Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her second Union Budget

 

General Provisions:

 

  • This Budget is to boost the income of people and enhance their purchasing power, says the Finance Minister
  • For every member of the schedule caste and schedule tribe, for every women, for every individual from minority section of the society, this budget aims to give wings to your aspirations, the FM said
  • The Government has focused on fundamental and structural reforms, says Sitharaman
  • GST has integrated the entire nation, says FM
  • The FM states that 40 crore GST returns were filed in this financial year
  • The Government has added 16 lakh new taxpayers, reveals FM
  • GST has resulted in Rs 1 lakh crore gains to consumers, removed inspector raj and helped transport sector, says the FM
  • We have moved on from a growth rate of just over 4% to around 7% in 2014-19, says the FM
  • Guided by Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, The Government has scaled up the implementation of schemes that directly benefited the poor and disadvantaged, the FM claimed
  • This Budget is woven around three prominent things – aspirational India to boost the standard of living; economic development for all; and building a humane and compassionate society, the FM pointed out.
  • FM Sitharaman says that the Central Govt’s debt has come down to 48.7% in March, 2019 from 52.2% in March, 2014
  • Inflation was 9% in the last two decades, she says. We are now the fifth largest economy in the world, says Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • FM Sitharaman underscores government’s ambition to make farming sector competitive
  • FM says that the Government wants to encourage state governments to implement model agricultural laws passed by Central Government
  • The Government shall help 15 lakh farmers solarize their grid-connected pump sets says the FM
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) to be expanded to provide 20 lakh farmers in setting up standalone solar pumps, the FM said.
  • FM Sitharaman speaks about government’s efforts to promote the use of solar energy in the farming sector
  • FM says that the Government will set up Kisan rail so that farm goods can be quickly transported across the country
  • Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts being proposed, says the FM
  • Agricultural credit target has been set at Rs 15 lakh crores.
  • By 2022-23, the Government proposes raising fish production to 200 lakh tonnes
  • The Government will encourage balanced use of all fertilizers, a necessary step to change the incentive regime which encourages excessive use of chemical fertilizers, says the FM
  • Food Corporation of India and Warehousing Corporation of India to build warehousing facility on their land, says FM
  • A very focused safe water ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ and sanitation programme ‘Swachh Bharat Yojna’ have been launched to tackle health concerns claims the FM
  • The Government has provided an additional Rs 69,000 crore for the health sector, according to FM Sitharaman
  • The total allocation for Swachh Bharat Mission is Rs 12,300 crore in 2020-21 says the FM
  • The Government has approved Rs 3.6 lakh crore for Jal Jeevan Mission to provide safe drinking water to rural India says the FM
  • FM proposes to expand Jan Aushadhi Kendras in all districts of country to provide medicines at affordable rates
  • The FM says that by 2030, India is set to have the largest working age population in the world.
  • Sitharaman claims that steps will be taken to deliver higher quality education.
  • Task force to be set up to recommend marriageable age for women, says the FM
  • FM announces degree-level full-fledged online education programme to be offered by the top 100 institutions in the country
  • FM announces Rs 99,300 crore outlay for education sector in 2020-21 and Rs 3,000 crore for skill development
  • Sitharaman announces the introduction of ‘Ind-SAT’, an exam for Asian and African countries to help make India a higher education destination
  • FM proposes a scheme focused on encouraging the manufacturing of mobile phones and electrical equipment
  • The Government proposes to set up an investment clearance cell that will provided end to end facilitation and support including pre-investment advisory, info on land banks and facilitate clearance at state level
  • The Government wishes to turn every district into an export house says the FM
  • FM proposes Rs 27,300 crore for the development and promotion of industry and commerce in 2020-21
  • Delhi-Mumbai expressway and two other projects will be completed by 2023 says the FM
  • The Government proposes to monetize 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6,000km before 2024 according to the FM
  • FM proposes setting up of a large solar-powered capacity alongside rail tracks
  • The FM says that 100 more airports to be developed by 2024
  • Conventional energy meters to be replaced by prepaid ‘smart meters’ in the next three years. Pre-paid meters (smart meters) will give consumers freedom to choose suppliers, claims the FM
  • FM announces Rs 20,000 crore for the renewable energy sector
  • Government plans to expand gas grid says the FM
  • Government has harnessed new technology to enable Direct Benefit Transfers on a scale like never before, FM says
  • Stating that Data is the new oil, the FM says that the Government will soon roll out policy to enable private sector to build data centre parks throughout the country.
  • One lakh gram panchayats will be connected to the optical fibre programme claims the FM
  • FM proposes Rs 8,000 crore outlay over 5 years for National Mission of Quantum Technology and Application
  • Rs 1.7 lakh crore provided for transport infrastructure in 2020-21
  • Over 6 lakh anganwadi workers have been equipped with smartphones to upload the nutrition status of 10 crore households says the FM
  • The Government proposes to provide Rs 35,600 crore for nutrition-related programmes in 2020-21 says the FM
  • The FM says that the Government has identified suitable technology to eliminate manual cleaning of sewer systems and septic tanks
  • FM proposes budget provision of Rs 85,000 crore in 2020-21 for welfare of SC and other backward classes.
  • Rs 4,400 crore allocation for clean air
  • Govt proposes to encourage and incentivize states that are formulating plans for ensuring cleaner air, says the FM
  • National security is the top priority of the Government, states the FM
  • Promoting ease of living is the goal of the Government, states the FM
  • The Government wishes to enshrine in the statue a taxpayers’ charter, according to the FM
  • The FM reiterates that the Government would like to reassure taxpayers that it remains committed to taking measures to eliminate tax harassment
  • Government proposes to set up a national recruitment agency for conduct of computer-based online common eligibility test for recruitment to non-gazetted post
  • India has a firm framework related to contracts act, the Government aims to strengthen it, claims the FM
  • Rs 100 crore to be allocated for G20 preparations
  • Deposit Insurance cover to be increased from the existing Rs 1 lac to Rs 5 lacs per depositor
  • A robust mechanism is in place to monitor the health of all scheduled commercial banks. The deposited money of individuals is absolutely safe, assures the FM
  • Over 5 lakh MSMEs have benefited from debt restructuring, states the FM
  • FM unveils new scheme to provide subordinate debt to MSMEs
  • Non-residents will now be allowed to invest in certain government securities, declares FM Sitharaman
  • Government asks banks to extend restructuring MSME NPAs for one more year, which has a deadline of March, 2020
  • Government proposes to sell a part of its holding in LIC via IPO
  • GDP nominal growth has been estimated at 10% according to the FM
  • The Government has spearheaded radical fiscal measures to ensure high growth claims the FM
  • RE (Revised Estimates) expenditure for FY20 at Rs 26.99 lakh crore, receipts at Rs 19.32 lakh crore according to FM Sitharaman
  • Fiscal deficit estimated at 3.8%

