Monday, Aug 08, 2022

Union Budget 2021 Highlights | No Change In Income Tax Slabs; Big Boost For Healthcare And Infrastructure

This is a budget for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat', will strengthen economy: Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh.

Tribhuwan Tiwari

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament on Monday said the budget rests on six pillars – from healthcare to infrastructure. Sitharaman announced the scrapping of income tax for senior citizens under certain conditions, new rules for removal of double taxation, and a reduction in the time period of tax assessments among other measures.

In her speech till now, SItharaman has announced a push to the textile industry, a central university in Leh, a focus on sea-weed farming with a new facility in Tamil Nadu and a new vehicle scrapping policy that aims to provide the auto sector with a boost among other announcements. She also announced that an additional 1 crore families will now benefit under the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme. 

Also read: Union Budget 2021: Here’s How You Can Download Budget Document

This was Sitharaman’s third budget under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a significant departure from the tradition, this year’s Budget will be unique as it will be paperless.

Scroll down for real-time alerts and details as Sitharaman speaks.

13:08 pm: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman concluded her Budget speech at 12.50 pm. In February 2020, FM Nirmala Sitharaman spoke for a record 162 minutes — two hours and 42 minutes — in Lok Sabha. FM Sitharaman only had two pages of her Budget speech unread, when she appeared uneasy and her Budget speech was cut short.

13:03 pm: Sensex rises 1420.03 points, currently at 47,705.80. Nifty up by 362.70 points, currently at 13,997.30

12:56 pm: We are cutting Basic Customs Duty rate on nylon chips & nylon fiber. We are revoking ADD and CVD on certain steel products and reducing duties on copper scrap from 5% to 2.5%. We are cutting custom duty on copper scrap to 2.5% from 5%, FM said.

12:55 pm: Talking about GST, FM Sitharaman said that the government is focused to further ease the process. "Customs duty on copper scrap cut to 2.5 per cent. Customs duty on some auto parts to be raised to 15 per cent."

12:47 pm: Social security benefit to be extended to the platform, gig workers: FM

12:45 pm: FM on taxation:

- Finance Minister Sitharaman proposes policies to make it easy for foreign investors to invest in India's infrastructure projects

- Propose to make dividend payments to REIT (estate investment trusts) and Invit's (Infrastructure investment trusts) exempt from TDS

- To further ease filing of IT returns, details of capital gains and interest from banks, post offices, etc will be pre-filled

12:42 pm: Govt to set-up a faceless dispute resolution mechanism for small taxpayers. Govt proposes to reduce the time allowed to re-open tax investigation to 3 years vs 6 years now, announced FM.

12:40 pm: Government to increase the maximum threshold paid-up capital of small companies from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore and increase the threshold of maximum turnover from Rs 2 crore to Rs 20 crore.

12: 37 pm: Some other proposals announced during Budget 2021

  • Govt proposes setting up of a conciliatory mechanism for quick resolution of contractual disputes
  • Govt proposes to introduce the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill
  • Govt proposes national language translation initiative
  • Govt proposes deep ocean mission with an outlay of more than Rs 4,000 cr over five years

12:36 pm: NRIs to be spared from double taxation: FM Sitharaman. Tax audit limit increased from Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore

12:32  pm:  We made substantial changes in the Direct Tax System. We slashed our Corporate Tax rate to make it lowest in the world, said FM.

12:30 pm: In the 75th year of Independence of our country, we shall reduce the compliance burden on senior citizens. For senior citizens who only have a pension and interest income, I propose exemption of filing of income tax returns: FM

12:22 pm: Fiscal deficit for 2021-22 at 6.8 per cent of GDP.  "I propose to amend the Insurance Act 1938 to increase the permissible FDI limit from 49 per cent to 74 per cent in insurance companies and allow foreign ownership & control with safeguards," said FM.

