Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, February 1, presented the Union Budget 2021-22 by saying that the coronavirus pandemic "is the dawn of a new era, one in which India is poised to be a land of new hope". The Budget has been tasked to get the country back on track as the world's fastest-growing major economy by increasing spending on job-creation and rural development while tackling the pandemic.
The Budget was presented in paperless form for the first time and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was seen carrying a Made in India tablet in a red case instead of the 'bahi khata'.
FM Sitharaman said that the Budget 2021 would be 'unlike anything seen so far.'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said that FM Sitharaman had to give four-five mini-budgets as packages in 2020 and said that the upcoming budget would also be seen as part of that series.
Following are the highlights of the Union Budget 2021-22:
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will borrow Rs 80,000 crore in the remaining two months to meet FY21 expenditure.
- FM proposes an extension of tax holiday for start-ups by one more year.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam announced over 15,000 schools to be qualitatively strengthened under National Education Policy (NEP). She added that 100 new Sainik Schools will be made and other 'umbrella' structures to be created for higher education.
- Under NEP 2020, Centre will set up higher education in Ladakh and a central university in the union territory: FM Sitharaman
- Finance Minister allocates Rs 3,726 crore for forthcoming Census. "This will be the first digital census," Sitharaman said.
- Government to notify rules to eliminate the double tax for NRIs on foreign retirement funds: FM
- Govt to set-up a faceless dispute resolution mechanism for small taxpayers: FM Sitharaman
- FM reduces the tax burden on senior citizens above 75 years, says Pensioners over 75 years of age are exempted from filing returns.
- "Hope to get to back to fiscal consolidation path by FY26. Fiscal deficit will reach below 4.5% by FY26," says Sitharaman.
- Amount paid to farmers for wheat in FY21 was Rs 75,060 crore vs Rs 62,802 crore in FY20: FM
- Amount paid to farmers for paddy in FY21 seen at Rs 1.72 crore Rs vs Rs 1.41 lakh crore in FY20: FM
- Amount paid to farmers for pulses in FY21 seen at Rs 10,530 crore vs Rs 8,285 crore in FY20: FM
- Minimum wages to now apply to all categories of workers and women to be allowed to work in all categories with adequate protection: FM Sitharaman
- 69 crore beneficiaries or 86% covered under one-nation, one-ration, says FM Sitharaman
- Government to privatise 2 PSU banks, one general insurance company in FY22: Nirmala Sitharaman
- FM announces five major fishing harbours to be developed as hubs for economic activity.
- Micro-irrigation corpus doubled to Rs 10,000 cr and agriculture infra fund to be made available to APMCs: FM Sitharaman
- 1.54 crore farmers benefited from MSP in paddy and wheat in FY21 as compared to 1.24 crore the last year, says FM.
- Pipelines of GAIL (India) Ltd, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and HPCL will be monetised, says FM in Budget for 2021-22.
- FM proposes to consolidate provisions of SEBI Act, Depositories Act, Securities Contracts Regulation Act, Government Securities Act.
- Government to amend the Insurance Act to allow higher FDI. As per the amendments- FDI limit in insurance to increase to 74% from 49% and the government has allowed foreign ownership in insurance with safeguards.
- Focusing on the need to clean up banks' books, FM Sitharaman allots Rs 20,000 crore for bank recapitalisation.
- FM proposed to revise definition under Companies Act, 2013 for small companies by raising their threshold for capitalization to not exceeding Rs 50 lakh to not exceeding Rs 2 crore and turnover not exceeding Rs 2 crore to not exceeding Rs 20 crore.
- India to launch Deep Ocean Mission, with the allocation of Rs 4,000 crore over 4 years: FM Sitharaman
- Government announces multi-state co-operative for ease of doing business.
- Vehicles to undergo fitness tests after 20 years for Personal Volume (PVs), 15 years for Commissionable Volume (CVs), said FM, announcing a voluntary vehicle scrapping policy.
- Government to set-up a Development Finance Institution (DFI), capitalised with Rs 20,000 crores.
- Highway infrastructure work to include building 8,500-km of highways by March 2022.
- As part of the Infrastructure boost, FM Sitharaman announced Rs 1.15 lakh crore crores for Railways, privatizing airports.
- The FY22 budget proposals are based on six pillars- Health and well-being, Inclusive Development Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, Physical & Financial capital and infrastructure, Minimum government and maximum governance.
- FM announced a Rs 64,180 crore spending plan for healthcare over the coming six years.
- 17,000 rural and 11,000 urban health and wellness centres, integrated public health labs to be set up in each district: FM Sitharamam
- Presenting the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament, FM Sitharaman allotted Rs 35,000 crore for coronavirus vaccines.
- FM announced Rs 1.41 lakh crore for Urban Clean India Mission. Under the mission, Urban Swachh Bharat 2.0 Mission will be launched at an outlay of Rs 1.41 lakh crore over 5 years and Jal Jeevan Mission Urban will have an outlay of Rs 2.87 lakh crore.
- In the past one year, the FM announced a whopping Rs 30-lakh-crore plan, in 'mini-budgets' to fight novel Coronavirus including- Atma-Nirbhar Bharat programmes, performance-linked incentives, boost for domestic manufacturing, credit access for enterprises, a moratorium on interest payments, thrust on affordable housing, focus on MNREGA etc.
- The total estimate of all relief measures announced by the centre and the central bank so far stands at Rs 27.1 lakh cr (13% of GDP): FM Sitharaman
- The global economy, which was slowing down, was pushed into uncertainty due to COVID-19. The risk of not having a lockdown was far more, far too high: FM Sitharaman
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