Budget session LIVE updates: Congress protests against Anurag Thakur in LS

Budget 2020 LIVE updates and Budget highlights: Shares and bond yields fell on Monday as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget 2020-2021 failed to cheer investors, who expected stimulus measures to revive growth in Asia's third-biggest economy. Today, the Parliament will meet to discuss it in the ongoing Budget session.

Sitharaman's Budget on Saturday raised spending on farms and expressways and offered cuts in personal taxes, but the measures failed to address concerns of lower consumer spending and investment.

Opposition parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress, the Left and Aam Aadmi Party criticized the budget as lacklustre, saying it did not do enough to address the pressing problems faced by the economy.

Budget 2020 comes at a time when India is staring at an estimated 5 per cent annual rate of expansion, the slowest pace since 2009.

Stay tuned for Budget 2020 live updates and Budget highlights.

2:27 PM IST Rahul Gandhi said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should not be afraid of answering questions raised by him on behalf of the youth, to whom the government is answerable.   "Finance Minister, don't be scared of my questions. I am asking these questions on behalf of the youth of the country, to answer whom is your responsibility," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.   "The youth of the country want employment and your government has failed miserably to provide them the same," he said.   The Congress leader used the hashtag "JawaabDoMantriJi" to put across his point.

1:51 PM IST Opposition stages walkout in Lok Sabha as BJP MP from Delhi Parvesh Verma speaks during a discussion on motion of thanks on the President's address pic.twitter.com/zKrJTa36O9 — ANI (@ANI) February 3, 2020

1:51 PM IST Opposition stages walkout in Lok Sabha as BJP MP from Delhi Parvesh Verma speaks during a discussion on motion of thanks on the President's address.

1:49 PM IST The TMC has moved amendments to the president's address delivered on Friday at the beginning of the budget session, raising questions on his "silence" on issues relating to CAA protests, economic slowdown and Kashmir clampdown.   The move has opened the doors of discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Parliament, which has witnessed nationwide protests. President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday hailed the CAA as "historic" in his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament, prompting protests by some opposition members.   Trinamool Congress MP Derek O' Brien and Rajya Sabha chief whip Sukhendu Sekhar Ray have moved amendments on behalf of the party in Rajya Sabha pertaining to the "silence" of the president on the ongoing protest against the CAA and demanding that the speech include the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the National Population Register (NPR).

1:44 PM IST The government on Monday said the Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) stood at Rs 7.27 trillion as on September 30, 2019.   Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur also said in Lok Sabha that scheduled commercial banks and select financial institutions have reported frauds to the tune of Rs 1.13374 trillion in the first half of the current financial year.   Thakur said during Question Hour that as a result of transparent recognition of stressed assets as NPAs, gross NPAs of PSBs, as per RBI data on global operations, rose from Rs 2.79016 trillion as on March 31, 2015, to Rs 6.84732 trillion as on March 31, 2017 and Rs 8,95,601 crore as on March 31, 2018.   "As a result of Government's strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms, have since declined by Rs 1.68305 trillion to Rs 7.27296 trillion as on September 30, 2019," he said.

1:00 PM IST The Congress on Monday raised slogans against Union minister Anurag Thakur in Lok Sabha over his controversial remarks during a recent election rally in the national capital.   While Opposition members, mainly from the Congress, were protesting against the amended citizenship law, they raised their pitch whenever Thakur started replying to questions.   Thakur, who is the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, had made some controversial remarks during a recent poll rally in the national capital.   Belligerent Congress members, who were in the Well, shouted slogans against the minister and asked 'Aapka goli kaha hai? (where is your bullet?)', an apparent reference to the minister's controversial remarks. Some members also shouted 'Goli maarna band karo (Stop shooting)'.   Whenever Thakur was responding to supplementaries during the Question Hour, the members began sloganeering against him.   During the election rally, Thakur had egged on the crowd to raise an incendiary slogan, "shoot the traitors", after he lashed out at anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protestors.

12:57 PM IST Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress in Lok Sabha: Common people of India are protesting to save the Constitution, they are protesting while holding the constitution & singing the national anthem but they are being fired at. People of India are being killed mercilessly.

12:56 PM IST Opposition MPs in Lok Sabha raise slogans of "Save the Constitution. Save our India. No to CAA" as Question Hour is underway

11:48 AM IST

11:17 AM IST Uproar in Lok Sabha as few opposition MPs shout "goli maarna bandh karo; desh ko todna bandh karo".

10:52 AM IST Congress MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Kodikunnil Suresh and Gaurav Gogoi have given Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha to "reconsider Citizenship Amendment Act after unrest in the country & to stop the process of National Register of Citizens & National Population Register".

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Dear FM, don't be scared of my questions, youth want jobs: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should not be afraid of answering questions raised by him on behalf of the youth, to whom the government is answerable.
 
"Finance Minister, don't be scared of my questions. I am asking these questions on behalf of the youth of the country, to answer whom is your responsibility," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
 
"The youth of the country want employment and your government has failed miserably to provide them the same," he said.
 
The Congress leader used the hashtag "JawaabDoMantriJi" to put across his point.

Opposition stages walkout in Lok Sabha as BJP MP from Delhi Parvesh Verma speaks

Opposition stages walkout in Lok Sabha as BJP MP from Delhi Parvesh Verma speaks during a discussion on motion of thanks on the President's address.

TMC moves 6 amendments to president's speech; question silence on J&K, CAA, economic slowdown

The TMC has moved amendments to the president's address delivered on Friday at the beginning of the budget session, raising questions on his "silence" on issues relating to CAA protests, economic slowdown and Kashmir clampdown.
 
The move has opened the doors of discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Parliament, which has witnessed nationwide protests. President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday hailed the CAA as "historic" in his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament, prompting protests by some opposition members.
 
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O' Brien and Rajya Sabha chief whip Sukhendu Sekhar Ray have moved amendments on behalf of the party in Rajya Sabha pertaining to the "silence" of the president on the ongoing protest against the CAA and demanding that the speech include the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the National Population Register (NPR).

NPAs of PSBs stands at Rs 7.27 trillion: Anurag Thakur in Lok Sabha

The government on Monday said the Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) stood at Rs 7.27 trillion as on September 30, 2019.
 
Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur also said in Lok Sabha that scheduled commercial banks and select financial institutions have reported frauds to the tune of Rs 1.13374 trillion in the first half of the current financial year.
 
Thakur said during Question Hour that as a result of transparent recognition of stressed assets as NPAs, gross NPAs of PSBs, as per RBI data on global operations, rose from Rs 2.79016 trillion as on March 31, 2015, to Rs 6.84732 trillion as on March 31, 2017 and Rs 8,95,601 crore as on March 31, 2018.
 
"As a result of Government's strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms, have since declined by Rs 1.68305 trillion to Rs 7.27296 trillion as on September 30, 2019," he said.

Congress members protest against Union minister Anurag Thakur in Lok Sabha

The Congress on Monday raised slogans against Union minister Anurag Thakur in Lok Sabha over his controversial remarks during a recent election rally in the national capital.
 
While Opposition members, mainly from the Congress, were protesting against the amended citizenship law, they raised their pitch whenever Thakur started replying to questions.
 
Thakur, who is the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, had made some controversial remarks during a recent poll rally in the national capital.
 
Belligerent Congress members, who were in the Well, shouted slogans against the minister and asked 'Aapka goli kaha hai? (where is your bullet?)', an apparent reference to the minister's controversial remarks. Some members also shouted 'Goli maarna band karo (Stop shooting)'.
 
Whenever Thakur was responding to supplementaries during the Question Hour, the members began sloganeering against him.
 
During the election rally, Thakur had egged on the crowd to raise an incendiary slogan, "shoot the traitors", after he lashed out at anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protestors.

Common people of India are protesting to save the Constitution, but they are being fired at: Congress

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress in Lok Sabha: Common people of India are protesting to save the Constitution, they are protesting while holding the constitution & singing the national anthem but they are being fired at. People of India are being killed mercilessly.

Opposition MPs in Lok Sabha raise slogans of "Save the Constitution"

Opposition MPs in Lok Sabha raise slogans of "Save the Constitution. Save our India. No to CAA" as Question Hour is underway

Opposition MPs raise 'Goli maarna band karo' slogans as MoS Finance Anurag Thakur speaks in Lok Sabha.


Uproar in Lok Sabha as few opposition MPs shout "goli maarna bandh karo; desh ko todna bandh karo".

Budget session LIVE: Congress MPs give Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha to reconsider CAA

Congress MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Kodikunnil Suresh and Gaurav Gogoi have given Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha to "reconsider Citizenship Amendment Act after unrest in the country & to stop the process of National Register of Citizens & National Population Register".

Budget session: Congress leaders give suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha over "prevailing situation in the country due to CAA, NRC, NPR

Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma have given the suspension of business notice under rule 267 in Rajya Sabha over "prevailing situation in the country due to proposed NPR-NRC following the Citizenship Amendment Act".

Budget 2020: What it means for the social sector, explains Ashok Varma

The finance minister has attempted to maintain a delicate balance between remaining investment-friendly and yet driving consumption, within the overall constraints of maintaining the fiscal deficit target. This has led to unchanged or marginal increases in allocations to most schemes focusing on the social sector. Read on...

There's no roadmap for economic recovery in Budget: Anand Sharma

Congress leader Anand Sharma on Sunday hit out at the BJP government over the economy saying that there was no roadmap for economic recovery and job creation in the Union Budget that was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament.
 
"BJP has nothing else to offer, they have miserably failed. After the national elections in the last eight months, the country's economy has taken a severe downturn and we are looking at a deepening economic crisis. In the national budget, there was no roadmap for the economic recovery and job creation," Sharma said.

Sensex, Nifty and bond yields fall as Budget disappoints

Shares and bond yields fell on Monday as the country's budget failed to cheer investors, who expected stimulus measures to revive growth in Asia's third-biggest economy.
 
The broader NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.12% to 11,651.95 by 0347 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex declined 0.26% to 39,645.91.
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's union budget on Saturday raised spending on farms and expressways and offered cuts in personal taxes, but the measures failed to address concerns of lower consumer spending and investment.
 
Shares fell during a special trading session on that day to their lowest closing level in more than three months.

Pvt trains, solar power-driven network, transport of perishables form Budget blueprint for railways

Private trains, better connectivity to tourist sites, solar power to fuel the rail network and transportation of perishables -- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed a blueprint for the railways in the Union Budget 2020-21 to be implemented with a budgetary support of Rs 70,000 crore.
 
In 2019-2020, the budgetary support was revised to Rs 69,967 crore.

Realtors disappointed with Budget, say no major announcements to address industry concerns

The real estate industry on Saturday expressed disappointment over the Budget, saying it failed to address huge liquidity concerns in the sector and did not provide any major incentives to boost sluggish housing sales.
 
"The direction of the budget is progressive, however, there are no sector-specific measures for the realty sector," CREDAI National Chairman Jaxay Shah said.

Union Budget to generate employment, tackle recession: Sushil Modi

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday said the Union Budget 2020-21 will not only help in generating employment opportunities and income but will also be able to tackle recession in a better way.
 
After incorporating the 15th Finance Commission's recommendations in this year's budget, Bihar's share in central taxes has increased by 0.396 per cent from 9.665 per cent in 2019-20 to 10.061 per cent in 2020-21, said Modi, who also holds finance and commercial taxes portfolios in Bihar's NDA government.

Push on infra, logistics to help in demand revival: Industry

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's major announcements on infrastructure as well as logistics sector will create rural demand and boost employment opportunities, Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) said on Saturday.
 
Priorities given to household, roads, railways, economic corridors, solar power, accelerated development of highways should help boost development and wealth creation besides reviving cement demand, CMA said in a release.

Govt pegs net market borrowing at Rs 5.36 trn for FY21

The government will borrow Rs 5.36 trillion from the market in 2020-21, marginally higher than the Rs 4.99 trillion estimated for the current financial year ending March 2020.
 
According to the Revised Estimate, the net borrowing for the current financial year was raised to Rs 4.99 lakh crore as against the Budget Estimate of Rs 4.48 trillion.