 

 

Direct Tax Provisions:

 

  • A new personal income tax regime to be introduced withdrawing all exemptions and deductions
  • Nil tax rate for income up to Rs 5 lacs without any exemptions
  • 10% rate for income between Rs 5 lacs to Rs 7.5 lacs without any exemptions
  • 15% rate for income between Rs 7.5 lacs to Rs 10 lacs without any exemptions
  • 20% rate for income between Rs 10 lacs to Rs 12.5 lacs without any exemptions
  • 25% rate for income between Rs 12.5 lacs to Rs 15 lacs without any exemptions
  • 30% rate for income above Rs 15 lacs without any exemptions
  • The new tax regime will be optional to the taxpayer
  • A person earning Rs 15 lakh per annum and not availing any deductions will now pay Rs 1.95 lakh tax in place of Rs 2.73 lakh under the new regime
  • Rs 40,000 crore per annum will be revenue foregone from new income tax rates for individuals, says FM
  • Currently more than 100 exemptions and deductions are presently available in the present Income Tax Act out of which 70 has been removed in the new personal Income Tax regime
  • Dividend Distribution Tax rate presently 15% plus SC and Cess has been removed.
  • Dividend will now be taxable in the hands of the recipient at the applicable rates
  • Exemption provided for dividend received by a holding company from a subsidiary company
  • An eligible start-up will be allowed 100% exemption from tax for 3 consecutive assessment years out of the first 10 years. Earlier it was seven years.
  • The turnover limit for such start-ups increased from Rs 25 crores to Rs 100 crores
  • Cooperative Societies will now be given an option to avail 22% tax plus SC instead of existing 30% without any exemptions
  • Such cooperative societies will also not be required to pay MAT
  • MSMEs and small businesses turnover threshold increased from existing Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore for tax audit
  • The increased threshold will be available only to those businesses which carry on business in cash less than 5% of the total turnover
  • Tax holiday for developers of affordable housing projects extended by one more year to 31st March 2021
  • Government extends additional Rs 1.5 lakh tax benefit on interest paid on affordable housing loans to March 2021
  • Concessional tax rate of 15% extended to power generation companies
  • Government proposes 100% tax concession to sovereign wealth funds on investment in infra projects
  • Donee information in the tax payers’ returns will now be pre-filled to enable hassle free claim of deduction
  • Registration of charitable institutions made completely online with new unique number to be allotted. Existing institutions will be given 3 years to get this registration
  • Amendment of Income Tax Act for completely faceless online appeal procedure in line with the faceless assessment procedure
  • FM proposes scheme to bring down litigation in direct taxation scheme; 4.83 lakh direct cases pending in various appellate forums
  • ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme for direct tax payers whose appeals are pending at various forum, says FM
  • Assessees with any appeal pending with any authorities can avail the benefit of payment of just the tax amount without any interest and penalty upto 31st March 2020.
  • This scheme will be open till 30th June 2020 and the tax payer will be required to pay some additional amount
  • PAN will be instantly allotted online on application made on the basis of Aadhaar. The procedure for this to be set up soon

