Budget 2019: Key Announcements Made In BJP’s Interim Budget
Today, on February 1, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government presented the Union Budget 2019-20. This the Interim budget and the last budget of the BJP government ahead of the 2019 elections. It can’t be implemented before April 1, 2020, as this is an interim budget. Technically announcing income tax sops in an interim budget also goes against protocol because there’s no way of implementing it in a General Election year without a full budget.
Acting finance minister Piyush Goyal presented the budget in the parliament today.
What is an Interim Budget?
The cabinet has approved the BJP government to announce the Interim Budget, which is being presented in the parliament now. An Interim Budget is not for the entire year but for a short period of time. This year, the budget is interim as the current government has its last year in office, with the general elections coming up. This budget is for a short period of time, that is, the transitory period between the two governments.
By practice, the interim budget does not have major policy decisions, unlike all other budgets. However, if the interim budget is presented before the announcement of general election dates then the ruling government is free to announce any policy decisions through it. This budget is likely to affect the expenditure of the next government, reports The Quint.
Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s sixth and interim budget amid ruckus by the opposition.
— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2019
Highlights of the Budget
On income tax bracket- In one of the major announcements, the government has increased the income tax bracket. The interim FM announced that individual taxpayers with annual income up to Rs 5 lakh will get a full tax rebate. The existing income tax rates to continue. He also said that individuals with gross income up to 6.5 lakh rupees will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.
Defence budget– Goyal also announced that Defence budget has been enhanced beyond 3 lakh crore rupees. He also said that the government “will provide additional funds if the need arises”.
Mega Pension Yojna- Under Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, government to provide assured monthly pension of 3000 rupees per month for workers in the unorganized sector who are above 60 years of age. The acting FM said that the move will benefit 10 crore workers in the unorganised sector and it may become the world’s biggest pension scheme for the unorganised sector in the next five years.
Allocation for MGNREGA- Goyal has announced that Rs 60,000 crore has been set aside for MGNREGA and Rs 19,000 crore for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. He also informed that in the last five years1.53 lakh houses has been constructed under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
Gratuity limit raised- The interim FM has raised the gratuity limit from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh. Gratuity is the money paid by an employer to his/her employees who complete 5 years or more with a company.
Mega pension scheme for labourers- The monthly pension of Rs 3000 under a new scheme for unorganised workers after they turn 60. They will have to contribute just Rs 55 a month in some cases. Rs 500 crore has been allotted for the scheme.
Announcements for farmers- In the budget, the interim Finance Minister announced a new scheme for the farmers. The minister announced that it is providing a direct income transfer to small and marginal farmers. The scheme will provide Rs 6,000 per annum to farmers, directly in their accounts. The minister also introduced benefits under the Kisan credit cards.
According to The Indian Express, in India, there are 12.56 crore marginal and small farmers having less than 2 hectares (5 acre) holdings. As per the government’s announcement, if it will provide Rs 6,000 to each farmer, the total outlay will be Rs 75,360 crore. The budget scheme is a modification of the Rythu Bandhu scheme of Telangana government.
The Budget has a huge impact of the Indian economy. After today’s budget, the market has responded positively. Sensex at 36,626.90, up by 370.21 points, reports The Indian Express.
Reactions on Budget
The NDA- led BJP government ministers hailed the interim Budget presented. Meanwhile, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi attacked the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, saying giving farmers Rs 17 a day is an insult.
My compliments to Shri Piyush Goyal for delivering an excellent Budget. The Budget furthers the agenda of the Government headed by Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji to comprehensively address the challenges of the economy. @PiyushGoyal
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 1, 2019
Terming the interim budget as progressive and positive, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the government's "pathbreaking" budget provided a narrative of India's continued development growth
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) February 1, 2019
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) February 1, 2019
The opposition called the BJP’s last budget as ‘Jumlabazi’
Rahul Gandhi: You can waive off Rs 3.5 Lakh Crore loan of 15 people but give only Rs 17 per day to farmers! What else is this, if not an insult? Election will be fought keeping in mind issue of farmers, unemployment & attacks on institutions, it'll also be on the issue of Rafale. pic.twitter.com/eKQgPyzaC0
— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2019
WB CM Mamata Banerjee: This govt has no moral authority or responsibility to place the budget for 5 years when they'll not be in power; the govt will go for expiry. After expiry, if you give medicine, is there any value? What will be the value? This is absolutely valueless. pic.twitter.com/rK4CBge5Sw
— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2019
1. Invest heavily in edu n health
2. Increase min wages n enforce it
3. Give crop prices 1.5 times cost
4. One time farm loan waiver
This wud put money in pocket of poorest, create demand, give boost to economy n create jobs
None of it done in budget
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 1, 2019
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) February 1, 2019
— NDTV Profit (@NDTVProfit) February 1, 2019