BJP-ruled states praise 'pro-people' Budget

BJP-ruled states hailed the Union Budget as focussed on boosting development, creating jobs and taking every section of the society along, but those governed by the opposition parties expressed disappointment saying it lacked vision to revive the economy.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and their counterparts from Karnataka and Goa — B S Yediyurappa and Pramod Sawant — said the budget will help generate jobs, boost rural economy and create infrastructure for growth.

Corporate Affairs Ministry gets higher budgetary allocation of Rs 728 cr

The Corporate Affairs Ministry will be getting 24 per cent higher allocation at Rs 727.62 crore in the next fiscal, according to the Union Budget 2020-21.
 
The ministry was allocated Rs 586.34 crore for 2019-20 and the amount was later revised downwards to Rs 576 crore.

FM proposes solar power plants along rail tracks: Rlys says 51,000 hectares of unused land available

The railways on Saturday said about 51,000 hectares of its unused land was available for installing solar plants with a potential to generate 10 GW of clean energy, hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a proposal to set up such land-based plants alongside rail tracks in her budget speech.
 

Startups hail Budget for relaxing ESOPs norm

Startups on Saturday welcomed the Budget proposal of relaxing ESOPs taxation, but said linking it to Section 80-IAC will limit its impact to a small section of startups.
 
"The relaxation for ESOP taxation was welcome but linking it to Sec 80-IAC makes it meaningless as it impacts only a 100 odd startups. We had requested for this to apply to all DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) registered startups. I do hope they correct that urgently," Indian Angel Network Chairman Saurabh Srivastava said in a statement.

CTT on commodity indices and options in goods proposed

A commodity transaction tax (CTT) will be imposed on trading on commodity indices as well as options in goods with effect from April 1, 2020, according to Budget documents.
 
Recently, the NCDEX and the MCX launched commodity indices but trading has not yet been allowed by markets regulator Sebi. On January 16, Sebi had allowed stock exchanges to launch options in goods in the commodity derivative segment.

NBFC players say Budget offers some hope, finally

The non-banking finance sector, which has been down in the dumps since September 2018, has heaved a sigh of relief with the Union Budget offering a slew of measures to boost their liquidity and asset recovery.
 
The shadow banking sector, which also includes housing finance companies, has been struggling ever since the bankruptcy of IL&FS in September 2018 which created a crisis of confidence for the system and the resultant snapping of credit flow to them.
 

Textile industry expects Budget 2020 to spur exports

The textile industry on Saturday said the Budget proposal to offer a scheme for remission of duties and taxes on exports will improve their competitiveness in global markets.
 
"The budget proposal to launch a scheme for remission of duties and taxes on exported goods to refund the duties and taxes levied at the Central, state and local levels, like electricity duties and VAT on fuel used for transportation that are currently not getting exempted or refunded," Texprocil chairman KV Srinivasan said.
 

Budget 2020: Rs 2,487 cr allocated for RRTS projects

In a boost to connectivity in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Union government on Saturday allocated Rs 2,487 crore to RRTS projects for the next fiscal, nearly three-fold increase over the 2019-20 financial year.
 
In 2019-20, the Centre had allocated Rs 824 crore for the country's first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS).
 

Gas grid to be expanded to 27,000 km, pricing reforms in offing

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday laid down plans for expansion of national natural gas pipeline network to 27,000 km from the present 16,200 km and pricing reforms as the government looks at boosting use of environment friendly fuel.
 
The government has set a target of raising the share of natural gas in primary energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from current 6.2 per cent. Connecting gas sources to consumption hubs is a key to achieving this.
 

Union Budget: MoHUA allocated Rs 50,000 crore

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs was on Saturday allocated around Rs 50,000 crore for the next fiscal, a hike of nearly 18 per cent from the current financial year.
 
The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban, a flagship programme of the Modi government, has been given Rs 2,300 crore as against Rs 1,300 crore in the revised 2019-20 Union Budget, where the ministry was allocated a total of Rs 42,266.72 crore.
 

Welcome Budget, but more could have done to tackle 'rural distress': JD(U)

BJP ally Janata Dal (U) on Saturday welcomed the Union Budget for its measures on "economic and social fronts" but added that more could have been done to tackle the "rural distress".
 
"Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts, plans to expand solar pump scheme to help 20 lakh farmers are great initiatives but more could have been done to tackle the ongoing farmers' and rural distress.

Govt to provide uniform tax treatment for unlisted InvITs, REITs

The government has proposed changes in the Income Tax law to ensure uniform treatment for unlisted Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
 
The proposal is part of the Finance Bill tabled in the Parliament on Saturday.
 

Goa CM hails Budget, Cong says FM silent on unemployment

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday welcomed the Union Budget 2020-21, terming it as "common man-centric", while the opposition Congress slammed it saying that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was completely silent on unemployment.
 
The Shiv Sena also criticised the budget saying it does not have anything specific for Goa.

Opposition dubs Budget 2020 insipid, slams govt for 'all talk'

Modi praised the Union budget for its "vision and action" and was joined by top BJP leaders in hailing it, but the Opposition slammed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcements as "insipid", saying they show that the government is "all talk".
 
Sitharaman's second budget left opposition parties unimpressed with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying that it offered no strategic idea or anything concrete, and left the issue of unemployment unaddressed.
 
Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram accused the government of being in "complete denial" about the economy facing a "grave macro economic challenge" and said it has given up on reviving the economy, accelerating growth or creating jobs.
 
However, the ruling NDA's leaders were euphoric in their praise for the budget.

Budget 2020: Election Commission gets Rs 269 crore

The Election Commission was allocated Rs 269 crore in the Union Budget under the 'Election' head as compared to Rs 255.46 crore last year when the Lok Sabha elections were held.
 
A senior Law Ministry officer and a former Election Commission functionary explained that the amount allocated to the poll panel would also be used for "book adjustments" for expenditures incurred in holding of LS polls and other elections.
 
In the previous budget, the Law Ministry was allocated an additional sum of over Rs 666 crore for conducting the Lok Sabha elections which were held in the summer of 2019.

Private trains, solar power-driven network form budget blueprint for railways

Private trains, better connectivity to tourist sites, solar power to fuel the rail network and transportation of perishables -- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed a blueprint for the railways in the Union Budget 2020-21 to be implemented with a budgetary support of Rs 70,000 crore.
 
In 2019-2020, the budgetary support was revised to Rs 69,967 crore.

Union Budget is people's Budget: Anurag Thakur

Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Anurag Thakur said here on Saturday that Union Budget 2020-21 is people's Budget.
 
"This budget is for new India, young India. This budget is people's budget in the true sense," said Thakur.
 
"The focus is on rural India, agriculture and on doubling the farmer's income," he said.

Govt not expecting substantial gain from AGR dues in 2020-21

It may have sought almost Rs 4 trillion from telecom and non-telecom companies in past dues but the government is not expecting any substantial windfall in the coming year.
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who provisioned Rs 1.3 trillion in receipts from telecom licence fee and spectrum usage charge for the next financial year, said the government is looking to address dispute over what revenues should be taken for calculating dues in a more comprehensive manner.
 
In her post-Budget press conference, she said the issue is a complex one and the industry players are in dialogue with the government to resolve it.
 
"I don't think I am looking at it purely from what the government will collect. This particular development in the telecom sector is something which all of us has watched, going through the proceedings of the court... it would not be right for me to just comment and say we are looking at this number or that," Sitharaman said.

Medical colleges to be set up in district hospitals under PPP mode

The government proposed setting up of medical colleges in existing district hospitals under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode to address the shortage of qualified doctors.
 
Sitharaman said, "There is a shortage of qualified medical doctors, both general practitioners as well as specialists.
 
"In order to meet this requirement, it is proposed to attach a medical college to an existing district hospital in PPP mode. Those states that fully allow the facilities of the hospital to the medical college and wish to provide land at a concession, would be able to receive Viability Gap Funding. Details of the scheme would be worked out," she said.

Union budget will contribute towards doubling farmers' income: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the general budget will contribute significantly towards fulfilling the government's resolve to double the income of farmers.
 
"This general budget will contribute significantly in fulfilling the Modi government's resolve to double the income of the farmers by making available, better irrigation and grain storage facilities, as well as a fair price for their produce," Shah tweeted from his official handle.
 
He also outlined different schemes of the central government for the welfare of farmers and said, "Through Kisan Rail and Kisan Udaan Yojana, our Kisan brothers will join the national and international market and their products will be able to be sold at a better price at the right time. This scheme will especially benefit fruit and vegetable growers, especially tribals and farmers from the northeast".

CPI(M) terms Union Budget disappointing for people of Jammu and Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the CPI(M) on Saturday termed the Union Budget "disappointing" for the people of the Union territory, saying it lacks any concrete plan to revive various sectors, including tourism, which were hit hard after the revocation of the special status of the erstwhile state in August last year.
 
"There is no policy statement in the Budget. We need something specific in the Budget and unfortunately, it is the most disappointing Budget for the people of Jammu and Kashmir," senior CPI(M) leader and former legislator M Y Tarigami said in a statement.
 
The Centre has allocated Rs 30,757 crore for the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the Budget 2020-21 presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday.
 
"They have been talking about development as if earlier there was no development. The allocation and the mention in the Budget itself does not say anything about that mission development which the BJP has promised to the people of Jammu and Kashmir," Tarigami said.

Budget again cheats farmers: Maharashtra farm panel head

The Union Budget 2020-2021 has once again cheated the farming community and the 16-point plan to tackle the Indian agrarian crisis is "an eyewash" as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has failed to address the core issues afflicting the farm sector, a top agriculture activist said.
 
Analysing the budget, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari said that no solutions have been offered to the pending problems of the agro sector like costs, crops, credit and risk management that would contribute to doubling the farmers' income by 2022, as claimed by Sitharaman.
 
"The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre is trying its best to divert attention from the most serious economic crisis confronting the most deserving sector, agriculture, which is the backbone of the economy. The rural economy is facing a severe crisis and the utter collapse has resulted in farmers resorting to suicide around the country," Tiwari said.

Directionless anti-poor budget, says M K Stalin

 
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President M K Stalin termed the Union Budget 2020-21 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament as "directionless".
 
Stalin also said BJP government's budget has not bothered about the economic stagnation, unemployment and condition in rural areas.
 
He said the entire budget is focused on the corporate sector and not on the poor and the income tax proposals damage all kinds of social security measures.

Chidambaram on reduced defence budget allocation

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday said the chief of defence staff should strongly protest against the reduced budget allocation for defence sector and the party will stand in his support.
 
In a marginal hike, the defence budget was increased to Rs 3.37 trillion for 2020-21 against last year's Rs 3.18 trillion, notwithstanding expectations of a significantly higher allocation to fast-track long-pending military modernisation.
 
"It is for the new secretary, the Department of Military Affairs, and the chief of defence staff to protest loudly, I want him to protest loudly. We hope he will," the former finance minister said when asked about the issue.
 
"He is the Chief of Defence Staff and the Secretary, Department of Military Affairs. So, I want him to protest loudly and I assure him, our voice will join him and in protesting loudly, but he should lead the protest," he added.

Now, Amazon orders to cost more if this amendment is enacted

Your Amazon order or Uber ride will now get a little more expensive if a proposed amendment in the Income Tax Act comes into force.
 
The Budget of 2020-21 has proposed the insertion of a new section in the Income Tax Act, Section 194-O. The proposal says tax deducted at source (TDS) is to be paid by an e-commerce operator for sale of goods or provision of service facilitated by the e-commerce portal or platform.
 
The new section, which is scheduled to come into force from April 1, proposes "to provide that e-commerce operator shall deduct TDS on all payments or credits to e-commerce participants at the rate of 1 per cent in PAN/Aadhaar cases and 5 per cent in non-PAN/Aadhaar cases". READ ON...
DEFICIT TRENDS

Overall, the government appears to have chosen to consolidate on the reforms of the past few years: Navneet Munot on Budget 2020


Limited fiscal room constraining any outright fiscal stimulus: M M Murugappan


Expectations not met: Dr Reddy's Laboratories Chairman Satish Reddy

Dr Reddy's Laboratories Chairman Satish Reddy said, "the industry had high expectations of this Budget as it was seen to be an opportunity to announce big, bold reforms given the state of the economy. On that count, there is a degree of disappointment in some quarters as expectations have not been met".

