rupee has breached 100 mark against GBP after almost 6 years.

  • 09:41

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, along with MoS Anurag Thakur and other team members, has arrived at the Parliament.

  • 09:38

    Budget 2021 | 'Bahi khata' goes digital, FM Sitharaman to present Budget on a tablet

    Necessities make many adopt unconventional methods and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did just that when she announced that she will present Union Budget 2021 using a tablet.The move to ditch the traditional 'bahi khata' comes in the wake of pandemic-induced restrictions that prompted a digital overhaul of the annual exercise.

    Read more

  • 09:29

    DH Toon | Centre faces fiscal deficit and trust deficit (Credit: Cartoon by Sajith Kumar)

  • 09:23

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's 'bahi khata' has gone digital this year as shewill present and read out the Union Budget 2021-22 at the Parliament through a tab. This year, no Budget documents were printed in the wake of Covid-19.

  • 09:20

  • 09:18

    Benchmark indices Sensex, Nifty open in the green ahead of the Union Budget

    Markets opened in the green ahead of the Union Budget 2021. Sensex was up over 300 points and Nifty was at 13,758, almost 124 points up.

    Track how the market is reacting to the Budget here

  • 09:15

    A look at the team behind Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Union Budget 2021

    After several rounds of pre-budget meetings between the government and the stakeholders, the Finance Minister is all ready to unveil the Budget like no other. As the minister now heads to the Parliament to present the Modi government's 9th Budget, here's a look at her team:

    Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor |Subramanian, who was a professor at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, was appointed as the CEA in 2018. Subramanian’s major task as the CEA is to compile and publish the Economic Survey of India which is made public a day before the Union Budget is tabled.

    Read more

  • 09:11

    FM Sitharaman and MoS Anurag Thakur come out of the Ministry of Finance. The finance minister is seen holding a 'bahi khata', a red ledger that she sported for the first time in for the Union Budget 2019. Credit: Screengrab of Doordarshan Live TV

  • 09:08

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at the finance ministry before she leaves to present the federal budget in the parliament in New Delhi. Credit: Reuters Photo

  • 09:04

    How market reacted to Budgets in the past

    Every year, when the incumbent Union Finance Minister presents the annual Budget for the forthcoming fiscal, the stock markets have reacted with varying degrees of volatility as investors try to make sense of all the announcements made and their implication for the next year. The benchmark indices -- BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty -- have broadly reacted negatively to the Budget presentations since 2009.

    As India prepares for yet another Budget, here's a look back at how Sensex reacted to budgets in the past under the Modi government.

  • 09:02

    Benchmark indices Sensex andNifty are likely to openin green ahead of the Union Budget. Track live updates of the market here.

  • 08:48

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at the Ministry of Finance. She will later present the Union Budget 2021-22 in the Parliament.

  • 08:45

    With all pandemic-hit sectors awaiting for Budget allocations, here's a look at which ministry/department got what in the previous Budget:

  • 08:41

  • 08:34

    Union Budget will be in accordance with people's expectations. The government which functions on mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas' gave new direction to India by announcing Aatmanirbhar package, protecting it from the pandemic andbringing the economy back on track swiftly, saysMoS Finance Anurag Thakur.

  • 08:27

  • 08:23

    Common man's guide through the Union Budget 2021

    Ahead of the Union Budget, let us have a look at what the common man can expect from the upcoming Budget.
    In broader terms, the government would look forward to replenishing the treasury to deal with the vaccination of nearly half a billion against the coronavirus. In addition, the Centre's strong push for local manufacturing may also increase import duty on commodities, thus, increasing its end cost.

    Read more

  • 08:21

    DH Radio | Here's what you can expect from the Budget

  • 08:08

    Budget Dictionary: A one-stop guide for financial terms

    With just a couple more hours to go for the Budget 2021, here's a one-stop guide for all the financial terms that will help you understand the contours of 'bahi-khata'.

    Read more

  • 07:51

  • 07:36

    Do you know who presented India’s first ever Budget?

    All we eagerly wait for FM Sitharaman to deliverthe ninth consecutive budget for the NDA government in the backdrop of unprecedented economic slowdown owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, here's a trivia for you. Do you know when the first-ever Budget for India was presented and by whom?

    A Scotsman named James Wilson created India’s first budget in 1860. He came to India in 1859 when the British government here was under stress due to the Sepoy Mutiny and aftermath of the revolt of 1857. Wilson had a deep understanding of markets and business and was seen as someone who could help the establishment out of their precarious financial situation.

    Wilson was the founder of what later became the banking major Standard Chartered Bank, and also the magazine The Economist.

  • 07:29

    Sitharaman's 'Economic Vaccine' today; will Budget 2021-22 go beyond 'bahi-khata'?

    As India emerges from the Covid-19 crisis, the ninth budget under the Modi government, including an interim one, is widely expected to focus on boosting spending on job creation and rural development, generous allocations for development schemes, putting more money in the hands of the average taxpayer and easing rules to attract foreign investments.

    Read more

  • 07:07

    Railway Budget to focus on better amenities for passengers

    The Centre is likely to make an allocation of around Rs 1.79 lakh crore for railways in the Union Budget 2021, set to be presented in Parliament today. Of this, Rs 75,000 crore will be gross budgetary support (GBS). This is Rs 18,000 more than last year's allocation, which was Rs 1.61 lakh crore. Rail Budget, now part of the Union Budget, is likely to announce steps to attract more freight loadings as more sections of the Dedicated Freight Corridors are being commissioned for commercial operation.