 

Indirect Tax provisions:

 

  • GST Refund process will be made fully automated with no human interface
  • Deep data analysis is being set up to identify wrong or false input tax credit
  • Simplified tax return forms to be introduced soon
  • GST council is working on rationalising the GST rates further

 

The immediate effect:

 

  • The Sensex plunges nearly 600 points

 

Regards,

CA Sanjay Thampy

FCA, Grad CWA, CS, DBM

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Two events that happened over the past two weeks could be the cause of grave concern to many; the police, the judiciary, the legislature, the executive, the media, and we all as a society.

The gang rape of a Veterinary Doctor in Telangana and the four accused being gunned down in an alleged police encounter six days later and just a couple of days later, the sad demise of the 17 year old girl raped in Unnao earlier in 2017.

Exactly seven years ago in the same month of December, another similar event had shaken the consciousness of the nation. The Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi made the society demonstrate its anger and frustration through a series of protests.

The legislature enacted some serious changes in laws relating to rape.

The Supreme Court issued several guidelines for trial of rape cases.

The executive created a Nirbhaya Fund to create infrastructure for preventing Nirbhaya-like cases in future.

The media reported numerous subsequent rape cases with much more intensity.

But it seems that not much may have changed on the ground in these seven years. Stricter law, wider media coverage, fast-track courts, public outrage, etc. have been inadequate in deterring the psychopaths from committing this heinous crime.

Our deep-rooted frustration at the way cases take ages to conclude and culprits getting away for lack of sufficient evidence has made most of us excited and believe that justice was quickly and well served as soon as we heard the news of the Telangana encounter. Many of us started demanding the same punishment for the other rape accused waiting for trial in prisons and more particularly for the accused in the Unnao case when the victim sadly succumbed to her burn injuries inflicted upon her by an accused who was out on bail.

These two events have highlighted the fact that what is needed is a much wider and deeper scrutiny at all levels. The judiciary, legislature, executive, media, and society; all need to seriously contemplate in which direction we are moving as a society.

The Telangana rape and murder was as gruesome a crime as anyone can imagine. The perpetrators of the crime must be beyond the realm of humanity and deserved to be punished with maximum punishment.

People, media and even some politicians called for public lynching of the rapists.

Then six days later the police declared that they killed all the arrested suspects in an encounter.

No one probably believes the encounter theory of the police, and neither is the police making any effort to convince anyone that it was a genuine encounter.

But almost the entire country started celebrating it as justice duly served. A few lonely voices who tried to raise the question of constitutional propriety were promptly and forcefully shut down by a barrage of guilt-inducing outbursts.

The Unnao police who was supposed to protect the victim appeared washing their hands off by claiming that the victim did not specifically request protection from them, as if the duty of the police is to protect people who seek protection from them.