12:21 pm: Forthcoming Census could be India's first digital Census, said Sitharaman allocating Rs 3,768 crore for FY21

12:20 pm: Fiscal deficit estimated at 9.5 per cent of GDP for 2020-21

12:19 pm: FM announced a special scheme for the welfare of women and children in Assam and West Bengal. Rs 1,000 crore for Bengal, Assam tea workers

12:18 pm: Rs 1,500 crore for promoting a digital mode of payment

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earmarks Rs 1,500 crore for promoting a digital mode of payment
  • Rs 300 crore to the Government of Goa for the celebration of Goa's Liberation from Portuguese rule 

12:14 pm: 100 new Sainik Schools will be made. There are other ‘umbrella’ structures to be created for higher education, announces FM.

12:10 pm: A portion of the agricultural fund will be allocated to APMC for furthering t*heir infrastructure. Cotton farmers saw a stupendous increase in the amount that was paid to them in 2013-14, that was 90 cr and it was increased to over 25,000 crores in 2020-21. A portion of the agricultural fund will be allocated to APMC for furthering their infrastructure: FM

12:07 pm: Migrant workers can claim ration under ‘One Nation One Ration Card’. Today 32 states and UTs are under the scheme. It is benefitting over 69 core beneficiaries so far, said FM.

12:06 pm: Modi government committed to farmers’ welfare, said FM. “The MSP regime has undergone a change to assure price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities.”

12:05 pm: FM Sitharaman proposed an increase in agriculture credit target to Rs 16.5 lakh crore. "The MSP regime has undergone a change to assure price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities. The total amount paid to paddy farmers surged to Rs 1.72 lakh crore in 2020-21."

12:02 pm: Free cooking gas LPG scheme Ujjwala to be extended to 1 cr more beneficiaries

12:00 pm: Government is committed to the welfare of farmers, said FM amid protests from opposition leaders. "MSP has gone through a sea change. Over Rs 75,000 crore paid to wheat farmers in 2020-21, 43.36 lakh benefited from this" she adds.

11: 56 am: To tackle the burgeoning problem of air pollution, Rs 2,217 crore allocated for 42 urban centres with the million-plus population.

11: 55 am: The government plans to sell part of its holding in Life Insurance Corporation of India through an initial public offering in the coming year. An amendment to the existing Act to facilitate the public offer, said FM Nirmala Sitharaman

11:53 am: FM announced further infusion of Rs 20,000 crore for public sector banks.

11: 52 am: Government to support the development of a world-class fintech hub at GIFT, investor charter to be introduced.

11:51 am: After deliberating on this for years, Finance Minister finally announced a Bad Bank. A new asset reconstruction and asset management company announced.

11:50 am: FDI in insurance sector proposed to be hiked to 74% from 49% now

11:49 am: Rs 1,000 crore to solar energy corporation and Rs 1,500 to a renewable energy development agency, said FM.

11:48 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a new gas pipeline project for Jammu and Kashmir 

11:47 am: Coming to the power sector, FM announced Rs 3.05 lakh crore outlay. She also added that 100 more cities to be added in the next 3 years to the gas distribution network

11:46 am: Rs 63,000 crore allocated for Chennai metro and Rs 25,0000 crore allocated for West Bengal projects.

11:45 am: Some announcements made by FM Sitharaman today:

1. Central fiscal funding for Kochi Metro, Chennai Metro, Bengaluru Metro, Nagpur Metro and Nashik Metro projects
2. FM announces hydrogen energy mission for generating hydrogen out of green-powered sources
3. Seven projects worth Rs 2,000 crore in PPP mode for ports

11:42 am: For 2021-22, I propose a sharp increase in Capital Expenditure & thus have provided Rs 5.54 lakh crores which are 34.5 per cent more than the BE 2020-21, said FM

11:41 am:  I propose around Rs. 1 lakh 7 thousand crores for capital expenditure of Indian Railways, said FM.

Also read: Union Budget 2021: Facts About Indian Budget And How It Transformed Over Years

11:40 am: Centre to provide Rs 18,000 crore for public buses, announced FM

11:30 am: "Government aims to complete 11,000 km of national highway infrastructure this year," FM Sitharaman said. 

