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Cash dole for small farmers, mega pension scheme for unorganised sector, IT exemption limit doubled to Rs 5 lakh

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Reaching out to a large electorate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Modi government Friday announced a cash dole for small farmers, a mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector and doubled the threshold income tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh.

Presenting the interim 2019-20 union budget in Parliament, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said Rs 6,000 per year cash support will be given to small and marginal farmers that will cost the exchequer Rs 75,000 crore annually, in a bid to provide relief to distressed farm sector. Under the scheme called 'Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi', Rs 6,000 will be transferred into bank accounts of farmers holding up to 2 hectares of land in three equal instalments. Goyal said it will benefit 12 crore farmers and will be implemented from this fiscal itself.

He said Rs 20,000 crore have been provided for current fiscal and also announced allocation of Rs 75,000 crore for the next fiscal. Unveiling the mega pension yojna for the unorganised sector workers that will benefit 10 crore people, Goyal said they will get assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after reaching the age of 60 years.

"We are launching Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan today. The scheme will provide assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000, with contribution of 100 rupees per month, for workers in unorganised sector after 60 years of age," Goyal said.

Goyal, who is standing in for Arun Jaitley undergoing treatment in the US, informed the House that the government will also provide a matching contribution of Rs 100 for every unorganised worker covered under the scheme.

"The scheme will benefit 10 crore workers in unorganised sector, may become the world's biggest pension scheme for unorganised sector in five years".

In a major relief for the middle class, Goyal proposed to double the threshold income tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh and increased the standard deduction from the existing Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000.

The announcement was greeted with thumping of desks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of the treasury benches.

The proposal will benefit 3 crore middle class tax payers, Goyal said.

Doubling the threshold exemption limit is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 18,500 crore.

Goyal further said an individual having an income of Rs 6.5 lakh per annum will not be required to pay any tax provided he invests in the specified tax saving schemes of the government. The TDS threshold on interest from bank, post office deposits was also raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000.

"This is not just an Interim Budget, this is a vehicle for the developmental transformation of the nation," Goyal said.

Vijay Kalantri, President All India Association of Industries
Various incentives given to agriculture, common man and other sectors are need of the hour. Relief measures given to real estate sector and increase in income tax limits and TDS will give much needed boost to economy. The Interim Budget has also offered interest subvention of 2% for GST-registered SMEs availing incremental loan up to Rs 1 crore. The setting up of Ministerial group to review GST should rationalize the rates and simplify the rules will further increase revenue to the exchequer as this move will increase the base of taxpayers.

Sanjit Prasad, MD & CEO, Indian Commodity Exchange
The budget is a well-rounded attempt of presenting something for everybody. Measures intended to protect and promote the agricultural sector should help the commodity markets going forward. The structured income support provided to the small and marginal farmers through the Prime Minister’s Kisaan Sanmaan Nidhi wherein farmers with upto 2 hectares of land will get Rs 6000 in 3 equal installments is likely to bring in a better quality of produce into the market this will definitely help in a better development of the commodity markets.

Nikhil Nanda, MD, JHS Svendgaard Laboratories Ltd.
Finance Minister has done good job by balancing welfare and growth of the country. Increase in disposable incomes in the hands of middle class and rural India is good boost for FMCG companies like us. Any saving in the taxes are generally spent on kids, which is where our focus is and this raising of income tax exemption limit and increasing standard deduction will go a long way to spur the consumption and spending power of the people.

Manoj Kumar Jain, Director and Head of Commodities, IndiaNivesh
The budget has been very impressive in terms of addressing the issues of the agriculture sector. The new Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sanmaan Nidhi is a very good step towards ensuring a good future for the small and marginal farmers. The intention of doubling farm income by 2022 by providing loans at a subsidised rate and also funding of the inputs by a direct credit into the accounts of the farmers will bring in much relief for them.

Prashant Gupta, Executive Director, Sharda University
Reflecting our Government's great commitment to harness the potential of our students/youth and empower their future, the investment of Rs 38, 572 cr under the National Education Mission, is indeed a welcome move. The initiative of deduction in the interest on education loans will make education accessible to all. Additionally, the government’s push towards new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence will impart necessary skills and knowledge to the younger generation and will help in  preparing the workforce of future.

Sunu Mathews, MD, LEAP India
Though we all know today’s budget is an interim budget, Commendable efforts put up by Government to balance both growth and welfare of the people. Our clientele from FMCG, Beverages are going to benefit possibly from increasing disposable income in the hands of middle class of the country and rural India, this will in turn spur demand for our pallets.

Prashant Solomon, MD, Chintels India
The election year budget has brought some relief to the real estate sector and we can look forward to some better times considering that our sector is one of the biggest job providers. Real estate investments will receive an impetus due to the sops promised primarily in the form of tax relief particularly in affordable housing and in terms of the extension of notional rent exemption on unsold inventory.

Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India
The Interim Budget of 2019 is rightly focusing on the middle class, rural sector and on enhancing farmers' income. It is giving huge resources in the hands of people which will drive rural income and consumption. Growing consumption is critical to support and boost local manufacturing and job creation in the country. Overall, this Budget maintains focus on fiscal consolidation and is a win-win budget for all as it will help bridge the divide between India and Bharat.  

Vijay Mansukhani, MD, Mirc Electronics Ltd  
Overall budget is very positive for middle class, as the Government has put in more disposable income in the hands of middle class of the country. This is much needed for a long time. On the other hand there is good balancing act done to agriculture sector, which would bring in much need relief to farmers of the country. Increase in disposable income in the hands of both middle class and rural India is definitely going to spur demand for consumer durables goods. This move is definitely positive for us.

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