Let’s have no sympathy for rapists. All acts of outraging the modesty of a woman must be strongly and expeditiously punished. But the question is whether we want the Telangana style of punishment as a template for future cases.

Most of us have largely appreciated the Singham or Simba kind of justice, because deep down we all want the truth to prevail and criminals to be punished.

However, bringing the reel life drama to the real life may not be the final aspiration of the majority.

Because we also know that in real life, the Singhams and Simbas are very few and fallible policemen are too many.

Today let us believe and agree that these were four alleged criminals. Tomorrow these could be four innocent youth.

We need to decide the template we aspire for our society and country.

However, for us as the Society to aspire otherwise than glorify the encounter, all others; the police, the judiciary, the legislature, the executive and the media; need to pull up their socks and be ready to embrace a paradigm change.

And till such a change takes place, I shall refrain from seeking any punishment for the Telangana police officers.

And if such change does not happen for the good, perhaps I would be happy to be encountering another encounter, and another.

 

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Dear Most Men,

I hope you know me. We meet every day.

I am a Woman.

I may be your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter, your colleague, your friend, your relative.

I could be just the stranger on the street or in the bus or the train.

Seven years ago, I was Nirbhaya; today I am Priyanka.

Sorry, may I correct. Few days back, I was Priyanka; today I am no more.

That fateful day, I had stepped out of my house, like you all do. But I didn’t return home.

I couldn’t, because some men decided otherwise.

And they made my last few hours an unbearable agony.

And they made my family go through the torment since when I had called up my sister to tell her that I was scared, because of some men around me.

Next day, my family had to identify my charred body. Till then, they were just hoping against hope… that I was alive; and safe.

And they knew. They knew that I was raped and killed.

I was no more.

**********

Dear Most Men,

Are you aware that?

I have raged, occasionally in public and many times privately.

My eyes have dimmed with tears and my head has pounded with anger.

I have felt shades of fear when all I wanted was to reach safety.

Are you aware why?

The cause was the same.

That glance or that leering head-to-toe look.

That word or that unwanted touch.

Those eyes fixated on my chest as someone talks to me.

************

Dear Most Men,

Should I tell you that this is just a glimpse of the price I pay almost every day; for being a woman.

Should I tell you that your gender sees my gender as something that belongs to you and can’t accept the fact that I don’t.

Should I tell you that because you are a man, I have to be submissive and bow to your will.

And if I don’t, you will continue to humiliate me, abuse me, touch me, rape me.

If I don’t, I become a ‘thing’ that must satisfy the twisted thought in your head or surge in your pants.

***********

Dear Most Men,

So let me tell you something, something you know, but don’t acknowledge or don’t remember or conveniently forget.

Like you, I am a human being.

Today, I feel dead inside.

A little more dead than I felt yesterday, last month, last year.

Today, I am tired. I am grieving. I’m letting the tears flow.

But that’s today.

Tomorrow, I may stand once again.

Strong; ready to fight.

Ready to do whatever it may take to change your limited mindset.

Ready to show you that a world exists beyond your fixation with your penis.

Will I succeed? I don’t know.

***********

Dear fellow Women,

Stop reading this for a minute; get up, and walk to a mirror.

Look into the eyes you see there.

What do you see?

Exhaustion?

Fear?

I do hope you see determination as well.

Because unless you see determination there, this world will never change.

As women, we are deep wells of patience and fortitude.

Many times, our youth and inexperience is the factor.

Many times, there is a financial cost to reacting, a cost we can ill afford.

Many times, we are afraid.

Take a moment; and a deep breath.

Now recall every moment when you were harassed because you are a woman.

To trusted men molesting you when you were too young to know what it meant; the only thing you knew was that it was not right. But your innocent mind did not even know how to frame such evil into words, so that you could tell someone what was happening to you.

You were never told such immorality existed in the world. You didn’t know who to reach out to.

Some of us, like me and so many thousands of others, pay with their lives.

And the blame for all of this lies with us; with each and every one of us.

For the way we bring up our sons.

Most importantly, because of our silence.

So the next time, do it for any woman you see.

Stand up for yourself when someone demeans you because of your gender.

Stand up for others when they are demeaned for their gender.

Don’t back off. Stand firm. Try it.

Let’s hope to succeed.

*********

Yours fearfully,

Bhaybhit (No more a Nirbhay)

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