On February 1, 2020, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, announced the Union Budget 2020. The Union Budget was dedicated more towards raising the wages and purchasing power of the people. This was done in order to revive the domestic economic growth.
The key highlights from Nirmala Sitharaman’s Union Budget 2020:
The Government has approved an amount of Rs. 2.83 lakh crore which will be allocated to agriculture and allied activities. They are planning to double the income of farmers by the year 2022. National laws such as APMC 2017, Contract Farming 2018 and Model Agriculture Land Leasing Act 2016 need to be properly implemented all over the country. The Government will take extensive steps for 100 water-stressed districts. 20 lakh farmers will be provided with solar pumps. In order to help the farmers, “Kisan Rail” will be set up which will help in the easy transportation of goods.
Health and Sanitation:
The Government has allocated Rs. 69,000 crore for the Healthcare sector and Rs. 12,000 crore for the Swachh Bharat mission this fiscal year under the Union Budget 2020. Under the Union Budget, the government plans to set up hospitals in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. It plans to further expand the Jan Aushadhi scheme Under this, 2000 medicines and 300 surgical will be provided to all hospitals by 2024.
The government has come up with a new voluntary tax regime, wherein those who want to pay tax according to the old regime can do so by utilizing the exemptions and paying at the old rates while the ones who are ready to forego the exemptions can pay according to the new tax rates.
Following is the table with new tax slabs:
|Taxable income slabs||Tax Rates|
|Upto Rs.5 lakhs||Nil|
|Rs.5 – Rs.7.5 lakhs||10%|
|Rs.7.5- Rs. 10 lakhs||15%|
|Rs.10- Rs. 12.5 lakhs||20%|
|Rs.12.5- Rs.15 lakhs||25%|
|Rs.15 lakhs and above||30%|
Education and skills:
Rs. 99,000 crore and Rs. 3,000 crore has been allocated for the education sector and skill development respectively in the Union Budget 2020. In order to benefit the underprivileged students, the online education system will be set up which will be a program with NIRF rankings top 100 educational institutions. A National Recruitment Agency will be set up which will conduct an admission test for the non-gazetted posts. SAT exams similar to those of the US will be held in Asian and African countries to promote “Study in India”.
Rs. 1.7 lakh crore has been allocated for the transport infrastructure under Union Budget 2020. 5 new Smart cities are planned to be set up under the PPP model. The government is aiming to achieve the electrification target of 27,000 km of lines. The Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project has been allocated Rs. 18,600 crores. Under the UDAN scheme, 100 more airports will be open by 2024.
Economy and Finance:
Taking forward the divestment plan, the government plans to sell its stake in LIC and IDBI to the private sector. The insurance cover for bank deposits has been increased to Rs.5 lakh from Rs.1 lakh. In order to help the NBFCs, a partial credit guarantee scheme has been formulated.