Less optimistic about strong economic revival: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Although my immediate response to the budget was satisfactory, now that I've read the fine print, I must say I'm less optimistic about strong economic revival. In fact removal of exemptions n (sic) DDT will hurt individual tax payer and affect consumer spending. Why no export incentives?" Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw tweeted.

Kashmiri verse, Tamil literature, populist measures pepper longest Budget speech

A Kashmiri verse, quotes from Tamil poets and references to Saraswati-Sindhu civilisation peppered Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's 160-minute long marathon Budget speech on Saturday which got cut short at the fag end after she felt unwell.
 
As the minister, clad in a bright yellow sari with a light green border, delivered the longest Union Budget speech ever, some of her remarks, including regarding 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' programme, were met with protests from the Opposition benches.
 
Her first Budget speech in July 2019 went on for around 137 minutes.
 
Once again, she carried the budget documents in the traditional 'bahi khata'.
 
She recited a Kashmiri verse, which was part of a poem by Sahitya Akademi award winner Pandit Dinanath Koul. She rendered the verse in both Kashmiri and Hindi.
 
Besides, the minister quoted woman Tamil poet Avvaiyar, Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, a verse from Raghuvamsa by Kalidasa, as well as late finance minister Arun Jaitley while talking about the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

FM Sitharaman's Budget 2020: Here's a list of winners and losers

Winners
 
Transport Infrastructure
Rural India- Farm and rural sectors
Water
Bharat Net project 
IT Firms
 
Losers
 
LIC
State-Run Banks
Real Estate

Budget keeps Delhi's share in central taxes unchanged

The Centre proposed to allocate Rs 1,116 crore to Delhi in the Union Budget, keeping the national capital's share in central taxes unchanged and prompting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to term it a "step-motherly" treatment to the city.

Rs 69,000 cr outlay for health sector; Rs 6,400 cr earmarked for PMJAY

Sitharaman announced an outlay of about Rs 69,000 crore for the health sector in the 2020-2021 fiscal, with Rs 6,400 crore earmarked for the Centre's flagship health insurance scheme Prime Minister Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
 
While presenting the Union budget 2020-21 in Parliament, Sitharaman said that presently, under PMJAY there are more than 20,000 empanelled hospitals.
 
In the Union budget, Rs 65,011.8 crore has been allocated to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, up from Rs 62,659.12 crore in 2019-20.

Budget 2020 gives the agri sector the much needed push, writes Ajay Kakra

The union budget 2020 was quiet favourable for agri and allied sector. Articulation of a comprehensive 16 point agenda ensures comprehensive coverage of agriculture sector and lays out the overall vision for the transformation of the sector. There has been a continued focus of the government to bring in necessary reforms in the agriculture sector which is clearly reflected in the enhanced budget allocation of Rs 1.6 trillion. The approach not only looks at developing the allied sectors but also looks at skilling and employment generation amongst the rural youth. Read on...

Relaxation of startup ESOP norms, DDT removal for cos positive for IT industry: Experts

IT industry body Nasscom on Saturday said the government's Budget proposal to relax ESOP norms and dividend distribution tax removal for companies were positive, but lacked focus on accelerating services exports and R&D from India.
 
Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh said Budget 2020-21 articulated how technology is the bedrock of development and growth in India, and said the announcements on quantum computing centre, data centre policy and intellectual property rights (IPR) portal will create the digital infrastructure for industry and government.
 
"It's heartening that Budget 2020 has simplified the employee stock option plan (ESOP) policy and extended the tax incentives for up to Rs 100-crore startups over a 10-year period. Incentives for MSMEs like audit exemptions for up to 5 crore companies will enable ease of business for small companies," Nasscom noted.

Budget to provide relief to poor, farmers: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Start-up giants and tourism industry major have hailed the Union Budget 2020-21 terming it a boost to tourism, industry, connectivity, job creation, start-ups, etc.
 
"It is heartening to see a budget that focuses on improving standards of living as well as economic development. A grant of Rs 2500 crores for tourism promotion and the development of 5 iconic archeological sites and museums in the country are bright indicators of the renewed focus of the government on the travel and tourism industry," said Rohit Kapoor, CEO, OYO, India South Asia.

Budget proposals can help make country major exporter, says FIEO

Apex exporters body FIEO has welcomed the measures announced in Budget to boost exports, especially from agri sector, saying the proposals will help make the country a major exporter of agri and allied goods.
 
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said the 16-points action plan announced in the Budget aim at structural changes in agriculture, horticulture and pisciculture, which will help make the country a major player in agro and allied sector exports in the medium to long-term.
 
Besides, it will also help double the farmers' income.

Over Rs 238 cr budget for Personnel Ministry to train bureaucrats in India and abroad

More than Rs 238 crore has been allocated to the Personnel Ministry for the next financial year for domestic and foreign training of bureaucrats and augmenting necessary infrastructure, according to the budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday.
 
Of the total allocation of Rs 238.45 crore for 2020-21, Rs 83.45 crore has been earmarked for the ministry to meet establishment-related expenditure of the Delhi-based Institute of Secretariat Training and Management (ISTM), Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie and training division of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Full text of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget speech

To read full text of Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget speech, click here

Indian manufacturers and small traders are getting hurt by the deep discounts offered the e-commerce companies, FM Sitharaman

Indian manufacturers and small traders are getting hurt by the deep discounts offered the e-commerce companies, FM Sitharaman to Network 18

Govt to create 260,000 jobs by 2021: Budget estimate

Amid a chorus of criticism by opposition parties over lack of employment generation, the Union Budget presented on Saturday estimated that more than 2.62 lakh jobs are likely to be created between March 2019 and March 2021 in various organisations.
 
The strength of government establishments was 32,62,908 as on March 1, 2019, which will increase to 35,25,388 by the same date in 2021 an increase of 2,62,480, it said.

In order to become non-resident, an Indian has to stay out of country for 240 days: Revenue Secy

“We’ve made changes in Income Tax Act where if an Indian citizen stays out of country for more than 182 days, he becomes non-resident. So we’ve made some changes, now in order to become non-resident he has to stay out of country for 240 days,” Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said at a post-Budget press conference of the Union finance minister.


“If any Indian citizen is not a resident of any country in the world, he'll be deemed to be a resident of India and his worldwide income will be taxed,” said Pandey.

Tech-industry hails Budget, says it aims to put India on world Quantum map

The Indian tech-industry has welcomed the thrust on emerging technologies, including quantum computing and building of data centre parks in the country. The technology could propel India to the forefront of hack-proof communication in sectors such as banking, defence and national and homeland security.
 
Sitharaman told Parliament this year's budget has proposed an outlay of Rs 8,000 crore over the next five years to set up a National Mission on Quantum Technology and Applications. "Quantum technology is opening up new frontiers in computing, communications, cybersecurity with wide‐spread applications," the FM said in her budget speech. “It is expected that lots of commercial applications would emerge from theoretical constructs which are developing in this area.”
 
Quantum computing is expected to disrupt entire industries from cybersecurity and telecommunications to medicine, finance and manufacturing. Quantum computers can process massive and complex datasets more efficiently than classical computers (like your desktop), according to research firm CB Insights. They use the fundamentals of quantum mechanics to speed up the process of solving complex computations. Often those computations incorporate a seemingly unlimited number of variables, and the potential applications span industries from genomics to finance, according to CB Insights.

Budget 'passive'; nothing to cheer for Telangana: TRS leader

Senior TRS leader and vice- chairman of state Planning Commission B Vinod Kumar said the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was "passive" and that the states requests on irrigation and others have not been considered.
 
"Its a passive budget. There is nothing new in the budget. There is no flagship programme,"Kumar said.
 
"In the context of Telangana, there is no comment on all the representations which we'd made to declare any project either on river Godavari or Krishna as a national project. No new allocations for national highways, railways in Telangana," he said.

FM proposes to cut withholding tax to boost listing of bonds at IFSC exchange

With an aim to boost listing of bonds at IFSC exchange, the government has proposed to reduce the withholding tax rate to 4 per cent from 5 per cent on interest payment on bonds listed on its bourse.
 
The move will attract more international investors at IFSC exchange.
 
"In order to incentivise listing of bonds at IFSC exchange, I propose to further reduce the withholding rate from 5 per cent to 4 per cent on interest payment on the bonds listed on its exchange," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Sitharaman said in her Budget speech in Parliament.

Economists offer mixed views on Budget 2020

Economists have offered mixed views on the Budget with some going public with their disappointment for not taking adequate measures to boost growth, while others said it is on expected lines.
 
"In the back drop of low growth and calls for explicit stimulus to pump-prime the economy, the budget disappoints on many counts again," small-sized private sector lender RBL Bank's economist Rajni Thakur said.
 
Acknowledging multiple spending announcements on health, rural, education and infrastructure sectors, she said the actual expenditure will only be marginally higher and hence, the multiplier effect will be muted.
 
Domestic brokerage firm Geojit Financial Service's economist Deepthi Mary Mathew also said the budget does not meet expectations.
 
"For consumption revival, the finance minister mainly focused in the adoption of new tax regime. It needs to be looked into whether the new tax regime will be enough in reviving the consumer spending," she said.
 
The budget was presented at a time when the growth rate is set to slip to a decadal low of 5 per cent in FY20, and efforts are on from all ends to help revive growth process.

Govt to sell stake in LIC, sets steep divestment target

The government announced its plans to divest a part of its stake in Life Insurance Corp (LIC) in a move that could result in the partial listing of the country's largest insurance company.
 
Paring its stake in the insurance giant will help the government meet its divestment target, which has been increased to Rs 2.1 trillion ($29.55 billion) in financial year 2021 compared to Rs 1.05 trillion in the current fiscal.
 
The government currently owns 100% stake in LIC that was set up in 1956. LIC controls a majority share in the life insurance market in India.

Gems & jewellery industry expects focus on farmers to spur gold demand

The gems & jewellery industry  welcomed the budget proposals that offer lots of sops to boost farmers' income which in turn will boost gold demand.
 
But the industry is a bit disappointed with the status quo on customs duty on the yellow metal. It has lobbied hard for getting customs duty halved from the present 12.5 per cent.
 
"We welcome the move to boost agriculture that will increase farmers income and bring in liquidity and purchasing power to the retail industry, including the gems & jewellery sector," All-India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council chairman Anantha Padmanaban said.
 
Disappointed with no changes on the duty front, he said, "we have been pursuing the government to reduce customs duty on gold to 6 per cent from the current 12.5 per cent to kill the gray market and boost the organized trade".

Investor wealth erodes by Rs 3.46 trillion as markets plummet after Budget announcement

 Investor wealth plummeted by Rs 3.46 trillion on Saturday as equity markets came crashing after the Union Budget for 2020-21 failed to live up to expectations.
 
The massive sell-off in equity market wiped out investor wealth, which fell by Rs 3,46,256.76 crore to Rs 1,53,04,724.97 crore on the BSE.
 
Market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms plunged as BSE Sensex plummeted 987.96 points to close below the key 40,000-mark. It closed at 39,735.53.
This was the benchmark's biggest drop since October 24, 2008, when it had plummeted 1,070.63 points, and the fourth biggest fall overall.
 
"The lack of major growth boosting measures in itself is negative for the equity market. The new income tax regime would also be negative for tax exempt equity savings schemes. Recasting of dividend taxation norms also seem to be on the balance negative for most domestic equity investors. Overall, the budget seems to be negative for the equity market," Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers Chief Economist and Executive Director Sujan Hajra said.

Taxpayers opting for new tax regime will have to forego deductions on PF, tuition fee, insurance

A taxpayer opting for new income tax slabs and rates will have to forego a host of exemptions and deductions, including a standard deduction of Rs 50,000, tuition fee of children, and contribution towards insurance premium and the provident fund. A taxpayer, however, can choose to remain in the existing regime with exemptions and deductions.

Gradually all exemptions should go, income tax rate should be low: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government has come up with a new scheme of personal income tax while retaining the old structure as its intention is to reduce the rates and simplify the structure.
 
Sitharaman, who was addressing a press conference after presentation of the union budget, said the government eventually wants to keep tax rates down and gradually all exemptions should go.
 
