Salient features of the Interim Budget 2019

Union Finance Minister has layout the  vision for ten most important dimensions in 2030.

The First Dimension – build physical as well as social infrastructure for a $ 10 trillion economy and to provide ease of living. It will comprise next generation infrastructure of roads, railways, seaports, airports, urban transport, gas and electric transmission and inland waterways. On the social infrastructure side, every family will have a roof on its head and will live in a healthy, clean and wholesome environment. We will also build a quality, science oriented educational system with Institutes of Excellence providing leadership at the top.

The Second Dimension – create a Digital India reaching every sector of the economy, every corner of the country and impacting the life of all Indians. Our youth will lead us in this endeavour with innumerable start-ups creating digital India, and millions of jobs in this eco-system.

Making India a pollution free nation with green Mother Earth and blue skies is the Third Dimension. This India will drive on electric vehicles with renewables becoming a major source of energy supply. India will lead the world in the transport revolution through electric vehicles and energy storage devices, bringing down import-dependence and ensuring energy security for our people.

Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment is the Fourth Dimension. This will be built upon the Make in India approach to develop grass-roots level clusters, structures and mechanisms encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups spread in every nook and corner of the country. India is now on the way to becoming a global manufacturing hub in various sectors including automobiles and electronics, defence and medical devices.

Fifth Dimension of our Vision for India of 2030 is Clean Rivers, with safe drinking water to all Indians, sustaining and nourishing life and efficient use of water in irrigation using micro-irrigation techniques.

Our coastline and our ocean waters powering India’s development and growth is the Sixth Dimension.  India’s long coastline has the potential of becoming the strength of the economy, particularly through exploitation of the Blue Economy, to ensure better standards and quality of life for a large number of people living in the coastal areas. Our efforts in the Sagarmala programme will be scaled up and we will develop other inland waterways faster.

The Seventh Dimension of our Vision aims at the outer skies. Our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022 reflect this dimension of our vision.

Making India self-sufficient in food, exporting to the world to meet their food needs and producing food in the most organic way is the Eighth Dimension. High farm production and productivity will be achieved through modern agricultural practices and value addition. An integrated approach towards agro and food processing, preservation, packaging and maintenance of the cold chain will be our focus of attention.

A healthy India is the Ninth Dimension. With aim towards healthy society, an environment of health assurance and the support of necessary health infrastructure. By 2030, we will work towards a distress free health care and a functional and comprehensive wellness system for all. Such a healthy India built with the participation of women having equal rights and concern for their safety and empowerment.

Our vision can be delivered by Team India – our employees working together with the elected Government, transforming India into a Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation. This is the Tenth Dimension. Our India of 2030 will have a proactive and responsible bureaucracy which will be viewed as friendly to people.

Salient features of the Interim Budget 2019

  • No income tax for earnings up to Rs 5 lakh and individuals with gross income of up to Rs 6.5 lakh need not pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities
  • Standard tax deduction for salaried persons raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs. 50,000
  • TDS threshold on interest on bank and post office deposits raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000.
  • TDS threshold on rental income increased from ₹8 lakh to ₹2.4 lakh
  • I-T processing of returns to be done in 24 hours.
  • Within the next 2 years, all verification of tax returns to be done electronically without any interface with the taxpayer
  • Package of Rs 6000 per annum for farmers with less than 2 hectares of land. Scheme to be called Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.
  • Vande Bharat Express, an indigenously developed semi high-speed train, to be launched
  • One lakh digital villages planned in the next five years.
  • Fund allocation for the Northeast region increased to Rs 58,166 crore, a 21% rise over last year for infrastructure development
  • Anti-camcord regulations to be introduced in the Indian Cinematograph Act to prevent piracy and contact theft of Bollywood films.
  • Single window clearance for Indian filmmakers.
  • 25 % of sourcing for government projects will be from the MSMEs, of which 3 % will be from women entrepreneurs.
  • National Artificial Intelligence portal to be developed soon.
  • ESI cover limit increased to Rs 21,000. Minimum pension also increased to ₹
  • Mega pension scheme for workers in the organised sector with an income of less than Rs15,000. They will be able to earn Rs 3000 after the age of 60. The scheme will be called Pradhan Mantri Shramyogi Maan Dhan Yojana.
  • 2% interest subvention for farmers pursuing animal husbandry.
  • All farmers affected by severe natural calamities to get 2% interest subvention and additional 3% interest subvention upon timely repayment
  • Decision taken to increase MSP (minimum support price) by 1.5 times the production cost for all 22 crops.

About Interim budget

An interim budget is presented by a government which is going through a transition period or is in its last year in office ahead of the general elections. Traditionally, an incumbent government cannot present a full-fledged Union Budget in the election year. Instead, the Finance Minister presents an interim budget during the joint sitting of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha in the Parliament.

With an interim budget, the incumbent government seeks a vote of approval from the Parliament to draw money from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet its budget expenses before the end of the financial year, i.e; March 31st, 2019. It is a traditional practice which takes place in the run-up to every general election.

An interim budget is similar to a Union Budget. In interim-budget, the ruling government tables estimate of its expenditure, revenue, fiscal deficit and financial performance and projections for the upcoming financial year. The ruling government at the end of its tenure, presents an interim budget for three to four months so as to keep the country running unhampered. The likely focus of the incumbent government in the interim budget can be to outline its economic vision for the next five years if it may remain in power.