When Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her third Union Budget 2021 on Monday, everyone had great expectations from it. The Union Budget 2021 came at a time when the economic growth of India is on the downhill due to the COVID-19 lockdown and its aftereffects.
During her two-hour-long speech, Sithraman said that the proposed Budget for this financial year is based on six pillars- health & well-being, physical, financial capital and infrastructure, reinvigorating human capital, inclusive development for aspirational India, innovation, and R&D, and ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’.
There have been many significant announcements that include a proposal to disinvest two more PSBs and a general insurance company, hikes in customs duty to benefit Make in India, and numerous infrastructure pledges to poll-bound States.
The fiscal deficit that currently stands at 9.5% of the GDP, is estimated to be 6.8% in 2021-2022. Personal income tax slabs remain the same, however, there have been changes induced for the senior citizens above 75 years.
Here are 5 most important Budget takeaways:
Along with focusing on the strengthening of the Urban Swachh Bharat Mission, the Government has launched new schemes such as PM Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana to develop primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, and Mission POSHAN 2.0 to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts.
The set-up of around 17 new public health units is proposed at points of entry. Also, the existing health units at 32 airports, 15 seaports, and land ports will be modernized.
Keeping the healthcare sector in focus, FM allocated Rs 2,23,846 crore to the healthcare sector in 2021-2022, Rs 35,000 crore for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Growth in Focus
Despite the year 2020 is hard on the common man, Sitharaman has avoided any tax relief exemptions to the ‘aam aadmi’. There have not been any increase in the standard deduction and no raise in the tax slabs.
Taxpayers are not required to estimate the dividend income while making advance tax payments. The advance tax will be payable only when the dividend is declared or paid by the company. Taxpayers can save the payment of interest due to underestimation while paying advance taxes.
Road to Recovery
After struggling for six years, the government has finally decided to come up with an asset reconstruction company to take over the bad loans of banks that will give them the flexibility to boost the economic growth.
This is one sector, where the government has not performed much to inspire confidence. National Monetisation Pipeline of potential assets of NHAI, PGCIL, warehouses, airports, Railways, sports stadiums.
Major Highway Projects
The four poll-bound states get major highway projects: Kerala (1,100 km- Rs 65,000 crore), Tamil Nadu (3,500 km- Rs 1.03 lakh crore), Assam (1,300 km –Rs 34,000 crore), and West Bengal.
Finance Minister Sitharaman`s third budget is bold on multiple levels. It not only carves a pathway to growth but also signifies a strong intent for reforms.