"We provided both so that in the long run we will be able to gradually remove all exemptions and in India, income tax framework should be simple and very low rate without difficulties in compliance," she said.

Power generation deemed manufacturing, pay lower 15% corp tax

As part of efforts to attract investment in the power sector and make its operations viable, the Budget 2020-21 on Saturday extended the benefit of lower corporate tax rate of 15 per cent to generating units by qualifying their activity as manufacturing.
 
Last year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam provided for a new corporate tax rate of 15 per cent for new manufacturing entities. The concessional rate was, however, not extended to the power sector as its activity was not considered as manufacturing.

Cigarette stocks slump up to 7% after Budget hikes excise duty on tobacco products

Cigarette stocks on Saturday plunged up to 7 per cent, led by ITC, as tobacco related products are set to become more expensive due to hike in excise duty proposed in the Union Budget for 2020-21.
 
ITC tanked 6.97 per cent to close at Rs 218.85 on the BSE. During the trade, it plummeted 8.31 per cent to Rs 215.70 -- its 52-week low. It was the worst performer in the Sensex pack.
 
 
Shares of Godfrey Phillips India dropped 6.82 per cent, VST Industries 5.40 per cent and Golden Tobacco 0.18 per cent.
 
A large number of items including cigarettes, chewing tobacco are set to become more expensive due to hike in taxes proposed in the Union Budget for 2020-21.

Union Budget offers nothing to economy, education: Manish Sisodia

Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday slammed the Union Budget 2020, saying it offers nothing for education or economy.
 
Talking to the media, he said that there was great anticipation around the Union Budget and people of Delhi had high hopes from the Central government that justice would finally be done to them, particularly when the elections to the state assembly are merely a week away.
 
"However, this budget has deceived the people of Delhi in a big way, it lacks any vision and is particularly disappointing in the critical education sector."
 
The Finance Minister also slammed the Centre for not increasing Delhi's share in Central taxes.
 
"In this year's Union Budget, the share in Central taxes of Delhi has not been increased from Rs 325 crore which is stagnant since 2001-02. Delhi deserves its legitimate share in Central taxes to finance various developmental projects. "

Key Budget 2020 takeaways

- Govt to raise funds via listing of LIC
- Deposit insurance raised to Rs 5 lakh
- FY21 fiscal deficit target pegged at 3.5% of GDP

Govt announces Rs 80.98 crore for the president's staff in Budget 2020

The government allocated Rs 80.98 crore for the president's staff, household and allowances in the Union Budget 2020-21, a marginal increase of Rs 6.56 crore from the last budget. In the last budget, the president's office was allocated Rs 76.33 crore, which was later revised to Rs 74.42 crore.

Budget: Additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on home loan interest extended till March 2021

Aiming to boost the affordable housing demand, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday proposed to extend the date of availing an additional Rs 1.5 lakh tax deduction on home loan interest by one more year till March 2021. The additional deduction of Rs 150,000 over and above Rs 200,000 was introduced in the last year's budget. This was allowed for those buying homes for the first time and of up to Rs 4.5 million and made applicable for home loans sanctioned till March this year. The finance minister also announced that builders will get tax holiday on affordable housing projects approved till March 2021.
Budget 2020: The Ayushman Bharat scheme has given a new expansion to the country’s health sector. Under blue economy, the youth will get new chances in the field of fishery, says PM Modi. 
The Budget has also taken up measures for the country of to become a export hub, and support the MSMEs, says PM Modi.

Budget 2020-21 key highlights

Read Budget 2020-21 key highlights here

The Budget has also focused on the skill development of the youth: Modi

This includes degree courses, internships and bridge courses for those who want to work abroad, says PM Modi.

Integrated approach to agriculture adopted in budget: PM Modi

Addressing a presser post-budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "an integrated approach to agriculture was adopted in the budget, which along with traditional methods will increase value addition in horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry and also increase employment."  

Budget 2020: Cigarettes, imported products, footwear to become costlier

Following is a list of imported items that will become costlier following the announcements in the Budget -- > Butter ghee, butter oil, edible oils, peanut butter > Whey, meslin, maize, sugar beet seeds, preserved potato > Chewing gum, dietary soya fibre, isolated soya protein > Walnuts (shelled)
> Footwear, shavers, hair clippers, hair-removing appliances > Tableware, kitchenware, water filters, glassware > Household articles of porcelain or china > Rubies, emeralds, sapphires, rough coloured gemstones > Padlocks
> Hand sieves and hand riddles
> Combs, hairpins, curling pins, curling grips, hair curlers > Table fans, ceiling fans and pedestal fans > Portable blowers
> Water heaters and immersion heaters
> Hair dryers, hand drying apparatus and electric irons > Food grinders, ovens, cookers, cooking plates, boiling rings, grillers and roasters > Coffee and tea makers and toasters
> Electro-thermic fluid heaters, devices for repelling insects and electric heating resistors > Furniture, lamps and lighting fittings > Toys, stationery item, artificial flowers, bells, gongs, statuettes, trophies > Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) of cellular mobile phones, display panel and touch assembly, fingerprint readers for use in cellular mobile phones The government has proposed to hike the Excise duty on cigarettes, Hookah, Chewing tobacco, Jarda scented tobacco and Tobacco extracts and essence.

Govt proposes 11% hike in farm credit for FY21; announces Krishi Udaan & Kisan Rail

The government on Saturday proposed 11 per cent increase in the farm credit target to 15 lakh crore for 2020-21 and announced special rail and flight services for the transportation of farm produce as its seeks to double farmers' income by 2022.
 
The government also proposed promoting 'one product one district' for better marketing and export of horticulture crops. It also called on states for early implementation of three key central model laws on land leasing, agriculture produce and livestock marketing and contract farming.
 
Presenting the Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Our government is committed to the goal of doubling farmers' incomes by 2022." She further said that prosperity of farmers can be ensured by making farming competitive. "For this, farm markets need to be liberalised. Distortions in farm and livestock markets need to be removed." Purchase of farm produce, logistics and agri-services need copious investments.
 
Substantial support and hand-holding of farm-based activities such as livestock, apiary, and fisheries need to be provided for, she said.

FM Sitharaman proposes to hike customs duty on imported electric vehicles

Imported electric vehicles are set to become costlier as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an increase in customs duty on various kinds of such vehicles as the government pushes to promote local production.
 
Customs duty rates are being revised on electric vehicles (EVs), and parts of mobiles as part of such carefully conceived phased manufacturing plans, she added.
 
To push local manufacturing in the EV segment, the government has increased customs duty on imported completely built units (CBUs) of commercial EVs to 40 per cent with effect from April 1, 2020, from 25 per cent currently.
 
The finance minister also proposed to enhance customs duty on semi knocked-down (SKD) forms of passenger EVs from 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

India Inc terms Budget as growth provoking, says implementation crucial

India Inc on Saturday termed the Budget as "growth provoking and welfare inducing" but said that urgent implementation of the measures proposed will be crucial for achieving desired outcomes, while acknowledging that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had "little room" to manoeuvre.
 
Soon after Sitharaman unveiled the Union Budget for 2020-21 in Parliament woven around the themes of aspirational India, and economic development for all and caring society, India Inc took to Twitter to share views on the announcements.

Govt has given up on reviving economy, accelerating growth, creating jobs: Chidambaram

Slamming the Budget, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday said the Modi government is in complete denial that the economy faces a "grave macro economic challenge" and it has given up on reviving the economy, accelerating growth or creating jobs.
 
There is nothing in the Budget that leads one to believe that growth will revive in 2020-21 and the claim of 6 to 6.5 per cent growth next year is "astonishing and even irresponsible", the former finance minister said at a press conference.
 
He said the government "does not believe" in reforms and certainly not in structural reforms as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has outrightly rejected every reform idea in the Economic Survey.
 
"Did the FM read the Economic Survey? Was the chief economic adviser privy to the content of the Budget speech? I think the answer to both questions is in the negative," Chidambaram said.
 
There were multiple themes, segments and programmes in the Budget speech, leaving the listener dazed and confused, he claimed.

Budget 2020 empowers India, Industry and individuals, says FICCI

Commenting on the Union Budget 2020-21 presented today, Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said, “Given the constraints that the Finance Minister was facing, this has been a comprehensive statement. The government has done a commendable job and the various measures announced will strengthen India, individuals and industry. By invoking the deviation clause in FRBM Act and relaxing the fiscal deficit to 3.8 per cent in the current year and targeting 3.5 per cent in the next year, the government has underscored its resolve to support the economy at a time when it needs a fiscal boost.

Indian economy is demand-constrained and investment-starved: Chidambaram

Indian economy is demand-constrained and investment-starved, FM has not acknowledged these two challenges, says Chidambaram.

Govt in complete denial that economy faces grave macro-economic challenge: Chidambaram.

Claim of 6-6.5 per cent growth next year astonishing, even irresponsible, said former Finance Minister Chidambaram.

It's laundry list of old programmes; even most loyal BJP supporter cannot latch on to any idea in Budget speech: Chidambaram

It's laundry list of old programmes; even most loyal BJP supporter cannot latch on to any idea in Budget speech: Chidambaram

Govt to encourage FDI in education, set up national police and forensic science universities

The government will encourage external commercial borrowings and FDI in the education sector for financing infrastructure, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced.
 
Setting up a National Police University and a National Forensic Science University, linking medical colleges to a district hospital through the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode to meet the shortage of qualified doctors, degree-level full-fledged online education programmes in top 100 institutions and holding the Ind-SAT exam in Asian and African countries for benchmarking foreign students interested in studying in India are some of the proposals made in the budget presented by Sitharaman.

People did not deserve such a budget: Chidambaram

People did not deserve such a budget, but will have to live with it until govt is forced to revisit it, as in 2019: Chidambaram

Govt intends to remove all income tax exemptions in long run: FM Sitharaman

After slashing income tax rates for individuals on condition that they give up exemptions and deductions, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the government intends to remove all I-T exemptions in the long run.
 
Speaking at a press conference after presenting her second budget in the Lok Sabha, she said income tax cuts follow reduction in corporate tax rates in September last year.
 
The minister said additional capital will be provided to public sector banks as and when required.
 
Her budget speech did not provide for any specific number for additional capital.
 
The finance minister said improvement in revenue generation gives hopes of lowering fiscal deficit to 3.5 per cent of GDP in the next fiscal from 3.8 per cent in the current.

To rein in rising inflation, govt to set-up a price stabilisation fund for key staples

The government on Saturday proposed a price stabilization fund (PSF) to control prices of food items like onion and tomato -- kitchen staples that pushed retail inflation to a five-year high in December.
 
"Government has taken various measures from time to time to stabilize prices of essential food items..Government is also implementing PSF to help moderate volatility in prices of agri-horticultural commodities like pulses, onion, and potato," said the Union Budget 2020-21 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament.
 
Onion prices started to flare up from August 2019 onwards peaking to about Rs 150-200 a kg due to unseasonal rains which disrupted supplies from key producing regions such as Maharahstra and Karnataka.
 
Prices of tomato too hovered in the range of Rs 60-80 a kg while potato sold for Rs 30 per kg towards the end of 2019.
 
Pulses also turned costlier due to a fall in acreage resulting from rains in the growing states and low price realisation due to glut in market following increased production of earlier years.

New scheme to give subordinate debt to MSME entrepreneurs: FM Sitharaman

A scheme will be introduced to provide subordinate debt to MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) entrepreneurs, said the government. It has also asked the Reserve Bank to extend the Debt Restructuring window for MSMEs by a year — to March 31, 2021. The measures are aimed at imparting a thrust to the MSME sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while presenting the Budget for 2020-21. "An app-based invoice financing loans product will also be launched," she said, adding that this would end the delayed payments and cash flow mismatches for MSMEs.
It is for the first time in this country that such significant and bold reforms have been introduced in Budget 2020 in order to deepen the bond markets: FM Sitharaman

Women and Child Development Ministry's budget hiked by 14 per cent

A sum of Rs 30,000 crore has been set aside for the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry for the next fiscal in the Budget announced on Saturday, a 14 per cent increase over the 2019-2020 financial year.
 
The total amount allocated for the social services sector, which includes nutrition and social security and welfare, has been increased from Rs 3,891.71 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 4,036.49 crore in 2020-21.
 
