Budget 2019: 10 Highlights From Govt’s Last Budget Before Polls
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the interim Budget on Friday, 1 February. This interim Budget is the sixth and final budget presented by the Narendra Modi-led government. The announcements in the budget ranged from full tax rebate to individual taxpayers earning annual income up to Rs 5 lakh, and direct income support to vulnerable farmers. Here are the major announcements from the Union Budget 2019.
1. Income Tax Rebates
In a move aimed at the middle class, Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced a full tax rebate for individual taxpayers earning an annual income of Rs 5 lakh. Individuals with a gross income up to Rs 6.5 lakhs with specified investments and savings will also be exempt from paying tax.
2. Defence Budget Increased Above Rs 3 Lakh Crore
The defence Budget has also been enhanced beyond Rs 3 lakh crore. He also said that 'One Rank One Pension', which was pending for the last 40 years, has been implemented by the Modi government and that Rs 35,000 crore have been disbursed for the soldiers under the scheme.
3. Pension for the Unorganised Sector
The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan Yojana was announced with unorganised sector workers getting Rs 3,000 pension monthly after the age of 60.
4. Direct Income Support for Farmers
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana was also announced in the Budget. The scheme will help vulnerable farmers get direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year. The scheme is for farmers with less than two hectares of landholding. Rs 6,000 per year will be given in three instalments and will be transferred directly to the farmers' bank accounts. The initiative will benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers, at an estimated cost of Rs 75,000 crore, said Goyal. He also announced that farmers severely affected by natural calamities will get 2 percent interest subvention and additional 3 percent interest subvention upon timely repayment.
5. Gratuity Limit Extended
The gratuity payment limit has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.
6. Interest Subvention on MSMEs Loans
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced that GST-registered MSME units to get 2 percent interest subvention on loan of 1 crore.
7. Simplify Direct Tax System
Piyush Goyal also announced that income tax returns will be processed within 24 hours and returns will be paid immediately. Also, all assessment and verification of IT returns will be done electronically, without any intervention by officials.
8. Standard Deduction Raised
The Finance Minister announced that the standard deduction was raised from Rs 40,000 per year to Rs 50,000 per year.
9. Changes in TDS
The Budget 2019 states there will be no TDS on house rent up to Rs 2.4 lakh per year and no TDS on bank, post office interest up to Rs 40,000, up from Rs 10,000.
10. Increase in Direct Tax Collection
Piyush Goyal said that direct tax collections have been increased from Rs 6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs 12 lakh crore. The tax base is up from Rs 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore, he added.