Reaching out to a large electorate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Modi government on Friday announced a cash dole for small farmers, a mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector and proposed to double the threshold income tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh.
Among the major sops, finance minister has announced Rs 6,000 per annum direct cash transfer to farmers owning less than two acres of land. The move, months before general elections, is likely to benefit 12 crore farmers. Rs 60,000 crore has also been set aside for MGNREGA, the rural employment scheme, with Piyush Goyal adding that the allocation can be increased further.
As the government makes a last-ditch attempt to woo voters ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, here are the top 10 budget announcements:
1. Individuals with income up to Rs 5 lakh will not have to pay any income tax (to be implemented by next government).
2. Standard deduction raised to Rs 50,000 a year from Rs 40,000 a year.
3. No TDS on house rent up to Rs 2.4 lakh per year; Tax base up from Rs 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore.
4. No TDS on bank, post office interest up to Rs 40,000, compared to Rs 10,000 earlier.
5. Income Tax returns to be processed within 24 hours and returns will be paid immediately.
6. Rs 6,000 to be transferred into accounts of 12 crore small farmers who have less than 2 hectares land.
7. Pension scheme for unorganised sector workers with monthly income up to Rs 15,000.
8. Assured monthly pension of Rs 3000 after they retire reaching 60.
9. Gratuity limit increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
10. The defence budget increased to Rs 3 trillion.