The Budget for the National Nutrition Mission or Poshan Abhiyan has been increased from Rs 3,400 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 3,700 in 2020-21.
 
The Poshan Abhiyan, which aims to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0-6 years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022, has been a key focus area of the Women and Child Development Ministry.

Rs 3.37 trillion allocated for defence budget

In a marginal hike, the defence budget was increased to Rs 3.37 trillion for 2020-21 against last year's Rs 3.18 trillion, belying expectations of a significantly enhanced allocation to fast-track long-pending military modernisation.
 
Out of total allocation, Rs 1.13 trillion has been set aside for capital outlay to purchase new weapons, aircraft, warships and other military hardware, according to the Union Budget presented in Lok Sabha on Saturday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
 
The revenue expenditure which includes expenses on payment of salaries and maintenance of establishments has been pegged at Rs 2.09 trillion.
 
The total outlay does not include Rs 1.33 trillion set aside separately for payment of pensions.
The percentage of the allocation has almost remained static at around 1.5 per cent of the GDP which, according to experts, is the lowest since the 1962 war with China.

Shocked at how govt planning to ambush heritage, legacy of public institutions: Mamata Banerjee

Sitharaman reacts to Sensex crashing almost 1,000 points

“Would wait for a full working day at the stock market. Not sure if every aspect of the market was open today. We will wait for Monday. I am confident that when the market opens on Monday, we will see a positive reaction.”

Hope to meet FY21 fiscal gap on higher revenue mop-up: FM Sitharaman

To improve consumption demand, private investment and public spending and since revenue side could not be pressed further, without violating FRBM, we had to relax fiscal deficit target by 0.5%: FM Sitharaman.

Sitharaman added that the corporate tax cut and benefit derived by new companies, as well as improved GST collections will improve revenue generation and give the comfort to bring down fiscal deficit next year, with disinvestment too improving.'
 

Moody's says 3.5% fiscal deficit target looks ambitious

Continuing growth slowdown and tax cuts will make it difficult to achieve gross revenue target and stick to 3.5 per cent fiscal deficit projected for 2020-21 in the Union Budget, rating agency Moody's said on Saturday.
 
"The new budget calls for a modest narrowing of the fiscal deficit at 3.5 per cent in FY21 from 3.8 per cent in FY20, but sustained weaker growth and tax cuts would make gross revenue target difficult to achieve," Moody's said in a statement after the Budget.
 
The government has limited room to reduce expenditure without further weakening growth, it noted.
 
"While government remains committed to medium-term fiscal consolidation, any material strengthening in public finances will likely be limited in the near-term, and debt burden will remain sensitive to changes in nominal GDP growth," the agency said.
 
The Budget highlights the challenges to fiscal consolidation from slower and nominal growth, which may continue for longer than the government forecast, it added.
 
"This risk is reflected in Moody's negative outlook on the rating," it said.

Budget allocation to coal ministry dips 5% to Rs 882 cr in 2020-21

The Budget allocation for the coal ministry has registered a decline of 5.4 per cent to Rs 882.61 crore in 2020-21, from Rs 933.60 crore in 2019-20.
The decline has been over the revised estimates of the 2019-20 Budget, according to Budget documents.
 
While the expenditure was at Rs 1,159.05 crore for 2019-20, in case of 2018-19 (actual) it was Rs 708.34 crore, it added.
 
The bulk of increase in the Budget allocation for 2020-21, was towards central sector schemes -- the schemes that are entirely and directly funded and executed by the central government.
 
The expenditure budget of Rs 882.61 crore in the 2020-21, includes Rs 819.98 crore on central sector schemes/projects and Rs 22.35 crore on Coal Mines Pension Scheme.

Big ticket disinvestment in next few months; hopeful of achieving Rs 2.10 trillion target in FY21: Disinvestment Secy

Big ticket disinvestment in next few months; hopeful of achieving Rs 2.10 trillion target in FY21: Disinvestment Secretary

Benefits of disinvestment will be seen in FY20-21: FM Sitharaman

On divestment, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the benefits of disinvestment will be seen next year.
 
“You will see successful divestments in the next few months. Between July (2019) and now, a lot of groundwork has happened. But the benefits will be seen in the next financial year,” she said.

Budget 2020 lacks the punch to kick-start economic growth, says Andrew Holland, CEO of Avendus Capital

There is nothing new for the markets in this Budget. The spending on rural economy, infrastructure was expected. That said, there has been some development in terms of rejigging income-tax (I-T) slabs, but I don’t know how much extra the measures will put in the taxpayers pocket. This is because a number of exemptions have been done away with. The doing away of dividend distribution tax (DDT) is a good measure from the company’s viewpoint, but the Budget has been silent on the long-term capital gains tax (LTCG). This is one thing that the markets always wanted and were hoping for this time around. Read on...

Budget 2020: FM Sitharaman on real estate

“We had announced some things earlier for the sector. We had announced that stalled projects need to be completed and will be given last-mile funding. Now, we have extended the date by one year.”
 

For every rupee in govt kitty, 64 paise come from taxes

For every rupee in the government coffer, 64 paise will come from direct and indirect taxes, while states' share of taxes and duties is the single-largest expense head accounting for 20 per cent of the total spending, Budget documents showed.
 
According to the Union Budget 2020-21 presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, goods and services tax collections will contribute 18 paise in every rupee revenue.
 
Corporation tax will contribute 18 paise to each rupee earned.
 
The collection from borrowings and other liabilities will be 20 paise, while income tax will yield 17 paise to every rupee collection.
 
The government intends to earn 10 paise from non-tax revenue like disinvestment, 7 paise from Union excise duty, 4 paise from customs duty and 6 paise from non-debt capital receipts out of every rupee collection.
 
On the expenditure side, the biggest outlay component is the states' share of taxes and duties at 20 paise, followed by interest payment at 18 paise.
 
Allocation for the defence has been reduced to 8 paise from 9 paise.
 
Expenditure on central sector schemes will be 13 paise, while the allocation for centrally-sponsored schemes will be 9 paise.
 
The expenditure on the Finance Commission and other transfers is pegged at 10 paise. Subsidies and pension would account for 6 paise and 6 paise, respectively, in each rupee spending.
 
The government will spend 10 paise on other expenditure.
 

Low defence spend rise a worry, writes A K Bhattacharya

A two per cent increase on defence expenditure to Rs 3.23 trillion will help keep the fiscal deficit under check, but it cannot meet the country’s growing defence requirements. The modest increase in defence expenditure must be a new low in many years. READ ON...

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on option of lower income tax rates

"We wanted to place money in the hands of the people, particularly the middle class and lower middle classes. We also wanted to simplify income tax process and increase compliance."

How is the new income tax regime different?

How is the new income tax regime different? Under the old regime incomes between Rs 5 lakh and 10 lakh are taxed at 20 per cent whil all incomes above Rs 10 lakh are taxed at 30 per cent.

Want to remove all exemptions eventually, says FM

Government has given out the detaisl of exemptions in the Budget document, says Sitharaman.

Govt estimate Rs 1.33 trillion revenue from telecom sector in 2020-21

The government on Saturday increased the revenue estimate from the debt-ridden telecom sector by over two-folds to Rs 1.33 trillion for 2020-21 mainly on account of adjusted gross revenue dues.
 
The government in the receipt budget has pegged a revenue collection of Rs 1,33 trillion for financial year 2020-21 under communications head.
 
It expects a revenue of Rs 58,686.64 crore under communications head in the current fiscal year against budgeted amount of Rs 50,519.8 in 2019-20.
 
"Receipts under 'Other Communication Services' mainly relate to the license fees from telecom operators and receipts on account of spectrum usage charges," the budget document explained.

CIC receives 80% increment in Union Budget

The government has allocated Rs 9.90 crore for the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the Right to Information (RTI) Act in the Union Budget 2020-21, an increase of
 
80 per cent as compared to the last budget.
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced an allocation of Rs 9.90 crore for the 'CIC and RTI' as compared to Rs 5.5 crore allocated in the budget for 2019-20.
 
 
In the last budget, the commission's funds were slashed by 38 per cent as compared to the Union Budget of 2018-19.

Budget 2020: Sensex nosedives 900 pts

The BSE Sensex plummeted over 900 points to sink below the 40,000 level in late afternoon trade on Saturday, tracking a massive selloff in capital goods and financial stocks after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget for 2020-21.
 
After a highly volatile session, the 30-share index sank 900.29 points to 39,805.61.
 
Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty plunged 248.05 points to 11,714.05.

Budget 2020: 2% increase in defence

A two per cent increase on defence expenditure to Rs 3.23 trillion was announced by the finance minister.

Budget 2020: Govt's Rs 1.2-trillion FY21 disinvestment take is ambitious

Riding on an ambitious plan for disinvestment, a sharp jump in non-tax revenues and a tight control on outlays for subsidies as well as defence, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday promised to bring the Union government’s fiscal consolidation programme back on track, writes A K Bhattacharya 
 

Goa CM hails 'common man-centric' Union Budget

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday welcomed the Union Budget, terming it as "common man-centric".
 
"I congratulate Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman ji for a common man centric budget, and for taking ahead Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji's vision for a robust and vibrant India," he said in a tweet.
 
 
State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane also welcomed the budget.
 
Taking to Twitter, he said, "Congratulations to @nsitharaman ji for an outstanding launch of #Budget2020. Also would like to thank you for allocating IRS 3000 crore for skill development. Looking forward to reach newer heights under your able leadership."

Budget 2020: Govt proposes easing of tax payments for startups

Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman proposed easing of tax payments for startups with a view to promote growth of budding entrepreneurs “by deferring the tax payment by five years or till they leave the company or when they sell, whichever is earliest.” Currently, ESOPs, or employee stock option plan, are taxable.
 
The minister said an eligible startup having a turnover of up to Rs 25 crore is allowed a deduction of 100 percent of its profits for three consecutive assessment years out of seven years, if the total turnover does not exceed Rs 25 crore.

Big Budget Bonanza for the common man, personal income tax rate decoded

Budget has clear focus on welfare and development of all sections; it gives special attention to farmers: Rajnath

Budget has clear focus on welfare and development of all sections; it gives special attention to farmers: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
"Longest Budget speech is also the most lacklustre budget ever. After Acche Din, New India, it now appears that the government has also abandoned the target of $5 trillion economy," Patel said in a series of tweets

Govt removes incentives to 'save' in nation with no social security: TMC on Budget

The Trinamool Congress on Saturday slammed the Union Budget over removal of tax exemptions and questioned such a move in a country with no social security.
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced new slabs and reduced the tax rate for different slabs for an individual income of up to Rs 15 lakh per annum, if a taxpayer opts for foregoing exemptions and deductions.
 
The new tax regime will be optional. The taxpayers will be given choice to either remain in the old regime with exemptions and deductions or opt for the new reduced tax rate without those exemptions, Sitharaman said in the Lok Sabha while unveiling the Budget 2020-21.

Delhi does not figure in BJP's priorities. Why should people vote for it: Arvind Kejriwal on Budget

'There must be a time limit for budget speeches': Karti Chidambaram on Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget 2020 speech

As Finance Minister Sitharaman broke her own record by delivering the longest Budget speech in the Parliament, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram tweeted, "There must be a time limit for budget speeches."

Congress leader Milind Deora reacts to Budget 2020

"I’m less worried about the government’s ‘Fiscal’ Deficit than I am about it’s ‘Talent’ Deficit," Milind Deora wrote on Twitter reacting to Budget 2020.

Railways has proposed reform measures, tweets Piyush Goyal

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi: Maybe this was the longest Budget speech in history but it had nothing, it was hollow


Didn't hear an explicit recognition that we are in a crisis, that we are at the lowest growth: Naushad Forbes to NDTV

"Didn't hear an explicit recognition that we are in a crisis, that we are at the lowest growth": Dr Naushad Forbes, Confederation of Indian Industry
to NDTV.
 

