Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman started her speech on Friday by touching on the current global headwinds that are affecting India's economy as well.
"Global GDP growth may be revised downwards from current estimate of 3.2% and global demand going to be weak. As a result of US-China trade war and currency devaluation, very volatile situation has developed in global trade. However, India's growth rate is higher in comparison with many countries," said Sitharaman.
Sitharaman assured investors that reforms are on top of the government's agenda and that the reform process will continue and that the government hasn't lost momentum.
Here are a few takeaways from Sitharaman's press conference:
* In order to encourage investment in the capital market, it has been decided to withdraw the enhanced surcharged levied on long/short term capital gains arising from transfer of equity shares/units. “The enhanced surcharge on FPI goes, in simple words," Sitharaman said, referring to a budget proposal pertaining to Foreign Portfolio Investors. “In other words, the pre-budget position is restored."
* CSR rule violations will only be treated as civil matter and not as criminal matter
* All tax notices to be issued from centralised system, says FM on tax reforms to end harassment of taxpayers
* Startups get relief as angel tax provisions will not be applicable on them and their investors
* Government to infuse upfront ₹70,000 crore into public sector banks to enable release of ₹5 lakh crore liquidity in the market
* All pending GST refunds to MSMEs till date shall be paid within 30 days and future refund matters to be sorted out within 60 days
* Govt allows additional 15% depreciation on vehicles acquired from now till March 2020: FM on measures to ease building auto inventories
* Ban on govt departments lifted for purchase of vehicles to replace old ones: FM on measures to mitigate distress in auto sector. Sitharaman also announced that government will come out with a scrappage policy for old vehicles. Faced with a massive sales downturn, India's automobile industry has been betting big on a scrappage policy to revive demand for the already dented sector. Accordingly, automobile industry's representatives have sought an 'End of Life' policy from the Central government as a measure to arrest the falling sales. The policy, if implemented, is expected to encourage customers to go in for new purchases which will be backed-up by government incentives in lieu of their old vehicles.