Budget Current Affairs - 2019

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Budget Box 2014-15: Highlights

Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget 2014-15. The highlights:

 

For individuals

  • No change in the Tax slab on personal income
  • Income tax exemption limit increased by Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh and for senior citizens to Rs 3 lakh
  • Exemption limit for investment in financial instruments under 80C increased to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
  • Investment limit in PPF increased to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lak
  • Deduction limit on interest on loan for self-occupied house enhanced to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.
  • Reintroduction of Kisan Vikas Patra, National Savings Certificate with insurance cover to be launched
  • Long term capial gain tax for mutual funds doubled to 20%; lock-in period increased to 3 years
  • Mandatory wage ceiling of subscription to EPS (Employee Pension Scheme) enhanced from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000
  • Minimum pension raised to Rs 1,000 per month
  • LCD, LED TV become less expensive
  • Cigarettes, pan masala, tobacco, aerated drinks become costlier

 

New projects and programmes

  • 5 IIMs to be opened in HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan
  • 5 IITs in Jammu, Chattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala
  • 4 more AIIMS like institutions in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in Uttar Pradesh
  • Kisan TV for farmers, Arun Prabha TV for northeast
  • National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills proposed
  • ‘Digital India’ programme will be launched to ensure broad band connectivity at village level
  • Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology has been proposed
  • ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ a project on the river Ganga for inland waterways between Allahabad and Haldia; Rs 4,200 crore will be allocated for the same.
  • “Uniform Account Number” service will be launched by EPFO for contributing members.
  • Project “Neeranchal” will be launched to give fillip to watershed development in the country with an initial outlay of Rs. 2142 crores.
  • Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana to spread awareness and help in improving the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women.
  • Achieving “Health For All” objective through Free Drug Service and Free Diagnosis Service
  • Two National Institutes of Ageing to be established at AIIMS, New Delhi and Madras Medical College, Chennai.

 

Key allocations

  • Rs 100 crore allocated to support about 600 new and existing Community Radio Stations
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to cover every household with sanitation facility by the year 2019
  • Rs 100 crore for metro projects in Lucknow and Ahmedabad
  • ‘Namami Gange’ the Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission has been allocated Rs 2,037 crore
  • Rs 150 crore set aside for enhancing safety of women in large cities
  • Rs. 7,060 crore allocated for the project of developing 100 Smart Cities.
  • Rs 11,200 crore for PSU banks capitalization
  • Rs 500 crore allocated for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri migrants
  • “Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna” has been provided Rs 1000 crore.
  • Rs. 50,548 crore under the SC Plan and Rs. 32,387 crore under TSP

 

Economic Measures

  • Composite cap of foreign investment to be increased to 49% in Defence and Insurance sectors.
  • Requirement of the construction area and capital conditions for FDI decreased to 20,000 square metres and $5 million respectively for development of smart cities.
  • Manufacturing can sell its products through retail including e-commerce platforms.
  • Requirement to inject Rs.2,40,000 crore as equity by 2018 in our banks to be in consonance with Basel-III norms PSUs will invest through capital investment a total sum of Rs. 2,47,941 crores.
  • Rs 4,000 cr allocated to increase flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment.
  • Government supports consolidation of PSU banks
  • Providing greater autonomy to PSU banks while making them accountable is under consideration

 

Some key fiscal information

  • Government expects Rs 9.77 lakh crore revenue crore from taxes
  • Plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5.75 lakh crore and non-plan at Rs 12.19 lakh crore.
  • Fiscal deficit target maintained at 4.1% of GDP for current fiscal and 3.6% for FY 2016
  • Disinvestment target fixed at Rs 58,425 crore
  • Gross borrowings pegged at Rs 6 lakh crore
  • Configuration of GST to be finalized this fiscal
  • Government to examine DTC proposal.

 

Administrative reforms

  • Panel to examine all fresh tax demands for indirect transfer of assets in wake of retrospective tax amendments of 2012
  • Setting up of Expenditure Management Commission; will look into food and fertilizer subsides
  • Legislative and administrative amendments to clear up pending tax demands of more than Rs. 4 lakh crore under dispute and litigation.
  • Formulation of New Urea Policy
  • MGNREGA would provide more productive, asset creating wage employment with linkages to agriculture and allied activities
  • A panel will look into and recommend how unclaimed amounts with PPF, Post Office, saving schemes etc. can be utilized to protect and further financial interests of the senior citizens
  • Slum development to be included in the list of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Panel to look into the financial architecture for MSME Sector, remove impediments and create new norms and structures regarding the same.
  • To provide support to mainstreaming PPPPs (People Public Private Partnership) called4PIndia”, an institution will be established with a corpus of Rs. 500 crores.

Pakistan Budget 2014 allocates Rs.700 billion for Defense

Pakistan’s Defense budget has been raised to Rs700. 2 billion for the fiscal year 2014-15 starting on July 1, compared with Rs 627.2 billion provided in the last fiscal, which shows a jack up of Rs 73 billion.

However, the military had demanded an increase of Rs 173 billion in defense spending.

As per military officials, the increase is justified as Pakistan military’s expenses are lowest in the region given the volatile security atmosphere.

As per Pakistan’s defense ministry, out of the whole defense budget, Pakistan Army gets 48%, 20% to Pakistan Air force and Navy will get 10%.