Congratulate PM Modi and FM Nirmala Sitharaman for this development oriented Budget: Adityanath

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath: I congratulate Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for this development oriented and pro-farmer budget. This Budget will further strengthen the economy.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi unimpressed with the Budget 2020

Rahul Gandhi said, "The main issue facing is unemployment. I didn't see any strategic idea that would help our youth get jobs. I saw tactical stuff but no central idea. It describes govt well, lot of repetition,rambling-it is mindset of govt, all talk, but nothing happening. Maybe this was the longest Budget speech in history but it had nothing, it was hollow."

The Key Highlights of Union Budget 2020-21 are as follows

Three prominent themes of the Budget
 
1. Aspirational India - better standards of living with access to health, education and better
jobs for all sections of the society
 
2. Economic Development for all - “Sabka Saath , Sabka Vikas , Sabka Vishwas”.
 
3. Caring Society - both humane and compassionate; Antyodaya as an article of faith.

Just platitudes, slogans; nothing substantial to alleviate people's misery, growing unemployment, prices: Yechury on Budget

Around 70 of more than 100 income tax deductions and exemptions have been removed, in order to simplify tax system and lower tax rates: FM Sitharaman

To ease allotment of PAN, new process of instantly allotting PAN through Aadhaar will be brought



 

Custom duty raised on footwear and furniture: FM Sitharaman

 
 

Tax on Cooperative societies proposed to be reduced to 22 per cent

Tax on Cooperative societies proposed to be reduced to 22 per cent plus surcharge and cess, as against 30 per cent at present, says FM

New scheme for tax litigation, says FM

FM proposes scheme to bring down litigation in direct taxation scheme; 4.83 lakh direct cases pending in various appellate forums

Vivad se vishwaas: New scheme for tax litigation, says FM

Vivad Se Vishwas scheme for tax litigations under which, only disputed tax amount will need to paid on or before March 31, 2020. No interest or penalty will be charged.

Holiday tax for affordable housing: FM

Date of approval of affordable housing projects for availing tax holiday on profit earned by developers extended by 1 year: FM

Nominal GDP growth for FY21 estimated at 10%: Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said nominal GDP growth for 2020-21 is estimated at 10 per cent.
 
Presenting the Budget for 2020-21, Sitharaman said receipts for 2020-21 are pegged at Rs 22.46 trillion while expenditure at Rs 30.42 trillion.
The revised estimated expenditure for FY20 has been pegged at Rs 26.99 trillion and receipts at Rs 19.32 trillion, she said.
 
The net market borrowings would be at Rs 4.99 trillion in FY 2019-20 and are estimated at Rs 5.36 trillion in the next fiscal.
 
She however, said the government expected tax buoyancy to take time and the recent cut in corporate tax to cause loss of substantial revenue in short run, economy to reap huge returns in due course.

Plan to hike FPI limit in corporate bonds to 15% from 9%: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

The government plans to increase investment limit of foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in corporate bonds from 9 per cent to 15 per cent, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday.
 
In her second Budget presentation, the finance minister said certain government securities will be open for foreign investors.
 
She also proposed debt-exchange traded funds comprising mainly government securities, while stating that Rs 22,000 crore has already provided as support to infrastructure project pipeline.
To address liquidity constraints of NBFCs and housing finance corporations, partial credit guarantee scheme will be launched by the government, she added.

Concessional withholding rate of 5% on interest payment to non-residents extended up to June 30, 2022: FM

Concessional withholding rate of 5% on interest payment to non-residents extended up to June 30, 2022: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Govt proposes 100 per cent tax concession to sovereign wealth funds on investment in infra projects: FM

Govt proposes 100 per cent tax concession to sovereign wealth funds on investment in infra projects, says finance minister

Corporate tax cut will be available for power generation companies as well: FM

Corporate tax cut will be available for power generation companies as well. Government will grant exemptions for sovereign wealth funds in infrastructure and other notified sector with minimum lock-in of three years. The rate of withholding tax has been extended to 2023 for FPIs.
A person earning Rs 15 lakh per anum and not availing any deductions will now pay Rs 1.95 lakh tax in place of Rs 2.73 lakh: FM

Rs 40,000 crore per annum will be revenue foregone from new income tax rates for individuals, says FM

Rs 40,000 crore per annum will be revenue foregone from new income tax rates for individuals, says finance minister.

Govt proposes to remove DDT to boost investment: FM

DDT to be removed, Dividend to be taxed in hands of recipient. Deduction allowed for dividend received by holding company from subsidiary

Union Budget 2020: What are the new Income tax rates?

# No tax for income below  Rs 5 lakh
 
# 10% tax for income between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh
 
# 15% tax for income between Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh
 
# 20% tax for income between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12.5 lakh
 
# 25% tax for income between Rs 12.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh
 
# 30% tax for income above Rs 15 lakh

Income Tax
 
10% for income between Rs 5 - 7.5 lakhs (down from 20%)
15% for income between Rs 7.5 - 10 lakhs (down from 20%)
20% for income between Rs 10 - 12.5 lakhs (down from 30%)
25% for income between Rs 12.5 - 15 lakhs
30% for income more than Rs 15 lakh onwards

For income between Rs 10-12.5 lakh, the tax rate is currently 30%. This has now been bought down to 20%: FM

For income between Rs 10-12.5 lakh, the tax rate is currently 30%. This has now been bought down to 20%: FM

The new tax regime will be optional: FM

Individual tax payers can now opt to pay personal income tax according to revised rates in FY 2020-21.
A new simplified income tax regime for individual tax payers
RE (Revised Estimates) expenditure for FY20 at Rs 26.99 trillion, receipts at Rs 19.32 trillion: FM Sitharaman

Insurance cover for depositor raised to Rs 5 lakh

'Wish to underline that this August House should know that mechanism in place to monitor the health of all banks and deposited money is safe. Insurance cover for depositors increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh,' FM said. This measure is important in the backdrop of recent default by cooperative lender PMC Bank Steps are being also taken to professionalise cooperative banks.
 

FM unveils new scheme to provide subordinate debt to MSMEs

Over 5 lakh MSMEs have benefited from debt restructuring: FM

Allocation of Rs 30,757 crore for 2020-21 for Jammu and Kashmir and Rs 5,958 crore for Ladakh



Measures to boost MSME: FM

Amendments to Factor Regulation Act to help MSMEs to raise invoice financing, says FM

Deposit insurance cover increased to Rs 5 lakh

Depositors money in schedule commercial banks absolutely. Insurance cover on deposists by DICGC to be hiked to Rs 500,000 lakh from Rs 100,000.

India to host G20 presidency in 2022: FM

India with host the G20 presidency in 2022, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman. Rs 100 crore to be allocated for G20 preparations

Aim to strengthen India's framework related to contracts act

India has a firm framework related to contracts act, we aim to strengthen it: FM Sitharaman

Govt to set up National Recruitment Agency for recruitment of non-gazetted posts: FM

Propose to set up a national recruitment agency for conduct of computer-based online common eligibility test for recruitment to non-gazetted post.

Taxpayers' charter to be institutionalized: FM

Would like to reassure taxpayers that we remain committed to taking measures to eliminate tax harassment: FM

National security is our priority: Sitharaman


'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao': Girls' enrolment at schools now more than boys'

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says gross enrolment of girls has been higher than boys, thanks to 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao'. Gross enrolment of girls at elementary levels is 94.32 per cent, at secondary level 81.32 per cent, and higher secondary level 59.7 per cent. 
 

Govt proposes to encourage and incentivise states that are formulating plans for ensuring cleaner air: FM

In large cities with population of over 1 million, clean air is a matter of concern, says FM

5 archaeological sites to be developed: FM


Rs 8,000 crore allocated over 5 years for quantum computing technology and application; India will be the third nation if we are able to break into this technology: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister says expect specific policy to build data centre parks under PPP model

"Soon a policy for private sector to build Data Centre Parks throughout the country will be developed. Our vision is that all public institutions should be provided with digital connectivity," finance minister said.

FM allocates Rs 9,000 crore for senior citizens


Rs 35,000 crore for nutrition-related programmes


Setting up large solar power capacity alongside tracks, station redevelopment projects under PPP, more Tejas type trains, Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed train to be pursued. The govt will replace conventional electric meters with smart meters in the next three years. Consumers can choose supplier and rate: Nirmala Sitharaman.

We'll soon implement a policy to enable private sector to build data centric parks: FM

Data is the new oil. We will soon roll out policy to enable private sector to build data centre parks throughout the country: FM Sitharaman

National gas grid to be expanded from 16,200 km to 27,000 km, says FM

National gas grid to be expanded from 16,200 km to 27,000 km, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman.

Rs 22,000 cr allocated to energy sector

The government has allocated Rs 22,000 crore to0 the energy sector for 2020-21, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Rs 1.7 trn allocated to transport sector: FM

The government has allocated Rs 1.7 trillion to the transport sector overall for 2020-21, says FM Sitharaman.

Delhi-Mumbai expressway, 2 other projects to be completed by 2023

The Delhi-Mumbai expressway and two other infra projects will be completed by 2023, says Finance Minister Sitharaman in Budget 2020 speech.

FM proposed more Tejas-type trains

FM Sitharaman has proposed bringing more Tejas-type trains to connect tourist places

12 lots of highway bundles to be monetised by 2024: FM

National Infra Pipeline envisions ease of living for each and every citizen. National logistics policy to be out soon, accelerated highway developement. 12 lots of highway bundles to be monetised by 2024.

FM proposes online education to ensure access of education for all

"To ensure access of education for everyone, degree-level full-fledged online education programmes will be allowed for institutes ranked in the top 100. IN-SAT exam will be held in African and Asian countries to benchmark foreign students," FM Sitharaman has said, proposing online education to ensure education access for all.

Rs 27,300 cr for commerce and industry

FM Sitharaman has proposed Rs 27,300 crore for the development of industry and commerce in 2020-21

MSMEs to benefit from e-marketplace working on single platform

The government's e-marketplace is working on single platform for exchange of goods. MSMEs will benefit, says Sitharaman

All ministries to issue quality standard orders

All ministries will issue quality standard orders, says FM Sitharaman in Budget 2020 speech

Nirvik scheme for digital refund of duties to exporters

FM Sitharaman has proposed the launch of 'Nirvik' scheme for digital refund of duties to exporters this year itself

Investment clearance cell to provide end-to-end facilitation

Entrepreneurship is the strength of India. I propose to set up an investment clearance cell that will provide end-to-end facilitation and support, including pre-investment advisory, info on land banks and clearance at state level, says FM Sitharaman.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman: Viability gap funding window to be set up to cover hospitals, with priority given to aspirational districts that don't have hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Internship for fresh engineers at local bodies

FM Sitharaman has said in her Budget 2020 speech that local bodies would offer internship for fresh engineers

Scheme to boost mobile, electronics manufacturing soon

A detailed scheme to boost manufacturing of mobile phones, electronics and semi-conductors will be revealed soon, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget 2020 speech.

Will expand SHGs for poverty alleviation: FM

Village storage schemes will be run by Self-Help Groups (SHGs); we want to restore women in villages as 'Daanya Lakshmis': FM Sitharaman

Degree-level online courses

Degree-level online education programmes will be launched by select institutes, says FM Sitharaman in Budget 2020 speech

Study in India: IND-SAT test proposed for foreign students

Study in India prgramme: FM Sitharaman proposed IND-SAT test for foreign students wishing to pursue higher education in India.
I propose to expand Jan Aushadhi scheme to provide for all hospitals under Ayushmann Bharat by 2025: Nirmala Sitharaman. 

Framework for development, management and conservation of marine fishery resources to be put in place: Sitharaman
 

New education policy soon: FM

By 2030 India will have the largest working-age population in the world. Keeping that in mind, we'll have a new education policy soon, says Sitharaman in Budget 2020 speech.

Apprentice training at 150 institutes for general students

The FM has proposed to start apprentice training for general category students at 150 institutes of higher education

'TB harega, desh jeetega': Tuberculosis to be eradicated by 2025

FM Sitharaman announces the launch of 'TB harega, desh jeetega' with the aim to eradicate Tuberculosis by 2025

Health sector to get Rs 69,000 crore: FM Sitharaman

FM Nirmala Sitharaman allocates Rs 69,000 crore to the health sector in Budget 2020

Rs 12,300 cr for Swachh Bharat

The finance minister has allocated Rs 12,300 crore for the flagship Swachh Bharat scheme in 2020-21

FM allocates Rs 2.83 trillion for agro and allied sectors

"For sector comprising agriculture, allied activities, irrigation and rural development, an allocation of Rs 2.83 trillion has been made for 2020-21," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.



