Highlights of Union Budget 2021-22

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The Union Budget 2021 is being widely recognized as a focal point in the country’s economic and social improvement from a deadly pandemic.

The Union Budget of India for the year 2021-2022 was presented on 1st February 2021 at Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “Deep Ocean Mission” will be launched said the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her Budget Speech on Monday.

Further, the Budget expenditure for Health and Wellbeing is expected to be Rs.2,23,846 crore for FY 2021-22, which is a growth of 137% Y-o-Y basis.

The increased allocation is required to expand and strengthen existing national health institutions, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Health Emergency Operation Centers, and mobile hospitals.

This financial year Budget designs focus on the seven pillars for improving the economy which are Health and Wellbeing, Physical and Financial Capital and Infrastructure, Reinvigorating Human Capital, Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, Innovation and R&D, and Minimum Government Maximum Governance.

In the article, we have covered some of the finance budget highlights:

Health and Sanitation:

Finance Minister also announced a new central sponsored scheme PM Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana to be launched for the development of primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare For strengthening nutrition content government launch the Mission POSHAN 2.0 by merging the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the PoshanAbhiyan Operationalization of 17 new public health units with strengthening existing 33 public health units at the point of entry which includes 32 Airports, 7 Land crossings, and 11 Seaports.

The Finance Minister Sitharaman also announced the 2,87,000 crore plan to supply water universally in all 2.86 crore household tap connections with the 4,378 Urban Local Bodies, The name of the plan will be Jal Jeevan Mission which will be implemented over 5 years.

The Finance Minister announced the strengthening swatch Bharat Yojana by the financial allocation of 1,41,678 crore rupees in 5 years, from the year 2021 to 2026. Also to stop the exploding problem of air pollution, the government aimed to provide a cost of Rs. 2,217 crore for 42 metropolitan cities with a million-plus population in this budget.

Education:

Sitaraman also announced about the 100 new Sainik Schools to be set up in partnership with the School/State NGOs/Private. For convenient higher education in Ladakh, the Government intended to set up a Central University in Leh.

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Welfare:

The government has set the aim of setting 750 Eklavya model residential schools in tribal regions with an increase in the total cost of each school from 20 crores to 38 crore rupees, and for hilly and difficult areas, to 48 crore rupees.

Infrastructure:

More than 13,000KM length roads have already been awarded for 3.3 lakh crore rupees under the Bharatmala Pariyojana project of 5.35 lakh crore rupees of which 3,800KM roads have been constructed announced by the Finance Minister. Government aiming to award another 8,500KM road and complete an additional 11,000KMs of national highway corridors by March 2022.

Railway Infrastructure:

National Rail Plan has prepared by the Indian Railways for India – 2030. The plan is about to create a “Future Ready” Railway system by the year 2030. The Minister also announced about 100% electrification of Railways to be completed by 2023. There are also some convenience provided for passengers are as below

  • Presentation of aesthetically planned Vista Dome LHB coach on tourist routes to give a more satisfying travel experience to tourists.
  • For safety measures, high-density network and highly utilized network routes of Indian railways will be provided with an indigenously developed automatic train security system that reduces train accidents due to human error.

Metro services announced by Minister in 27 cities, plus additional allocations for Kochi Metro, Chennai Metro Phase 2, Bengaluru Metro Phase 2A and B, Nashik and Nagpur Metros

Urban Infrastructure:

The government will work towards increasing the share of public transport in metropolitan areas through the development of the metro rail network and enlargement of the city bus service. A new scheme will be launched for 18,000 crore rupees to support the development of public bus transport services.

Petroleum & Natural Gas:

The minister mentioned that the government has kept fuel supplies working across the country without break during the COVID-19 lockdown period. The more points announced by the minister are as follow

  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (LPG scheme) to be extended to cover 1 crore more beneficiaries from 8 crore households.
  • Gas pipeline project to be set up in Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The 100 more districts add to the City gas distribution network in the next 3 years.

Tax:

The Minister provides relief to senior citizens in IT filing, Sitaraman proposed exempt people above 75 years who get pension and earn interest from deposits, from filing income tax returns. The reopening window for IT tax cases was reduced from 6 to 3 years. However, in the case of serious tax avoidance cases (Rs. 50 lakh or more), it can go up to 10 years. Also, Affordable housing projects to get a tax holiday for one year to 31st March 2022. There are some points mentioned by the minister are as follows

  • Compliance burden of small trusts whose annual receipts do not exceed Rs. 5 crores to be eased.
  • Duty of copper scrap reduced to 2.5%.
  • Customs duty on gold and silver to be reasoned .
  • Duty on naphtha reduced to 2.5%.
  • Duty on solar inverters raised from 5% to 20%, and on solar lanterns from 5% to 15%.
  • All nylon products charged with 5% customs duty.
  • Tunnel boring machines to bring customs duty of 7%.
  • Customs duty raised from 0 to 10% on cotton.

Agriculture infrastructure and development cess proposed on certain items including urea, Apples, crude Soyabean and Sunflower oil, crude palm oil, Kabuli chana, and Peas

Economy and Finance:

The Minister said the financial debt in RE 2020-21 is pegged at 9.5% of GDP and it has been financed through Government borrowings, multilateral borrowings, short-term borrowings, and Small Saving Funds.

She also added that the Government would require another Rs 80,000 crore for which it would be proposing the markets in these 2 months. The fiscal debt in BE 2021-2022 is expected to be 6.8% of GDP.

For the next year, the total borrowing from the market will be around 12 lakh crore. The government is willing to allow States to raise borrowings up to 4% of GSDP during the year 2021-2022.

The minister suggested consolidating provisions of the SEBI Act, Depositories Act, and two other laws into a rationalized single Securities Market Code.

She also Proposed to increase the FDI limit from 49% to 74% and allow foreign ownership and control with safeguards and An asset reconstruction company will be set up to take over stressed loans. She also announces Deposit insurance cover for bank customers now increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for bank depositors.

During the FY22, one general insurance company and two public sector banks will be privatized. The government also willing to brings LIC IPO in FY22. The Finance minister announces to Strategic sale of BPCL, IDBI Bank, Air India to be completed in FY22.

Agriculture:

More than the 1.5 crore farmers are registered and more than 1 lakh crore rupees trade value has been taken out through E-NAM and more than 1,000 Mandis to integrated into the E-NAM marketplace.

Agriculture infrastructure funds to be made ready for APMCs for expanding their infrastructure The Minister also proposed to develop and invest in the fishing harbors.

That will start with Five major fishing hubs, including Chennai, Kochi, and Paradip, to be developed. The Finance Minister also proposed a multipurpose seaweed park to be established in Tamil Nadu by the government.

Employment:

A portal to be launched to maintain information on gig workers and construction workers also the social security benefits to be extended to gig and platform workers To additional promote credit flow under the scheme of Stand Up India for SCs, STs, and women, the Minister stated to reduce the margin money requirement from 25% to 15% and to also cover loans for activities allied to agriculture.

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