  • 06:59

    Reading FM Nirmala Sitharaman's mind before Union Budget 2021

    The stakeholders will look at her Budget for credible sources of revenue, which is hard to get when the economy has slowed to an unprecedented level due to Covid-19 pandemic.

  • 06:55

    10 key takeaways from the Economic Survey

  • 06:51

    In the Economic Survey released on January 29, the government projected a record expansion of 11% in 2021-22, which has not been seen even in the pre-pandemic era. But it suggested enhanced spending, including on healthcare, substantially, to kick-start the growth process and sustain it.The historic high growth rate in 2021-22 will, however, be the result of a low base of the preceding year. After a contraction of 7.7%, the size of India’s economy will be reduced to a little over Rs 134 lakh crore in 2020-21 from nearly Rs 146 lakh crore in 2019-20.

  • 06:49

    DH Sparks | Decoding the 'bahi khata' of Union Budget 2021

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will unveil the closely-watched Union Budget on February 1. With Sitharaman vowing to present a Budget 'like never before', the stakes are high.

    Join us on February 1, 2021 at 2:30 PM as we decode the Union Budget with our panel of experts. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


    a)Mohan Lavi, Chartered Accountant & Partner, KP Rao & Co.

    b)Mrin Agarwal, Finance Educator & Money Mentor

    c)A Murali, Advisor to BCIC & Vice President, Toyota Tsusho India

    The panel will be moderated by Anupam Manur, Assistant Professor, Economics, Takshashila Institution.

  • 06:45

    As the Budget is being held amid Covid-19 pandemic, some customary activities developed around this financial exercise over the years have been impacted. Here are some such traditions:

  • 06:39

    On Budget Day eve, theGST collections surged to an all-time high of about Rs 1.20 lakh crore in January as economic activities picked up after the withdrawal of stringent lockdown restrictions.Mop-up from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is levied when a consumable item is sold or a service such as travel booking rendered, in January was 8 per cent higher than such receipts in the same month of 2020.

  • 06:35

    Budget 2021 key to address India's banking mess

    India's crucial banking and financial sector, which any government would find difficult to ignore, is staring at a continued mess.Five major banks or shadow banks failed in about two years -- translating into one major financial institution failing every four months.

    Read more

  • 06:15

    Budget Dictionary: A one-stop guide for financial terms

    With just a couple more hours to go for the Budget 2021, here's a one-stop guide for all the financial terms that will help you understand the contours of 'bahi-khata':


    Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan- Launched amid the Covid-19 lockdown on May 12, Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan is the Centre's flagship scheme aimed at cutting down the import of foreign goods and upping the volume of exports. 'Atmanirbhar'translates to self-reliant in English. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier in 2020 stated that the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan will have an outlay of Rs 2.65 lakh crore over a five-year period. The 2021 Union Budget could provide a crucial insight into how the Narendra Modi-led government will utilise the funds.

    Read more

  • 06:13

    Budget 2021: Police intensify security to thwart any protest by farmers

    Meanwhile, fearing protests on the Budget day, police on Sunday stepped up security at the Delhi borders where farmers are sitting on a protest against the three contentious farm laws by deploying more personnel and taking steps to prevent any protester crossing barricades. Protesting farmers' organisations had called off their scheduled Parliament march on Monday after violence erupted during the tractor rally on Republic Day.

  • 06:01

    How could Budget FY22 look like: An attempt to read FM’s mind

  • 05:57

    Sources in the government told DH that the Centre may come up with new avenues of job creation and income generation, as the pandemic has left deep scars on these fronts.

  • 05:52

    No major tax relief for salaried individuals is expected but Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who hiked the limit of the standard deduction from salaried income in her maiden Budget, may increase it further. Expenses incurred on work from home by employees during the pandemic may be taken care of.

  • 05:51

    Sectors still reeling under the impact of Covid-19 may see some more relief package. Travel, tourism, hospitality and real estate may qualify for this as they have witnessed huge income and job losses.

  • 05:48

    Union Budget 2021: FM Nirmala Sitharaman may take fiscally prudent steps

    Healthcare and job creation through infrastructure and Atmanirbhar Bharat, which seeks to promote domestic manufacturing across sectors, is likely to be the main focus area, and may see substantially increased public spending.

    Read more

  • 05:43

    The Budget comes at a time when the economy has seen a contraction of 7.7 per cent. And there is a larger consensus among economists that the annual GDP for FY21 will decline by 7-8 per cent, one of the weakest performances among the developing nations.

  • 05:37

    Among the most-watched figures in the budget would be the expenditure on vaccination in FY22 which could be shared among the central government, state governments and households.

  • 05:35

    DH Radio | Here's what you can expect from the Budget

    As all eyes are now on FM Sitharaman to unveil the Union Budget 2021, tune in to DH Podcast to know about some of the major expectations from the Budget.

  • 05:34

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to generously allocate funds for development, put more money in the hands of the common man to spur demand as she presents the Budget at 11 am in the Parliament.

  • 05:33

    All you need to know about Union Budget 2021

  • 05:32

    The budget, economists and experts say, will be the starting point for picking up the pieces after the economic destruction caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. And it must go beyond being just a 'bahi khata' or a ledger of accounts, as well as canning old schemes in a new bottle.

  • 05:31

    Sitharaman, who had in her first budget in 2019 replaced leather briefcase that had been for decades used for carrying budget documents with a traditional red cloth 'bahi-khata', had earlier this month stated that the budget for the fiscal year beginning April will be "like never before".