Fish production to be raised to 20 mn tonnes: FM

377 sagar mitras and 500 fish farmer organisations to help youth work in fish farming sector, says FM in Budget speech

FM Sitharaman lists 16 action points for 'aspirational India'

Sixteen actions
 
1. State govts implementing three model laws already adopted by Centre to be encouraged
2. Comprehensive measures for 100 water stressed districts
3. To provide 2 million farmers standalone solar pumps.
4. To encourage balanced use of all kinds of fertilisers, including organic fertilisers. Seek to change incentive scheme skewed towards chemical fertilisers
5. Govt to provide viability gap funding for setting up advanced warehousing
6. Village story scheme to be run by Women SHG in order to ease farmers' logistic problems
7. Kisan rail to be set up on PPP basis for perishable goods
8. Agricultural credit availability set at Rs 15 trillion
9. Krishi Udaan to launched by civil aviation ministry for farmers in remote and north-east areas.
10. Doubling milk output from 53.5 mn tonnes to 108 mn metric tonnes by 2025
11. Fish production to be raised to 20 mn tonnes.
12. Rural development and Panchanyati Raj allocated Rs 1.6 trillion

Will encourage balanced use of all fertilisers: FM Sitharaman

We will encourage a balanced use of all fertilisers, a necessary step to change the incentive regime which encourages excessive use of chemical fertilisers, says FM Sitharaman in Budget 2020 speech

61.1 million farmers insured under Fasal Bima: Sitharaman

A total of 61.1 million farmers insured under Fasal Bima, says Sitharaman. She says hand-holding of farm-based activities needs to be done in cooperation with states.

Budget speech on agriculture

PM Kusum Scheme reduced dependence on diesel and kerosene and relied on social energy. Total of 2 million farmers can set up standalone solar pumps, she says. Further, she said that government can help 1.5 million solarise grid-connected pump sets, says finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Farmers can also use barren land for solar energy and have a livelihood out of it, she said.

States encouraged who implement model laws: Sitharaman in Budget speech

Central govt debt down to 48.7%: FM

FM Nirmala Sitharaman says central government debt came down to 48.7% in March 2019 from 52.2% in March 2014

Ease of living for all

FM Sitharaman says the government's aim is to provide ease of living for all

Committed to doubling farmers' income by 2022: FM Sitharaman

Our government is committed to doubling farmers income by 2022. We have provided for 110 million farmers through PM Kisan Beema Yojana. Provision of annual assistance to the farmer is made sure through PM Kisan yojana. Agricultural markets needs to be opened and liberalised. Fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy needs to be provided for: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Budget proposes ‘comprehensive measures’ for 100 water-stressed districts across India

FM Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed ‘comprehensive measures’ for 100 water-stressed districts across India in her Budget 2020

217 mn people lifted out of poverty between 2006 and 2016

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said between 2006 and 2016, India was able to left 217 million people out of poverty. 
 

Budget 2020 theme: Aspirational India

The aspirational India theme covers agricuture, irrigation for rural develepment, commitment to double farmers' income by 2022. Financial inclusion has raised farmers' income, says Sitharaman.
Efforts we have made in the last five years and the enthusiasm and energy of our youth are the ignition of our growth: FM
This Budget woven around three prominent themes

FM recites Kashmiri verse by Deenanath Kaul in Budget speech

"Our nation is like a blossoming garden, like the blooming lotus on Dal Lake, like the warm blood of the youth. My nation, your nation, the world's most loved nation."

Nirmala Sitharaman on poverty alleviation

1 million people have been brought out of poverty, and we should be proud of it: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on poverty alleviation.

Three themes of Budget 2020

Aspirational India, caring society and economic development for all are the three themes of Budget 2020, says FM

'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas' has brought new programmes for poor: FM

Our motto of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas' has driven us to implement new programmes for the poor and disadvantaged: Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget speech

This Budget is woven around three prominent themes

FM Sitharaman has highlighted three important themes around which Budget 2020 is woven — 
1. Aspirational India
2. Economic development of all
3. A caring society
This is a Budget to boost income and enhance purchasing power: FM

Rajiv Gandhi's concerns over welfare benefits addressed: FM

Former prime minister (Rajiv Gandhi) had expressed concerns that common people were not getting benefits of welfare schemes. They were getting only 15 paise for every rupee invested by the Centre. PM Modi increased that manifold to make sure every paisa reaches the grassroots: Nirmala Sithraman in Budget speech

We are now the 5th largest economy: FM


Implementation of pro-poor schemes scaled up: Sitharaman

We have scaled up implementation of pro-poor schemes, says Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget speech

GST has led to efficiency gains in transport and logistics sector: Sitharaman

Sitharaman says GST has resulted in efficiency gains in the transport and logistics sectors, and inspector raj has vanished. These have benefitted MSMEs. Consumers have also got an annual benefit of Rs 1 trillion because of GST.

Average household spends 4% less due to reduced GST rates: Sitharaman

Budget speech:
— Average household spends 4% less due to reduced GST rates
— 6 million tax payers have been addded
Budget Speech highlights

This is a Budget to boost income and enhance purchasing power, says Sitharaman

"In May 2019, PM Modi secured a massive mandate with renewed vigour. Under his leadership we present the Budget with absolute humility. This is a Budget to boost income and enhance purchasing power," said Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament in her Budget speech ahead of the Union Budget 2020.  

Dreaded inspector Raj has vanished: FM

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the dreaded 'inspector Raj' had vanished, thanks to her government’s reforms to help businesses

Fundamentals of economy strong, inflation under control: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget 2020 speech that the fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong and that inflation was under control

FM pays homage to late Arun Jaitley

"I pay homage to the visionary leader later Arun Jaitley. At the time of the rollout of GST, he had said: India will be an India where the centre and states will work harmoniously...will rise out of narrow politics for the country's sake". True to this vision, the GST has been gradually maturing to a tax integrating the country. It has resulted in efficient gains in logistics and transport sector. Turnaround for transport sector has turned down dramatically.. and has led to significant benefits to MSMEs," Sitharaman said. 
FM Nirmala Sitharaman says in May 2019 PM Narendra Modi received a massive mandate to form the government again. WiIl serve with humility and dedication, says the FM.

FM Sitharaman begins her Budget 2020 speech

It's a Budget to boost people's income, enhance their spending power, says FM Sitharaman

Real estate sector should become an industry, says Amit Gossain, MD, Kone Elevators on Budget

Amit Gossain, MD, Kone Elevators on Budget 2020: Real estate sector should become an industry and I think they will do something about it. Real Estate is still struggling. There are liquidity crisis. It should be taken care of. Once real estate picks up it is good for employment too.

Budget 2020 is the time for NDA govt to provide a healing touch to common people & industries: Ashok Gehlot




Hopes Union Budget will provide relief to salaried class: Congress

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the last budget led to crashing consumption levels, soaring unemployment and falling GDP.
 
"Budget 2019 Consumption crashed, Unemployment soared, Farm distress surged, Incomes declined, Investments slumped, Public spending fell, GDP nose dived!," Surjewala tweeted.

SC Garg, former Finance Secy hopes that the GST estimation next year will be more realistic

Real performance lies with tax performance, says SC Garg

Sitharaman's family including her daughter Parakala Vangmayi arrive in Parliament for Budget session

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with MOS Finance Anurag Thakur leaving for Rashtrapati Bhawan along with full Budget Team to present Union Budget 2020-21 in New Delhi: Photo: DALIP KUMAR

Amit Shah arrives at the Parliament for Budget session

Union Cabinet approves Budget 2020

The Union Cabinet has approved Budget 2020, which will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament at 11 am today.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's family arrives in Parliament for the presentation of Union Budget 2020.

Modi arrives at Parliament for Budget session

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at Parliament, ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2020-21.

Printed copies of Union Budget at Parliament

Printed copies of the Union Budget being checked by a sniffer dog as part of a security check ahead of the presentation of Budget at 11 am



Never seen a liquidity crisis this bad, says Hiranandani Group CMD

"I've never seen a liquidity crisis as bad as it is today.  No matter how good the budget is if the oil in the mechanism of the economy is not working, the economy can't move. If the oil comes back and we get boost of budget then we will see recovery," N Hiranandani, CMD, Hiranandani Group told news agency ANI.

Nirmala Sitharaman and MoS Finance Anurag Thakur arrive at Parliament

Economic Survey: 'Counter-cyclical fiscal policy' to boost demand justified

The Economic Survey for 2019-20, presented to Parliament on Friday, laid out an agenda for wealth creation in India and sought to ground pro-wealth and pro-business economic policies in India’s economic experience and philosophical traditions. In the Survey’s preface, Chief Economic Advisor K V Subramanian revealed the Survey’s motivation: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Independence Day 2019, which highlighted the contributions of wealth creators and that “only when wealth is created will wealth be distributed”. Subramanian argues that liberalisation is a return to India’s “roots” as a market economy, and thus advocates various wealth-boosting reforms in the Survey.
 
From the macro-economic point of view, the Survey argues that since “the government, with a strong mandate, has the capacity to deliver expeditiously on reforms”, the upside risks to the economy dominate the downside risks. Given the base effect, it thus pegs growth in India’s gross domestic product or GDP in 2020-21 as being in the range of 6 to 6.5 per cent. The Survey admits that meeting the $5 trillion target set by the prime minister will be challenging, given the growth slowdown.

Read on...

State of the economy under Modi-1 was actually worse than what we believed so far, says Chidambaram

Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday said the state of the economy during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first tenure was worse than what was believed as growth rates for 2017-18 and 2018-19 have been revised downwards. He asked if the ministers will explain it. "GDP growth rates for 2017-18 and 2018-19 have been revised DOWNWARDS. The state of the economy under MODI-1 was actually worse than what we believed so far.


IIP growth turned positive but remained low at 1.8 per cent in November 2019 after contracting by (-) 4 per cent in October 2019. CPI-based inflation increased to a 65-month high of 7.4 per cent in December 2019, its fifth sequential rise, mainly due to persistently rising vegetable prices.

Amid slowdown, Budget 2020 to be Sitharaman's balancing act

In Union Budget 2020, Sitharaman will have to do a balancing between efforts to boost growth and the need for fiscal restraint. Economists expect a slight policy tilt towards prioritising growth. Real GDP growth is estimated to fall to an 11-year low of 5 per cent in FY20 from 6.1 per cent in FY19. Estimated nominal growth at 7.5 per cent in FY20 is the lowest since 1975-76 (FY76) as per the FY12-based GDP series.

Why markets remain open on Budget days

According to notifications by exchanges, trading will take place from 9.15 am to 3.30 pm on the Budget day. Pre-opening will be between 9.00 and 9.08 am. The decision was made after traders requested exchanges to keep trading hours so that quick buys based on Budget initiatives could be made.
 
Notably, the last time the market was open for trading on a Saturday was when former finance minister, the late Arun Jaitley presented the Budget on February 28, 2015. 

Cabinet meets at 10.15 am ahead of Budget presentation

The Union Cabinet meeting will be held at 10.15 am. Sitharaman will present the Budget in Parliament at 11 am today. The duration of the Budget speech usually ranges from 90 to 120 minutes.

FM calls on President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Nirmala Sitharaman meets President Kovind before Budget 2020 presentation

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman calls on President Ram Nath Kovind before presenting the Union Budget 2020-21.

Financial markets expect relief on STT, LTCG, dividend distribution tax

Financial markets are expecting relief on Securities Transaction Tax (STT), Long Term Capital Gains Tax (LTCG) and removal of the dividend distribution tax in Budget 2020. Capital infusion in public sector banks and liquidity measures for Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) may also be on the horizon.  Both the government sources and the economists felt the Budget would reaffirm the focus on infrastructure spending after the rollout of an ambitious National Infra Pipeline (NIP) in December.

Social sector schemes may find mention in Budget

Social sector schemes such as rural electrification, MGNREGA, healthcare, education and skill training may find mention in the Budget. However, all such measures would come at the cost of fiscal slippage.

