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Union Budget Key Highlights 2021-22
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021 today. The budget gave major emphasis to healthcare and infra sectors. Besides, a host of substantial announcements were made on the divestment front, including the coming IPO of Life Insurance Corporation.
Here are the highlights of the Union Budget 2021:
- Fiscal deficit
- Sitharaman pegged FY21 fiscal deficit at 9.5% of GDP, with FY22 fiscal deficit target at 6.8% of GDP. Hope to get to back to fiscal consolidation path by FY26. Fiscal deficit will reach below 4.5% by FY26. FY22 gross expenditure seen at Rs 34.83 lakh crore.
- Capital expenditure
- FY22 capital expenditure provided is up 34.5% (vs FY21 BE) at Rs 5.54 lakh crore, said the Finance Minister. Rs 44,000 crore under capital expenditure will be given to Department of Economic Affairs in FY22, she added. FY21 capital expenditure is seen at Rs 4.39 lakh crore.
- No tax change
- The government has left direct taxes unchanged, but took steps in direct tax incentives to ease compliance for taxpayers. The FM proposed making it so that advance tax liability on dividend income shall arise only after payment of dividend. The Budget also looked at pre-filled tax forms with respect to details like salary income, tax payment and TDS.
- Relief for seniors, small taxpayers
- No tax filing for seniors above 75 with only pension, interest income. A dispute resolution committee for small taxpayers is being planned. Anyone with taxable income of up to Rs 50 lakh, disputed income of up to Rs 10 lakh eligible to approach dispute resolution committee.
- Faceless resolution
- The Budget proposes setting up faceless dispute resolution committee for individual tax payers, making Income Tax Appellate Tribunal faceless, and constituting the dispute resolution committee for small taxpayers.
- Atmanirbhar Bharat
- The FM outlined six pillars of proposals to strengthen the vision of Atmanirbharta, namely health and wellbeing, capital and infrastructure, inclusive development, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D and minimum government and maximum governance.
- Shot in the arm for Healthcare
- The allocation to healthcare in this budget has been increased substantially. The areas of focus will be preventive and curative healthcare as well as well being, she said. The allocation is likely to be around Rs 2,23,846 crore, a 137% percentage rise from the previous budget. Rs 35,000 cr has been budgeted for COVID-19 vaccination expenditure in FY22.
- Divestment target
- The Govt sees FY22 fiscal deficit at 6.8%, according to the FM, while she had pegged deficit at 3.5% for FY21 in the last Budget. Govt aims to get Rs 1.75 lakh crore through divestments in 2021-22, according to Budget documents. In FY21, it planned to raise Rs 2.1 lakh crore through divestments, falling short
- Big borrowing
- Sitharaman said govt will borrow Rs 80,000 crore in the remaining two months to meet FY21 expenditure, and is projected to borrow about Rs 12 lakh crore in FY22.
- LIC IPO
- The FM announced plans to privatise 2 PSU banks and one general insurance company in FY22. The Govt will bring the long-awaited LIC IPO in FY22, adding that it plans to complete the divestments of BPCL, CONCOR and SCI in 2021-22
- Banking and companies
- The Govt plans to allot Rs 20,000 crore for bank recapitalisation of PSBs. The FM also proposed to revise definition under Companies Act, 2013 for small companies by increasing their threshold for capitalisation.
- Minimum Wages
- Minimum wages will now apply to all categories of workers and women will be allowed to work in all categories with adequate protection.
- Cell Phone parts
- The government has raised basic customs duty on import of sub-parts of mobile phones and battery chargers from nil to 2.5% in FY21-22. The price impact will be known once the details are clear.
- Agricultural Credit
- The Budget set agriculture credit target of Rs 16.5 lakh crore for FY22, and will further increase provision to rural infra development fund to Rs 40,000 crore from earlier Rs 30,000 crore. Sitharaman said the govt is committed to welfare of farmers, pointing at how 1.54 crore farmers benefited from MSP in paddy and wheat in FY21. Furthermore, underlined that Rs 75,060 crore was paid to farmers for wheat in FY21 versus Rs 62,802 crore in FY20.
- One-Nation, One-Ration card
- 69 crore beneficiaries (86% beneficiaries) were covered under the One-Nation, One-Ration card implemented by 32 states and union territories.
- One-person companies
- The govt plans to allow incorporation of one-person companies with no restriction on paid-up capital and turnover. Non-resident Indians will also be allowed to incorporate one-person companies in India, the FM added.
- Revised customs duty structure
- Propose to review more than 400 old exemptions to customs duty, and from October 1 will put in place a revised customs duty structure free of any distortion, the FM said. Govt plans on reducing customs duty uniformly to 7.5% on products of non-alloy, alloy and stainless steel, exempting duty on steel scrap till March 2022. The FM added that to provide relief to copper recyclers, the govt will be reducing duty on copper scrap from 5% to 2.5%
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