Foreign trade, also referred to as Global Trade or International Trade, is the exchange of goods, services, and capital across global borders and territories. Usually, all the countries are dependent on each other, as no one can produce all the goods and services independently. Foreign trade allows each country to make the best use of their most abundant resources.

Today, trades are not just limited to the boundaries of their countries, they are reaching the global consumer at a much faster rate. The advantage one gets while joining international trade is that you get to become a steady learner, you work in a dynamic environment and you are able to face obstacles that empower you to make a real impact in the business you work for. International trade produces jobs at all levels, be it in production, shipping or business management.

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Interim Finance Minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal presented the sixth and the last Union Budget of the present Government, in the absence of the Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley.

This is just an interim budget before the presentation of the full budget for the year which will be presented by the new Government post the elections.

Ahead of Budget: The Government has notified its increase in contribution to Central Government employees NPS fund from 10% earlier to 14%.

 

General Comments and Proposals:

  1. Inflation in Dec 2018 was 2.19%
  2. Average inflation brought down to 4.6%
  3. Fiscal deficit cut from 6% to 3.46%
  4. Current account deficit down to 2.5% of GDP
  5. INR 2.34 billion received as FDI during the last year.
  6. Highest liberalisation in automatic FDI
  7. 98% rural sanitation achieved by Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan
  8. 4 lakh villages have been declared open defecation free
  9. INR 19000 Crores allocated to Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana in 2018-19
  10. INR 27505 crores allocated to Pradhan mantra Awaa Yojana in 2018-19
  11. INR 30634 crores allocated to National Health Mission in 2018-19
  12. Ayushman Bharat provided medical treatment to 50 Crore people.
  13. 100% electrification for all households to be achieved by Mar 2019.
  14. Minimum Support Scheme of INR 6000 py to all small farmers holding land below 2 hectares called PM Kisan.
  15. This scheme to be applicable from Dec 2018 and will be distributed in 3 instalments of INR 2000 each to be directly credited to their Bank accounts.
  16. INR 75000 Crores allocated for this scheme. 12 Crore farmers to benefit from this scheme.
  17. Allocation for MNREGA increased to INR 60000 Crores.
  18. Increase in contribution to Central Government employees NPS fund from 10% earlier to 14%
  19. 2% interest subvention for farmers extended to animal husbandry and fisheries.
  20. Additional 3% benefit for timely repayment of farm loans.
  21. Farmers severely affected by natural calamities will get 2% interest subvention
  22. Gratuity limit increased from 10 lakhs to 30 lakhs
  23. ESI eligibility increased from INR 15000 to INR 21000 pm
  24. Anganwadi workers to get 50% income increase
  25. Mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector. Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan launched to provide assured monthly pension of 3000 rupees per month, with contribution of 100 rupees per month, for workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age.
  26. 10 crore workers to be covered under PM Pension Yojana
  27. Welfare Development Board to be set up for nomadic communities.
  28. 8 crore free LPG connections under PM Ujjwala Yojana
  29. 70% beneficiaries of the PM Mudra Yojana are women
  30. PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana training 1 crore youth.
  31. 3% tax benefit for women owned MSMEs
  32. INR 3 lakh Crores allocated for defence sector.
  33. 27 kms of Highways being built every day, with Indian becoming the world’s fastest highway developer.
  34. IMR 64587 crores allocated to Railways for FY 20.
  35. Aim to achieve 1 lakh digital villages in next 5 years.
  36. 34 lakh Jan Dhan bank accounts to be opened.
  37. Allocation to North Eastern States at INR 58116 crores, up by 21%.
  38. 80% growth in tax base
  39. 54% of the total returns filed for AY 2018-19 have been accepted without any scrutiny.
  40. Only 0.46% of all Income Tax returns were taken up for scrutiny last year.
  41. All returns to be scrutinised and assessed and refund issued within 24 hours from next assessment year.
  42. Income Tax assessment will be completely online by anonymous tax officials with the tax payer and the assessment officer not knowing the identity of each other from next assessment year.
  43. Quarterly GST returns to be soon introduced for businesses having turnover up to INR 5 cores.
  44. GST burden on housing to be reduced soon.
  45. India will become $ 10 trillion economy by next 8 years.
  46. Indian astronaut to be put in space by 2022.
  47. Comprehensive Healthcare system for all citizens by 2030.
  48. Fiscal deficit for 2019-20 estimated at 3.4% of GDP
  49. Total expenditure up from INR 24 lakh cores to INR 27 lakh crores.
  50. INR 38572 crores allocation for National Education Mission
  51. Budget allocation for SC/STs increased to INR 76800 Crores

Direct Tax proposals:

  1. No specific change in personal income tax slabs
  2. Individual tax payers having annual taxable income up to INR 5 lakhs will get full tax rebate
  3. Hence including the Chapter VIA deductions, hence individuals having income up to INR 6.50 lakhs will be fully exempt from tax.
  4. Interest on Home Loans, NPS, and Medical Insurance deductions will ensure people even having higher income will not have to pay any tax.
  5. Standard deduction for salaried employees raised from INR 40000 to INR 50000
  6. Income Tax on notional rent in owning more than one house exempted on second self-occupied property.
  7. TDS threshold on interest on Bank deposits and Post Office deposits increased from INR 10000 to INR 40000
  8. TDS threshold of TDS on rent increased from INR 1.80 lakhs to INR 2.40 lakhs per annum.
  9. The benefit of roll-over of capital gains exemption u/s 54 will be increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for capital gains up to INR 2 Crores. This benefit can be availed once in a lifetime by an individual.
  10. The benefits u/s 81IBA of affordable housing scheme has been extended for one more year for housing projects approved up to 31st March 2020.
  11. The period of levy of TDS on notional rent on unsold inventory by builders extended from one year to two years.

Sanjay Thampy

FCA, Grad. CWA, CS, DBM

sthampyca@gmail.com

 

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Few amongst us can surely boast to be digitally-savvy when it comes to making payments of our utility bills. But the reality is that only a small percentage of bill payments happen digitally. Not just the rural consumers; even for a vast majority of the urban consumers, utility bill payments still remains a tedious chore.

Let us visualise our less tech-savvy parents having to wait for a bus, and travelling for an hour through the traffic to the nearest BOCP (Billers Own Collection Point) to pay their telephone bill. Or worse, imagine our relatives in our village having to travel for hours in the bus to the nearest Taluka office to pay their electricity bill. This visualisation is in fact a sad reality even in this day and age of technological advancement.

So here comes the game changer from NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India)  that is all set to change the entire rules of the game with the Bharat Bill Payment System  also known as  BHARAT BILLPAY. Bharat BillPay is an ecosystem that facilitates bill payment via digital channels like Internet Banking, Website, Mobile App/Banking, and also via physical channels like collection agents, bank branches etc. by allowing the customer to pay their bills at one-destination via their own preferred bank/non-bank channels instead of using various Apps or logging to different websites of billers or travelling to various collection centres.

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