Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (AFP)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (AFP)

Budget highlights 2019: Budget presented with 10 year vision in mind, says Nirmala Sitharaman

  • Interchangeability of PAN and Aadhar card in filing of I-T returns
  • New coins released for visually impaired to be made available to public

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today unveiled a budget aimed at boosting infrastructure and foreign investment, the first since the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned for a second term in power.

Here are the highlights of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's budget for the 2019-20:

-The budget has been presented with a 10-year vision in mind. The startups are being given a whole set of tax benefits.

-The budget is for a New India has a roadmap to transform the agriculture sector of the country, this budget is one of hope, says Narendra Modi

-Fully automated GST Refund module shall be implemented; multiple tax ledgers to be replaced by one; invoice details to be captured in a central system

-Basic customs duty on certain items to be increased to promote the cherished goal of Makein India. Import of defence equipment not manufactured in India are being exempted from basic customs duty.

-The government today increased customs duty on gold. According to the Budget proposals, import duty to be hiked on gold and precious metals to 12.5%, from current level of 10%.

-I propose to increase special additional excise duty and road and infrastructure cess each one by 1 rupee a litre on petrol and diesel.

-Nirmala Sitharaman kept the income tax slab rates unchanged but announced a slew of new income tax proposals

-To provide further impetus to affordable housing, additional deduction of 1.5 lakh rupees on interest paid on loans borrowed upto 31 March 2020 for purchase of house up to 45 lakh.

-Additional income tax deduction of 1.5 lakh rupees on the interest paid on the loans taken to purchase electric vehicles.

-To discourage the practice of making business payments in cash, the government proposes to levy TDS of 2% on cash withdrawal exceeding 1 crore in a year from a bank account.

-PAN and Aadhaar now interchangeable: More than 120 crore Indians now have Aadhar card, therefore for ease of tax payers I propose to make PAN card and Aadhar card interchangeable and allow those who don't have PAN to file returns by simply quoting Aadhar number and use it wherever they require to use PAN.

-Public sector banks to be provided 70,000 crore rupees to boost capital and improve credit.

Watch | Budget 2019: More tax for those earning over 2 crore yearly


-For purchase of high-rated pooled assets of financially sound Non Banking Finance Companies amounting to 1 lakh crore rupees during 2019-20, one-time six-month partial credit guarantee to be given to public sector banks (PSBs).

-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.

-A new series of coins of Re 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 easily identifiable to the visually impaired were released by the PM on 7th March 2019. These coins will be made available for public use shortly.

-Four new embassies to be opened in 2019-20, to improve footprint of India's overseas presence and to provide better public services to local Indian communities.

-Regulation authority over housing finance sector to be returned from National Housing Bank to RBI.

-To further encourage women entrepreneurship, Women Self Help Group(SHG) Interest Subvention Programme to be expanded to all districts in India.

-Non-performing asset(NPAs) recovery of 4 lakh crore over the last four years, NPAs down by 1 lakh crore in the last one year.

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

-Exclusive TV programme exclusively for startups to be started, channel will be designed and executed by startups themselves.

-I propose to consider issuing Aadhaar Card for Non Resident Indians (NRIs) with Indian passports after their arrival in India without waiting for the mandatory 180 days

-New National Educational Policy to be brought in to transform Indian educational system; major changes in higher as well as school system to be brought in.

-India will be made open defecation free on 2 October 2019, as per the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

-Jal Shakti Ministry will look at the mgmt of our water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner and will work with states to ensure 'Har Ghar Jal', to all rural households by 2024 under 'Jal Jeevan Mission'.

-The government will invest widely in agricultural infrastructure and support private entrepreneurship in driving value addition to farmers produce and those from allied activities too, like bamboo, timber and also for generating renewable energy.

-9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since 2 October 2014. More than 5.6 lakh villages have become open defecation free. I propose to expand the Swachh Bharat mission to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village.

-The government will bring out a policy framework for making India a global hub of aircraft financing and leasing activities. The idea is to encourage new industries to come up, leveraging India’s existing capabilities that will add more quality jobs.

-India has emerged as a major space power. To harness India's space ability commercially, a public sector enterprise, New Space India Limited (NSIL) has been incorporated to tap the benefits of ISRO

-Every rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the connection will have electricity and clean cooking gas.

-In the second phase of PMAY, 1.95 crore houses are proposed to the beneficiaries.

-It is the right time to consider increasing minimum public shareholding in the listed companies, I have asked market regulator Sebi to consider raising the current threshold of 25% to 35%.

-Government will invite suggestions for further opening up of FDI in aviation sector, media, animation AVGC and insurance sectors in consultation with all stakeholders. 100% FDI will be permitted for insurance intermediaries.

-Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation will be set up in 2019-20, action plan to deepen markets for long-term bonds with specific focus on infrastructure sector to be put in place.

-Pension benefit to be extended to around 3 crore retail traders and shopkeepers with an annual turnover less than 1.5 crore under Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Man Dhan Scheme.

-Comprehensive restructuring of National Highways Programme will be done, to ensure the creation of National Highways Grid of desirable capacity.

Railway infrastructure would need an investment of 50 lakh crores between 2018 and 2030; PPP to be used to unleash faster development and delivery of passenger freight services.

-Current rental laws are archaic. A modern tenancy law would be finanlised and forwarded to states

-Schemes such as 'Bharatmala', 'Sagarmala' and UDAN are bridging the rural and urban divide, improving our transport infrastructure.

-India Inc, our job creators, are the nation's wealth creators; together, we can prosper. I wish to propose no. of reforms to kickstart virtuous cycle of growth.

-The Indian economy will grow to become a $3 trillion economy in the current year itself. It is now the sixth largest in the world. 5 years ago it was at the 11th position.

-Average amount spent on food security per year approximately doubled during 2014-19 compared to preceding five years.

-Vision for the decade: From 1.85 trillion dollars in 2014, the economy has reached 2.7 trillion US dollars withing five years. We are well within capacity to reach $5 trillion economy in next few years.

-The first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA govt stood out as a performing government. Between 2014 and 2019, we provided rejuvenated centre-state dynamic, cooperative federalism, GST Council and a strident commitment to fiscal discipline; set the ball rolling for New India.

Watch | Budget 2019: PAN and Aadhaar cards interchangeable for tax returns

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