In the Union Budget 2017, presented on Wednesday, the government barred cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh and slashed Income Tax rates. It is also moving to abolish the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), while FDI is getting a big makeover.
Here's a recap of Budget Day:
Speaking of the budget, West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra said: "After a massive tsunami of demonetization, this was an opportunity for the central government to redeem its sins... this budget wasted that opportunity. There was no mention of unorganized sector in the budget. Small and medium enterprises, micro industries don’t stand to gain in any manner."
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Sangh Parivar-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch has called Arun Jaitley's Budget 2016-17 "retrograde" and said it will approach the government to reconsider the decision to abolish the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra says the Budget was a wasted opportunity. “After the massive tsunami of demonetisation, this was an opportunity for the central government to redeem its sins. This budget wasted that opportunity. There was no mention of the unorganised sector in the Budget.”
“This Budget has pleased no one… The corporate sector is afraid because it has got a new tax on itself. The middle class will realise that their gains are minimal once the fine print of the Budget is revealed,” says Mitra.
Tax incentive for building Andhra capital
To provide relief to people who have given land for setting up of Amaravati, new capital of Andhra Pradesh, Arun Jaitley exempted them from capital gains tax on transfer of such land for development of the greenfield city.
The capital tax gains will be exempted on those who were the owners of such land as on June 2, 2014, the date on which the state of Andhra Pradesh was reorganised, and whose land is being pooled for creation of the capital city under the government scheme, he said.
A new clause (37A) in section 10 of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Act will be inserted to ensure capital gains arising from transfer of land are not charged.
The exemption will be applicable to transfer of capital assets, be it land or building or both, under the land pooling scheme.
Defence allocation up over 6.2% at Rs 2.74 lakh crore
The overall defence budget saw an increase of a marginal 6.2 per cent for the next fiscal at Rs 2.74 lakh crore from the current Rs 2.58 lakh crore, with the capital outlay to cover the modernisation programmes getting a hike of 10.05 per cent. The capital outlay for the three defence services for the purchase of new equipment, weapons, aircraft, warships and other military vehicles stood at Rs 86,488 crore for 2016-17 as compared to Rs 78,586 crore for this fiscal.
The money allocated for defence pensions was Rs 85,737 crore as compared to revised estimate of Rs 85,624 crore this fiscal.
Law on anvil to avoid Vijay Mallya redux
In order to prevent loan defaulters like liquor baron Vijay Mallya from fleeing the country, the government plans to bring a law to confiscate the assets of such persons till they submit to judiciary. Presenting the Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said legislative changes or even a new law would be brought to deal with such absconders.
"Government is therefore considering introduction of legislative changes, or even a new law, to confiscate the assets of such persons located within the country, till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum," he said. Needless to say that all necessary constitutional safeguards will be followed in such cases, he added.
Budget allocation of AYUSH Ministry hiked by 8%
AYUSH Ministry would receive around 8 per cent more funds in the next fiscal amid the government's increased focus on promoting alternative medicines. The Ministry has been allocated Rs 1,428.65 crore for the financial year, starting April 1 this year. Of this, the maximum budget allocation is for medical and public health, which stands at Rs 914 crore as compared to Rs 860 crore in the previous Budget. Also, funds to the tune of Rs 440 crore have been earmarked for the national AYUSH mission, while Rs 175 crore have been allocated to Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Science.
Sports budget hiked by Rs 350 crore
The Sports Ministry’s budget has got a substantial hike of Rs 350 crore in the Union Budget. Jaitley allocated a total of Rs 1,943 crore, compared to Rs 1,592 crore earmarked last year. The steep increase in the budgetary allocation comes at a time when Indian athletes are preparing for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018. The hike also comes in the wake of India's dismal showing at the Rio Olympics where it won just two medals — a silver and bronze.
Budget disappoints RSS labour wing
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has described the Union Budget as disappointing, saying the workers, salaried class and poor were overlooked. The BMS, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's labour wing, has also demanded a relook into the Budget.
"The unorganised sectors, scheme workers and other labour-related concern — enhancement of their honorarium, social security cover — have been totally overlooked," says BMS General Secretary Virjesh Upadhyay.
The BMS has directed its affiliates to hold demonstrations against the Budget.
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(Image only for representational purpose) New Delhi: In the Budget, the government reiterated its commitment to reform political funding, blamed as the root of all corruption plaguing India.
BJP ally Shiv Sena not too happy with Budget
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant has said that though the government has provided relief to the salaried class, it has completely forgotten the farmers, youth and senior citizens. The Sena also took a dim view of the decision to give infrastructure status to affordable housing sector.
"There are announcements on the housing sector for the poor. But how many houses have actually been created in the last 2.5 years? In many places houses have been created but people are yet to get possession. At many places, it is also seen that the area of house grossly differs from the area promised," he says.
Air India to get Rs 1,800 crore next fiscal
National carrier Air India will receive Rs 1,800 crore as equity infusion in 2017-18 under the government's ongoing financial assistance and the amount is slightly higher than the allocation for this fiscal.
For 2016-17, the government had allocated Rs 1,713 crore to the airline against a demand of Rs 3,911 crore. The government-owned airline has been allocated Rs 1,800 crore as part of the Rs 30,0231 crore financial bailout package. Air India had asked for Rs 2,844 crore as equity from the government for the fiscal year starting April 2017.
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