Narendra Modi 2.0's maiden budget eyes trillions

Updated: Jul 06, 2019, 09:34 IST | Agencies

Sitharaman, the first full-time woman Finance Minister, sought to spur growth with a reduction in corporate tax and sops to the housing sector, startups

Narendra Modi 2.0's maiden budget eyes trillions
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Pic /PTI

New Delhi: The Modi 2.0 government's maiden budget on Friday hiked petrol and diesel prices, raised import duty on dozens of items and increased tax on the super-rich as it sought to spur growth through higher spending and sops for startups, housing and corporates.

Presenting the Budget for 2019-20, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced further opening up of aviation, insurance and media sectors to foreign investment while throwing a lifeline to the struggling shadow banks (NBFCs) to boost investment and lending in the economy.

She made no changes to the income tax slabs but hiked surcharge on the super-rich. Those with a taxable income of Rs 2 to Rs5 crore will now pay 39 per cent tax while those with more than Rs 5 crore income would pay 42.47 per cent. "Those in the highest income brackets need to contribute more to the nation's development," she said. Also, 2 per cent TDS on cash withdrawals exceeding Rs 1 crore and mandatory filing of returns by certain category of individuals was brought in with a view to tighten compliance.

Excise duty and cess on petrol and diesel were hiked by Rs 2 per litre each and import duty on dozens of items ranging from gold to automobile parts and tobacco products was increased.

To spur consumption, she lowered corporate tax on companies with revenue of up to Rs 400 crore to 25 per cent from 30 per cent. The Budget also sought to boost 'Make in India' by way of reducing duties on certain inputs and raw materials and creating a level playing field by increasing duties on certain goods. First-time homebuyers, buying a house not exceeding Rs 45 lakh, would get an additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh towards interest.

The positives

  • Tax rate reduced to 25 per cent for companies with annual turnover up to R400 crore
  • Those who don’t have PAN can file tax returns using Aadhaar
  • Pre-filling of Income-tax Returns
  • Additional deduction up to Rs 1.5 lakh for interest paid on loans borrowed up to March 31, 2020 for purchase of house valued up to Rs 45 lakh.
  • No tax on income up to Rs 5 lakh
  • Customs duty reduced on certain raw materials such as inputs for artificial kidney and disposable sterilised dialyser and fuels for nuclear power plants, etc.

The negatives

  • Basic customs duty increased on cashew kernels, PVC, tiles, auto parts, marble slabs, optical fibre cable, CCTV camera, etc.
  • Exemptions from Customs duty on certain electronic items now manufactured in India withdrawn
  • 5 per cent basic customs duty imposed on imported books
  • Customs duty on gold, silver and other precious metals increased
  • Additional excise duty and road and infrastructure cess of one rupee will be imposed on petrol and diesel
  • Hike in the prices of cigars, chewing tobacco, cigarettes

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