Key Highlights of Union Budget 2020-2021 | Daily Current Affairs 2021
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Key Highlights of Union Budget 2020-2021

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Presenting the first Union Budget of the third decade of the 21stcentury, Finance Minister -Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, unveiled a series of far-reaching reforms, aimed at energizing the Indian economy through a combination of short-term, medium-term, and long term measures.

The Union Budget was structured on the overall theme of “ Ease of Living”. Further, three prominent themes of the budget are:-

  • Aspirational India – better standards of living with access to health, education and better jobs for all sections of the society.

  • Economic Development for all – “Sabka Saath,Sabka Vikas , Sabka Vishwas”.

  • Caring Society – Both humane and compassionate.

Aspirational India

Sixteen Action Points for Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development

  • Agriculture credit:

  • Rs. 15 lakh crore target set for the year 2020-21.

  • PM-KISAN beneficiaries to be covered under the KCC scheme.

  • NABARD Re-finance Scheme to be further expanded.

  • Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts proposed.

  • Blue Economy:

  • Rs. 1 lakh crore fisheries’ exports to be achieved by 2024-25.

  • 200 lakh tonnes fish production targeted by 2022-23.

  • 3477 Sagar Mitras and 500 Fish Farmer Producer Organisations to involve youth in fisheries extension.

  • Kisan Rail to be setup by Indian Railways through PPP to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables.

  • Krishi Udaan to be launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

  • One-Product One-District for better marketing and export in the Horticulture sector.

  • Balanced use of all kinds of fertilizers -traditional organic and innovative fertilizers.

  • Measures for organic, natural, and integrated farming:

  • Jaivik Kheti Portal –online national organic products market to be strengthened.

  • Integrated Farming Systems in rain-fed areas to be expanded.

  • PM – KUSUM to be expanded.

  • Village storage scheme to provide farmers with holding capacity. To be run by SHGs.

  • NABARD to map and geo-tag agri-warehouses, cold storages, reefer van facilities,etc

  • Warehousing in line with Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) norms

  • Financing on Negotiable Warehousing Receipts (e-NWR) to be integrated with e-NAM.

  • State governments who undertake implementation of model laws (issued by the Central government) to be encouraged.

  • Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – 0.5crore households mobilized with 58 lakh SHGs for poverty alleviation.

  • In Livestock, doubling of milk production capacity, and increase in artificial insemination sought.

Wellness, Water and Sanitation

  • Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme to offer2000 medicines and 300 surgicals in all districts by 2024.

  • TB Harega Desh Jeetega campaign launched – commitment to end Tuberculosis by 2025.

  • Commitment to ODF-Plus in order to sustain ODF behaviour.

  • Rs. 69,000crore allocated for overall Healthcare sector.

Education and Skills

  • New Education Policy to be announced soon.

  • National Police University and National Forensic Science University proposed for policing science, forensic science, and cyber-forensics.

  • Up to 1-year internship to fresh engineers to be provided by Urban Local Bodies.

  • Ind-SAT proposed for Asian and African countries as a part of Study in India program.

  • Rs. 99,300 crore for education sector and Rs. 3000 crore for skill development in 2020-21 is allotted.

Economic Development for All
Industry, Commerce and Investment

  • Investment Clearance Cell proposed to be setup.

  • National Technical Textiles Mission to be setup to position India as a global leader in technical textile.

  • New scheme NIRVIK to be launched to achieve higher export credit disbursement.

  • All Ministries to issue quality standard orders as per PM’s vision of “Zero Defect-Zero Effect” manufacturing.

  • Rs.27,300 crore allocated for 2020-21 for development and promotion of Industry and Commerce.

Infrastructure

  • National Infrastructure Pipeline- More than 6500 projects across sectors, to be classified as per their size and stage of development.

  • A National Logistics Policy to be released soon.

  • National Skill Development Agency to give special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities.

  • Rs.100 lakh crore to be invested on infrastructure over the next 5 years.

Highways

  • Accelerated development of highways to be undertaken.

  • Proposed to monetise at least 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6000 Km before 2024.

Indian Railways

  • Large solar power capacity to be set up alongside rail tracks, on land owned by railways.

  • Four station re-development projects and operation of 150 passenger trains through PPP.

Ports & Waterways

  • Economic activity along river banks to be energised as per Prime Minister’s

Arth Ganga concept.

  • Corporatizing at least one major port and its listing on stock exchanges to be considered.

Airports

  • 100 more airports to be developed by 2024 to support Udaan scheme.

Electricity

  • “Smart” metering to be promoted and measures to reform DISCOMs to be taken.

Power

  • Expansion of national gas grid from the present 16200 km to 27000 km proposed.

  • Rs.22, 000 crore proposed for power and renewable energy sector in 2020-21.

New Economy

  • Policy to enable private sector to build Data Centre parks throughout the country.

  • Rs.6000 crore proposed for Bharat net programme in 2020-21.

  • Mapping of India’s genetic landscape-Two new national level Science Schemes to be initiated to create a comprehensive database.

  • Knowledge Translation Clusters to be set up across different technology sectors including new and emerging areas.

  • Rs.8000 crore proposed over five years for National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications.

CARING SOCIETY

Women & Child, Social Welfare

  • Proposed to appoint a task force to present its recommendations in six months on issue of age of girl entering motherhood.

  • Financial support for wider acceptance of technologies, identified by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to ensure no manual cleaning of sewer systems or septic tanks, to be provided.

  • Enhanced allocation of Rs. 9,500 crore provided for 2020-21 for senior citizens and Divyang.

Culture & Tourism

  • Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation under Ministry of Culture proposed; with the status of a deemed University.

