:: Peoples Time Online ::
In the run to general election of India due in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government today presented a budget in parliament announcing incentives for small and marginal farmers, workers in the unorganized sector and giving tax relief to the salaried middle class.
The budget presented by acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in place of Arun Jertly, who is now under treatment in New York, the USA also announced an outlay of rupees 3 lakh crore for the defence sector which is the highest in the Indian history.
Goyal in his budget speech said for the first time the centre has increased the Defence Budget to over Rs. 3 lakh crore. “The government will provide additional funds for defence if needed for border security”.
The Defence Budget earmarked in the last fiscal was Rs.2,95,511 crore.
“Our soldiers protect the country on the borders and they are our pride. We have allocated more than Rs. 3 lakh crore in this budget for securing our borders” he said.
In the budget Rs.75,000 crore has been allocated for giving cash incentives to the small and marginal farmers. Under the scheme, the small and marginal farmers who have less than one acre will get a support Rs 6,000 under the government’s historic “PM Kishan programme”.
The amount will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of farmers in three installments of Rs.2,000, he added.
According to the budget, individual taxpayers with annual income up to Rs. 5 lakh will get full tax rebate while individuals with gross income up to Rs. 6.5 lakh will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.
Due to these measurers, around three crore middle class taxpayers will get tax exemption, said Goyal while presenting his budget speech at Lok Sabha.
He said assessment of all tax returns should be done electronically without any personal interface in the next two years.
Besides, he said pension scheme for unorganised sector workers with monthly income up to Rs.15,000 will be given. He assured monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 after they retire on reaching 60.