Highway works proposed:

  • 3,500 km corridor in Tamil Nadu
  • 1,100 km in Kerala at an investment of Rs 65,000 cr
  • 675 km in West Bengal at a cost of Rs 95,000 cr
  • 1,300 km in Assam in the next 3 years

11:27 am: New Centrally Sponsored Scheme PMA Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana to be launched, an outlay of Rs 64,180 crores over 6 years. To develop capacities of health care systems, develop institutions for detection & cure of new and emerging diseases, said Sitharaman.

11:26 am:  Investment on health infra in Budget 2021 has increased substantially. Three areas – Preventive health, curative health and well-being – to be strengthened, said FM.

11:35 am: "For 2022, I propose a sharp increase in capital expenditure at 5.54 lakh crore, from Rs 4.39 lakh crore in 2021. More economic corridors being planned to boost road infrastructure," FM Sitharaman added

11:34 am: Rs 95,000 crore to be spent on roads in West Bengal, announced Sitharaman - the announcement for the state of Bengal got the loudest thumping of desks, this as the state goes to polls in a few months.

11:32 am: Budget proposals rest on six pillars— Health and Well-Being, Physical and Financial capital and infrastructure, Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, Reinvigorating Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, Minimum Govt, Maximum Governance, said FM

11:31 am: FM said 217 projects worth over Rs 1 lakh crore completed under National Infrastructure Pipeline

11:30 am: A scheme of Mega Investments Textile Park will be launched in addition to PLI Scheme which will create world-class infrastructure with plug & play facilities to enable global champions in exports, announced FM.

11:29 am: Jal Jeevan Mission will be launched across all urban local bodies. Rs 2.87 lakh cr outlay for Jal Jeevan Mission over 5 years.

11:28 am: The budget for health and well being would be around Rs. 2 lakh crore

11:27 am: To strengthen Nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcome, we will merge the supplement Nutrition Programme and Poshan Abhiyan and will launch the Mission Poshan 2.0, said FM.

11:25 am: Coming to vehicles, FM Sitharaman announced voluntary scrapping policy. Fitness test after 20 years for personal vehicles; after 15 years for commercial vehicles

11:23 am: The government is fully committed to supporting our economy. The economy is witnessing a revival, said Sitharaman.

11:22 am: Sitharaman listed the below as main pillars of Budget 2021

  • Health
  • Human capital
  • Innovation and R&D
  • Physical infrastructure

11:21 am: Government to launch Mission Poshan 2.0; Jal Jeevan Mission Urban will be launched

11:20 am: Only three times has the Budget followed a contraction in the economy. This time, unlike before, the situation is due to a global pandemic. Budget 2021 provides every opportunity for the economy to capture the pace and grow sustainably, said Sitharaman.

11:19 am: India now has one of the lowest Covid-19 death rates of 112 per million population and one of the lowest active cases of about 130 per million. This has laid the foundation for the economic revival we see today, said Sitharaman. A new centrally funded scheme, PM Swasthya Yojana, with an outlay of Rs 64,180 cr will be launched in addition to the existing schemes to develop primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare," said Sitharaman. The FY22 outlay (budget estimate) for health and well-being is up 138%, at Rs 2,23,846 cr. Of this, Sitharman announced that Rs 35,000 crore will be spent on the Covid-19 vaccine. She announced that she is committed to spending more if needed.

11:17 am: FM Sitharaman confirms 27.1 Lakh crore economic boosters.

11:16 am: Budget 2021-22 will revive growth. It aims to double farmers’ income, said FM Sitharaman.

11:15 am: Aatmanirbhar Bharat packages accelerated structural reforms. Today, India has two vaccines, we have begun to safeguard both our citizens as well as 100 or more countries. Two or more vaccines also expected soon, said Sitharaman.

11:14 am: The Government stretched its resources for the benefit of the poorest of the poor. The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, the three Aatma Nirbhar Bharat packages and subsequent announcements were like five mini-budgets in themselves, said Sitharaman.

11: 13 am: "Today, India has two vaccines and is not only comforting citizens of her own country but those of neighbouring nations too," Sitharaman said as she highlights the Covid-19 pandemic related efforts of the government and what the challenges are ahead. Sitharaman now quotes Tagore: "Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark." She also remembers Indian cricket team victory's in Australia. 