  • 5 archaeological sites to be developed as iconic sites with on-site Museums:

  • Rakhigarhi (Haryana)

  • Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh)

  • Shivsagar (Assam)

  • Dholavira (Gujarat)

  • Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu)

  • Museum on Numismatics and Trade to be located in the historic Old Mint building in Kolkata.

  • Support for setting up of a Tribal Museum in Ranchi (Jharkhand).

  • Maritime museum to be set up at Lothal- the Harrapan age maritime site near Ahmedabad.

Environment & Climate Change

  • Proposed to advise the utilities to close the running old thermal power plants with carbon emission above the pre-set norms.

  • States that are formulating and implementing plans for ensuring cleaner air in cities with population above one million to be encouraged.

GOVERNANCE

  • Companies Act to be amended to remove criminal liability for certain acts that are civil in nature.

  • National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to be set up for conduct of a computer-based online Common Eligibility Test for recruitment to Non-Gazetted posts in governments and public sector banks. A test-centre in every district, particularly in the Aspirational Districts would be set up.

  • Robust mechanism to be evolved for appointment including direct recruitment to various Tribunals and specialised bodies to attract best talents and professional experts.
  • New National Policy on Official Statistics to:

  • Promote use of latest technologies including AI.

  • Lay down a road-map towards modernised data collection, integrated information portal and timely dissemination of information.

  • Development of Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh:

  • An amount of Rs. 30,757 crore provided for the financial year 2020-21.

  • The Union Territory of Ladakh has been provided with Rs. 5,958.

Financial Sector

  • Governance reforms to be carried out to bring in transparency and greater professionalism in PSBs.

  • Few PSBs to be encouraged to approach the capital market to raise additional capital

  • Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) permitted to increase Deposit Insurance Coverage to Rs. 5 lakh from Rs.1 lakh per depositor.

  • Cooperative Banks to be strengthen by amending Banking Regulation Act.

  • NBFCs eligibility limit for debt recovery reduced from:

  • Rs. 500 crore to Rs 100 crore asset size.

  •  Rs 1 crore to Rs 50 lakh loan size.

  • Government to sell its balance holding in IDBI Bank to private, retail and institutional investors through the stock exchange. 

Financial Market

  • FPI limit in corporate bonds increased to 15% from 9% of its outstanding stock.

  • Debt Based Exchange Traded Fund expanded by a new Debt-ETF consisting primarily of Government Securities.

Infrastructure Financing

  • An International Bullion exchange(s) to be set up as an additional option for trade by global market participants with the approval of regulator.

Disinvestment

  • Government to sell a part of its holding in LIC by way of Initial Public Offer (IPO).

Fiscal Management

  • Overhaul of Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Central Sector Schemes necessary to ensure that scarce public resources are spent optimally.

  • For year 2020-21:Nominal growth of GDP estimated at 10%.

  • Fiscal deficit of 3.8% estimated in RE 2019-20 and 3.5% for BE 2020-21.

  • A good part of the borrowings for the financial year 2020-21 to go towards Capital expenditure that has been scaled up by more than 21%.

  • Recommendations of XV Finance Commission (FC) accepted in substantial measure.

Direct Tax

  • Proposals – To stimulate growth, simplify tax structure, bring ease of compliance, and reduce litigations.

Personal Income Tax– Significant relief to middle class taxpayers.

  • Around 70 of the existing exemptions and deductions (more than 100) to be removed in the new simplified regime.
  • Corporate Tax– Tax rate of 15% extended to new electricity generation companies.

  • Dividend Distribution Tax – DDT removed making India a more attractive investment destination.

  • Startups – Start-ups with turnover upto Rs. 100 crore to enjoy100% deduction for 3 consecutive assessment years out of 10 years.

  • MSMEs – Turnover threshold for audit increased to Rs. 5 crore from Rs. 1 crore for businesses carrying out less than 5% business transactions in cash inorder to boost less cash economy.

  • Cooperative societies exempted from Alternate Minimum Tax (AMT) just like Companies are exempted from the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT).

  • Affordable Housing – Additional deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs for interest paid on loans taken for an affordable house extended till 31st March, 2021.

Tax facilitation measures –

  • ‘Vivad Se Vishwas’ scheme,with a deadline of30th June, 2020, to reduce litigations in direct taxes.

  • Instant PAN to be allotted online through Aadhaar.

  • Faceless appeals to be enabled by amending the Income Tax Act.

  • Unique registration number (URN) to be issued to all new and existing charity institutions.

  • CBDT to adopt a Taxpayers’ Charter.

Indirect Tax :

  • GST rate structure being deliberated to address inverted duty structure.

  • Dynamic QR-code capturing GST parameters proposed for consumer invoices.

  • Simplified return with features like SMS based filing for nil return and improved input tax credit flow to be implemented from 1st April, 2020 as a pilot run.

Custom duties :

  • Higher customs duty on certain goods like auto-parts, chemicals, etc. which arealso being made domestically.

  • Lower customs duty on certain inputs and raw materials like fuse, chemicals, and plastics.

Trade policy measure:

  • Customs Act being amended to enable proper checks of imports under FTAs.

  • Excise duty proposed to be raised on Cigarettes and other tobacco products, no change made in the duty rates of bidis.

  • Anti-dumping duty on PTA abolished to benefit the textile sector.

Future Aim for sustaining India’s unique global leadership, driven by Digital Revolution

  • Seamless delivery of services through Digital Governance.

  • Improvement in physical quality of life through National Infrastructure Pipeline.

  • Risk mitigation through Disaster Resilience.

  • Social security through Pension and Insurance penetration.

Source: News On Air

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