2021 Budget Highlights

Tanvi Sinha

Financial Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, February the 1st 2021 announced the 2021 Budget.

Under the Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Ahbhyan, the centre plans for an outlay of 64,180 crores of INR over the span of six years that is to be put into the primary, secondary and tertiary health sector.

Nirmala Sitharaman announced divestment of two public sector companies and financial institutions referring to two PSU banks and an insurance company, putting the disinvestment receipts at 1.75 lakh crores INR for the fiscal year beginning April 2021.

LIC IPO would be brought in by Financial Year 2022 with other disinvestments to be completed by 2021-22.

A-One Nation One Card scheme opened as part of providing relief to Migrant workers where one ration card would be accepted all across the country.

The Centre resolves to link produce markets or “mandis” to e-NAM or an e-National Agricultural Market, but subtly assures no move to dismantle the already existing systems.

The session allotted 35,000 crores INR to the Vaccine, making the total output to the health sector come around 2,23,846 crores INR which happens to be a 137% increase from last year.

The National Capital was allotted 5.54 lakh crores INR budget for spending for 2021.

Ahead of elections in these states, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala gave budgets for building Highways.

The foreign ownership of shares percentage limit was raised from 49% to 74%.

The choices for electricity providing companies increased with the consumer now having the discretion to choose the best electricity provider.

100 new Sainik Schools set up and 1500 schools, in general, to be qualitatively strengthened. 750 Eklavya schools to be opened in Tribal areas as well. A fund of more 35,000 crores INR to be sent for the betterment of Scheduled Caste students.

300 crores INR granted to the Government of Goa for the celebration of freedom after 50 years of independence from Portuguese colonization.

The FM stated in her speech that the time limit for reopening income tax assessment was to be decreased from six years to three years and punishment for serious tax fraud cases with the money involved exceeding 50 lakh INR or above would be 10 years.

An increase of 10 crores INR given in tax audit limit for any person that carries on more than 95% of their transactions digitally

The Centre declared no tax to be filed for seniors above 75 with the only pension, additionally, a dispute resolution committee for small taxpayers seems to be in the plans. Small taxpayers here included anyone with a taxable income of up to 50 lakhs where the disputed income of up to 10 lakh INR.

While no additional burden was to be put on the consumer overall, the budget imposed an Agri Infrastructure and Development cess on fuel, liquor and some other items with 2.5 INR per liter on petrol, 4 INR cess on diesel and 100% on alcohol.

As a result of hiked custom duties, a number of items that derive their parts internationally would have their prices hiked up such as in refrigerators, LED lights, mobile phones etc.

The budget announced the government’s plans of borrowing 80,000 crore INR to meet the expenditure of FY21 and is predicted to borrow 12 Lakh crore INR in FY22.

The minimum wage now applies to all categories of workers with adequate protection being given to women who apply to work in all categories.

Railways allocated 1,110,055 crores INR of which 1,07 lakh crore INR to go for capital expenditure for FY22.

Government sets out to allow incorporation of one-person companies with no restriction on paid-up capital and turnover with NRIs being able to incorporate the same as well.

Contrary to earlier reports of a COVID CESS being imposed on businesses no such thing was announced. Additionally, no change in income tax exemptions or income tax slabs were announced.

Even after the 136% boost in the Health sector, it remains the second-lowest sector for financial allocation, only ahead of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, with the largest allocation going to the Ministry of Defense.

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