Also read: All You Need To Know

11:12 am: This budget will be a digital budget with all your support, said Sitharaman.

11:12 am: Global economy was already in throes of a slowdown in 2020. Could have never imagined the health crisis that was about to unfold when we presented the budget for 2020, said Nirmala Sitharaman 

11:10 am: Ahead of announcing the allocations and what the government plans to do for the upcoming financial year, Sitharaman is highlighting what the government has done for the poor, the migrants, children as well as senior citizens under various schemes. "Announcements made earlier were like 5 mini budgets themselves," she said.

11:09 am: Within 48 hrs of lockdown PM announced Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, FM Sitharaman says.

11:07 am: Lockdown led to challenges, said Nirmala Sitharaman in her 3rd Budget speech.

11: 06 am: Nirmala Sitharaman said "budget preparation undertaken in circumstances like never before"

11:02 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents Union Budget 2021-22 in Lok Sabha

11:00 am: AAP and Akali Dal to disrupt Finance Minister speech on Agriculture

10:59 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to begin her speech shortly.

10: 55 am: Congress MPs Jasbir Singh Gill and Gurjeet Singh Aujla wear a black gown to the Parliament, as a mark of their protest against the three Farm laws

10:51 am: Union Cabinet approves the Budget 2021-22 that will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament.

10:44 am: Ahead of the presentation of Budget, former Congress president tweeted Budget must—Support MSMEs, farmers and workers to generate employment, Increase Healthcare expenditure to save lives, Increase Defence expenditure to safeguard borders.

10:35 am: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla arrives at the Parliament.

10:32 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Parliament.

10:28 am: BJP MP Hema Malini arrives at the Parliament. Union Budget 2021-22 will be presented in the House.

10: 25 am: Modi Cabinet approves Budget 2021-22.

10:22 am:  Union Cabinet’s meeting begins ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2021-22 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Parliament today.

10:21 am: The BSE benchmark Sensex surged over 443 points and the NSE Nifty advanced 115 points in opening trade on Monday, ahead of the Union Budget 2021-22 presentation in Parliament. The 30-share Sensex was trading higher by 443.06 points or 0.96 per cent at 46,728.83; and the broader Nifty was up 114.85 points or 0.84 per cent at 13,749.45.

10:14 am: Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan arrive at the Parliament. 

10:10 am: Finance Minister reaches Parliament. She will begin her Budget speech at 11 AM.

10:07 am: Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, meet President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget 2021-22.

10:01 am: Where can you watch Budget 2021?

Budget 2021 will be telecast LIVE primarily on Lok Sabha TV. However, it will be available on Rajya Sabha TV and state broadcaster Doordarshan as well. The LIVE stream will be available on Lok Sabha TV’s official YouTube channel too. 

 9:36 am: First part of budget session to end on February 13.

9:24 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present and read out the Budget 2021-22 at the Parliament through a tab, instead of the traditional ‘bahi khata’.

9:20 am: Ahead of the presentation of Budget, Sensex up by 401.77 points, currently at 46,687.54.

9:19 am: FM Nirmala Sitharaman and MoS Finance Anurag Thakur leave from the Ministry of Finance. For the first time ever, the Budget will be paperless this year due to COVID. It will be available for all as a soft copy, online.

9:15 am: Sitharaman to meet President Kovind shortly.

9:00 am: After an estimated 7.7 per cent contraction in 2020-21, the Finance Ministry’s Economic Survey projects that India’s real GDP would record a growth of 11 per cent in 2021-22. The nominal GDP growth has been estimated at 15.4 per cent, implying an assumption of 4.4 per cent inflation during the year. 

8:47am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at the Ministry of Finance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Parliament ahead of the presentation of Budget 2021.

ongress MPs Jasbir Singh Gill and Gurjeet Singh Aujla wear a black gown to the Parliament, as a mark of their protest against the three Farm laws

Nirmala Sitharaman says "budget preparation undertaken in circumstances like never before"