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Highlights of Indian Budget 2015-16

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New Delhi, Feb 28:

Following are the highlights of the Union Budget for the year 2015-16 which was presented by the Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Parliament today.

jaitley budget

* Personal income tax rates unchanged

* Increase in limit of deduction in health insurance from Rs.15,000 to Rs.25,000

* For senior citizens, this limit to be increased from Rs.30,000 from present Rs.10,000

* Deduction limit of Rs.60,000 on account of serious diseases to be enhanced to Rs.80,000 for senior citizens

* Exemption on contributions to Pension Fund hiked from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1.5 lakh per year

* All investment payments in ‘Sukanya Scheme’ will be fully exempted from tax

* Transport allowance exemption raised from Rs.800 to Rs.1,600 per month

* Universal social security system for all Indians, especially poor and disadvantaged sections

* Atal Pension Yojna for economically disadvantaged

* PPF and EPF corpus to be utilised for senior citizens’ welfare fund

* Physical aids and assisting devices for physically challenged senior citizens

* Wealth Tax to be abolished and additional two percent tax on super rich to yield Rs.9,000 crore annually

* GDP growth at 7.4 percent in 2014-15 and at 8-8.5 percent in 2015-16; double-digit growth feasible

* Non-Plan expenditure in 2015-16 estimated at Rs.1,312,200 crore; Plan expenditure estimated at Rs.465,277 crore

* Tax collection in 2015-16 estimated at Rs.1,449,490 crore

* Adequate provision for defence with Rs.246,727 crore earmarked for 2015-16

* Investment on infrastructure to go up by Rs.70,000 crore in 2015-16 over 2014-15

* Education sector allocated Rs.68,968 crore; rural development gets Rs.79,526 crore

* Nirbhaya Fund gets another Rs.1000 crore in 2015-16

* Facilities at eight World Heritage Sites to be restored

* Government to soon launch National Skills Mission

* During 2015-16 AIIMS-like institutes to be set up in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh; Bihar to get second AIIMS-like institution

* Karnataka to get an IIT; Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad to be upgraded to IIT

* Fully IT-based student-help facility for needy students

* Corporate tax to be reduced to 25 percent from 30 percent in four years

* Tax exemption for contributions to ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ by corporates as part of CSR

* In last nine months several steps taken to effectively deal with problem of black money

* Comprehensive new law to be brought against black money

* Rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years for concealing income

* Prevention of Money Laundering Act to be amended to provide for forfeiture of property in India if the one abroad cannot be attached

* Law against Benami property in fight against black money

* Quoting PAN essential in property transactions

* Forwards Markets Commission to be Merged with Sebi

* Splitting of transaction not to be permitted

* Changes in excise on tobacco items, including cigarettes, paan masala and gutkha

* Excise duty on footwear with leather uppers to be reduced to six percent

* Service tax and education levy to be consolidated from 12.36 percent to 14 percent

* Swachh Bharat cess of two percent, if necessary

* Tax regime to be rationalised

* Applicability of General Avoidance Rules (GAR) to be deferred by two years in view of problems faced in its implementation

* New structure to be put in place in banking sector for seamless integration of data

* Eastern states to be given opportunity to develop faster. Special boost to Bihar and West Bengal as in the case of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

* Good progress in DMIC corridor and other infra-projects. Rs.1,200 crore earmarked and additional funds if pace of work picks up on ongoing projects

* Procurement law to be drawn up to ensure transparency and remove corruption

* Centenary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay to be celebrated; committee for this to be set up soon

* Good progress being made on Digital India

* To discourage transactions in cash, Rupee debit card to incentivise credit transactions

* In line with ‘Act East Policy’, steps to catalyse investment in this sector through a project development company to oversee investments in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

* Tourism has increased after Visa on Arrival introduced for 43 countries. This facility to be increased to 150 countries in different stages

* Public Debt Management Agency to be created to strengthen the bond market

* Gold Monetisation Scheme to be introduced; sovereign gold bonds to be introduced; working on developing Indian gold coin with Ashok Chakra on face

* Vision of making India cashless society
* Foreign Investment in alternative investment funds to be permitted

* Ports in public sector to be encouraged to utilise land under their control

* Make India investment-destination by streamlining permission procedures

* Five ultra-mega power projects each of 4,000 MW to be set up; Second unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station will be commissioned in 2015-16

* Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) to be Established

* Integrated education and livelihood scheme to be launched

* National investment and infrastructure fund to be launched with corpus of Rs.20,000 crore to generate more funds

* Innovation initiative to be launched in NITI Aayog in the name of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

* Government committed to increasing access of people to the banking system

* Postal network across the country to be used for increasing access to formal financial system

* Main challenges: increasing agricultural production; increasing investment in infrastructure; with manufacturing declining, Make in India will create jobs; cooperative federalism

* Agriculture credit targetted at Rs.8.5 lakh crore

* Rural jobs scheme to get Rs.34,699 crore; Allocation to be enhanced by Rs.5,000 crore if additional funds available; Every poor to get a job

* To work with NITI Aayog for creating a National Agricultural Market

* Need well-targeted system for subsidies.

* Direct transfer of subsidy to LPG consumers

* Appeal to well-off consumers to surrender subsidised LPG connections

* Organic farm schemes of agriculture ministry to be supported

* ‘Per drop More crop’ scheme for better irrigation

* Three achievements – Jan Dhan Yojna, coal auctions, Swachh Bharat

* Two more gamechanging reforms: Goods and Services Tax, JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojna, Aadhar, Mobile number) to ensure transparency

* Our achievement to conquer inflation, CPI inflation at five percent by year-end

* We are in an economic environment far more positive than in the recent past

* Undertaken several significant steps to energise the Indian economy in last nine months

* India’s chance to fly

* Budget proposals lay down roadmap for economic growth.

* “The Everlasting Flame” exhibition on Parsis to be launched
(IANS)