What to expect on income tax in Budget 2020

The common man, the industry and the market have a wide range of expectations from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she delivers her second Budget today.
 
Among the top expectations is a rejig of personal tax rates. The basic exemption limit was last enhanced in Budget 2014.

No fresh investment, redemption for MF investors on Budget day

Mutual funds investors will not be able to make fresh investment or sell their units on the Budget day because subscription and redemption are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, industry officials said.
 
Mutual funds subscriptions and redemptions will not be permitted because all the fund houses in their scheme information documents have declared Saturday and Sunday as "non-business day".
 
Consequently, mutual funds investors will not be able to participate like others participants in stock markets.
 
On Saturday, stock exchanges are open but mutual funds are closed for subscription and redemptions, said Omkeshwar Singh, head of mutual fund distribution business at Samco.

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Is Budget 2020 the best opportunity for Modi govt to announce economic reforms?

How important is the Budget for the government politically? What can the government do to mitigate the political risk? Is it the best chance for Modi 2.0 to announce major economic reforms?
 
Archis Mohan, Political Editor, Business Standard joins this podcast to answer these questions and more. Listen to the podcast here for the answers to all these questions.

Market opens on a weak ahead of the Budget 2020

Market alert: The market has open weak ahead of the Budget 2020, with the Sensex and Nifty down 0.48 per cent each. The Nifty Bank has fallen below its 100-Daily Moving Average (DMA), which is a bearish indicator. It is currently trading down 0.59 per cent.

Budget LIVE: Cabinet meet at 10:15 am in the Parliament House

Cabinet meeting to be held at 10:15 am today in the Parliament House, ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2020-21.

Union Budget LIVE: Will Budget focus on wealth creators?

The Prime Minister has been reiterating that the country cannot go forward without people looking at “wealth creators” with respect. The Economic Survey has already outlined the policies that need to be tweaked. A good way for the government to get out of the way of businesses in the country, and raise significant resources of its own in the process, is by divesting its stake in many public sector enterprises.

GST collection crosses Rs 1.1 trn mark in January; in line with the target

GST collections have crossed the Rs 1 trillion mark for the third month in a row in January with improved compliance and plugging of evasion, sources said on Friday.
 
According to provisional numbers, total GST revenue was Rs 1.1 trillion in January, they said.

Modi govt making efforts to make Budget 2020 good for all, says Anurag Thakur

Ahead of Budget presentation, Anurag Thakur, Minister of State, Finance said the government received suggestions from across India. "Modi govt believes in 'sabka sath, sabka vikas.' We received suggestions from across the country. The government is making efforts that this budget is good for all. "

Nirmala Sitharaman with 'Bahi-Khata' ahead of presentation of Union Budget 2020-21

BSE, NSE to remain open for trade on Budget day

The National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) will remain open for trading today. The last time the market was open for trading on a Saturday was when former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Budget on February 28, 2015.

FM Sitharaman arrives at Finance Ministry

Tax slab tweaks, higher basic exemption on Budget agenda

As clamour grows for more money into the pockets of consumers and households to boost consumption in the economy, the government is discussing multiple options on cuts in personal income tax (PIT) in the forthcoming Union Budget.
 
A final decision was to be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi .
 
The options being considered by the Finance Ministry include acting on suggestions of task force on direct tax simplification.
 
A tweaking of tax slabs is on also on the agenda and as part of the restructuring, the government may raise the minimum exemption limit from the current Rs 250,000.

Budget 2020 LIVE: TARP-like government fund likely in Budget for NBFC relief

The government is likely to unveil, in the Union Budget 2020, a Troubled Assets Relief Programme (TARP) similar to what the US initiated during the financial crisis in 2008.
 
Under the proposed scheme, the troubled or stressed assets of the non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) will be bought by a government fund to revive the sector.
 
A high-level review meeting on this was held on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for a final decision on the matter.
 
The US government had initiated the TARP at the height of the Wall Street financial crisis of 2008.

Budget 2020 LIVE: PM-Kisan may see 20% cut in budgetary allocation

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme of the government which gives Rs 6,000 a year to farmers may see a cut in budgetary allocation.
 
It is learnt that the allocation for PM-Kisan may be slashed by 20 per cent to about Rs 60,000 crore in the general Budget from Rs 75,000 crore.
 
The amount allocated to the scheme was Rs 75,000 crore, in the Budget estimate of 2019-20.
 
The reason for this massive cut is the obstacles being faced in its implementation in some of the states. Under the PM-Kisan scheme, farmers are given a total of Rs 6,000 in three instalments annually.
 
However, according to sources, the revised estimate can come to Rs 61,000 crore in the current financial year.

Will the Union Budget 2020 make it India's decade?

Indications from statements made by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of the Parliament's Budget session may presage a Budget woven around the theme of the start of a new decade and the building of a New India.
 
PM Modi kicked off the "new decade" theme on Friday morning in his customary statement before the beginning of the Budget session.
 
He asked the Members of Parliament to work towards laying a strong foundation for a "bright future of the country in the new decade".

Indian economy experienced abrupt slowdown in 2019, but it's not in a recession: IMF

The Indian economy experienced some abrupt slowdown in 2019 due to turbulence in non-banking financial institutions and major reform measures such as GST and demonetisation, but it is not in a recession, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has said.
 
"The Indian economy indeed has experienced an abrupt slowdown in 2019. We had to revise our growth projections, downwards to four percent for last year. We are expecting 5.8 per cent (growth rate) in 2020 and then an upward trajectory to 6.5 percent in 2021," Georgieva said.
 
"It appears that the main reason for this slowdown was the non-banking financial institutions experiencing a turbulence," she said on the eve of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the annual budget in Parliament on Saturday.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman leaves from her residence for the North Block

Sitharaman will be presenting the Budget at 11 am today.

What will FM Sitharaman carry a briefcase or bahi-khata for Budget 2020 presentation?

On the day of the Union Budget presentation in 2019, Sitharaman broke away from long-standing traditions of colonial-era when she ditched the briefcase and opted for traditional bahi khata, which is a kind of a ledger wrapped in a red coloured cloth.
 
The word 'budget' has its origin in the French word Bougette, which means leather briefcase. Traditionally, budget documents -- which primarily include papers related to revenue receipt and expenditure as well as the speech of finance minister -- were carried in a brown briefcase, a legacy passed on by the British. However, traditional Indian businessmen used bahi-khata to maintain their books of account.

Economic Survey's GDP growth forecast for FY20 wide off projection

The GDP growth projection made in Economic Survey 2018-19 was wide off the mark, as the expansion is estimated at only 5 per cent during the current fiscal as against 7 per cent projected earlier.
 
It is for the second consecutive time that NSO's GDP estimate is significantly lower than the projection made in the survey prepared by the finance ministry.
 
As per the National Statistical Office (NSO), economic growth is estimated to touch an 11-year low of 5 per cent during 2019-20, mainly due to slowdown in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
 

Realtors expect debt restructuring up to Rs 1 trn, tax sops for homebuyers

Realtors' body CREDAI expects the government to allow debt restructuring of cash-starved developers and tax incentives for homebuyers as part of measures to boost housing demand.
 
"We have high hopes from the Budget to be presented on Saturday. We have demanded restructuring or rollover of developers' loan, steps to increase residential property demand and a policy to promote rental housing. We believe that our demand will be considered positively," CREDAI National Chairman Jaxay Shah said.
 
He said loans up to Rs 1 trillion are required to be restructured in view of liquidity crunch faced by builders.

'Feel good' Budget may see cut in tax rate, sops for social sectors

A cut in personal income tax, sops for rural and agriculture sectors as well as an aggressive push on infrastructure spending are likely to be part of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's "feel-good" second Budget.
 
Facing the worst economic slowdown in more than a decade, Sitharaman is expected to pull out all stops to spur consumer demand and investment, government sources and economists said.
 
Sitharaman's second Budget, to be presented on February 1, is expected to announce measures to restore economic growth and to set out a clear road map for achieving the ambitious target of USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.

Economic Survey sources data from Wikipedia

The Economic Survey 2019-20 has sourced certain data from Wikipedia, which is not considered as reliable source of information.
 
Besides Wikipedia, the Survey has also relied on data from other private sources such as Bloomberg, ICRA, CMIE, Indian Institute of Management (Bengaluru), Forbes and the BSE.
 
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
 
Other sources from which data have been used include heritage.org, fraserinstitute.org and Ambit Capital.

PM Modi's meet with NDA leaders ahead of Budget presentation

Ahead of the Budget 2020 presentation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a meeting with NDA leaders to discuss Budget session strategy.

How will Union Budget 2020 impact your portfolio?

Markets will react to the Budget 2020 proposals, which will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament today.
 
Analysts expect the government to increase state spending on infrastructure and offer some tax incentives in its Budget 2020, aiming to get growth back up from its lowest in a decade.

India markets see worst January in four years ahead of Union Budget

The benchmark index fell on Friday, capping its worst January since 2016 as the government grapples with measures to spur the slowing economy.
 
The Sensex fell 0.5 per cent to 40,723.49 at the close of trade, resulting in a monthly loss of 1.3 per cent, its worst such performance since July and start to the year since 2016. The NSE’s Nifty, too, declined 0.6 per cent.
 
Local markets will remain open on Saturday, enabling investors to trade as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlines the country’s annual Budget as the government seeks to revive demand.

SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar expects higher infra spending in Budget 2020

The Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI) Rajnish Kumar said that expenditure on infrastructure might go up in Budget 2020 to revive economic growth.
 
"I am expecting that the budget will be on reviving economic growth. I think expenditure on infrastructure might go up and some measures to revive the demand in the rural areas may also happen," Kumar said.

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Budget 2020: PM Modi wants good debates over economic issues

Ahead of the Budget session of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said both the Houses should concentrate on debating economic issues and focus on how the global financial scenario could best benefit India.
 
“We all should make sure that in this session, we lay a strong foundation for this decade. This session should be focused mainly on economic issues,” he said.
 
“Our government has emphasised the empowerment of Dalits, the marginalised, the oppressed, & women. We will continue to work for them," he said.

Budget 2020: Govt may increase spending on infra, offer tax incentives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is likely to increase state spending on infrastructure and offer some tax incentives in its Budget 2020 on Saturday, aiming to get growth back up from its lowest in a decade.
 
In its annual economic report, released on Friday, the government predicted that economic growth would pick up to 6.0% to 6.5% in the fiscal year beginning April 1, but warned that it may have exceed its deficit target to revive growth.

Budget 2020: IT sector for wider use of artificial intelligence in economy

With disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) driving businesses, the IT sector wants the Union Budget for fiscal 2020-21 to ensure greater use of these to spur a sluggish economy among other measures for the sector, industry experts said on Friday.
 
"The budget should announce a fund like Singapore's Temasek that will invest only in early-stage Indian AI start-ups and lower long-term capital gain's tax for investing in AI-based firms," digital intelligence firm Germin8 founder chief executive Ranjit Nair said.

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Apr-Dec fiscal deficit hits 132.4% of budgetary target, at Rs 9.31 trillion

Economic Survey 2019: Rs 2-trn Smart City Mission projects underway

The government's Smart City mission seems to be moving smoothly with the Economic Survey on Friday suggesting that under the initiative, more than 5,000 projects worth more than Rs 2 trillion were under different stages of implementation in 100 cities across the country.
 
The Survey noted that in all the target cities, Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) have already been incorporated while City Level Advisory Forums (CLAFs) and Project Management Consultants (PMCs) have been set up.

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Till 2016, the Union Budget was presented on the last working day of February. Former finance minister Arun Jaitley had changed the tradition in 2017 when the Union Budget was presented on February 1.

What is Budget?

The Union Budget is the financial statement of the government, detailing its revenue and expenditure in the past, as well as estimated spending and projections for the coming year.
 

Budget speech to begin at 11 am today

The Budget speech will begin at around 11 am today with Sitharaman beginning it with an address to the speaker of Lok Sabha. Usually, the duration of the presentation ranges from 90 to 120 minutes.

Budget 2020 LIVE: Nirmala Sitharaman to present budget in Parliament today

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the budget of the second term of the Narendra Modi government today. This will also be the second budget for Sitharaman, who became the second woman finance minister after Indira Gandhi to do so in the history of independent India.

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