Amit Shah hails Union Budget, says it gives new wings to aspirations of poor

In his last full budget before Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley raised long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax to 10 percent from zero at present, reduced corporate tax for 99 percent of the companies to 25 per cent but left the tax structure for individuals largely unchanged.

Amit Shah hails Union Budget, says it gives new wings to aspirations of poor
Pic courtesy: Twitter/@AmitShah (File image)

New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday said the Union Budget gives new wings to aspirations of the poor.

He said the "record allocation" to the rural sector and agriculture will lead to an unprecedented rural development and agricultural growth and asserted that consistent focus on rural development and agriculture has been a hallmark of the government.

Shah praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley for the "historic" step of raising MSPs to 1.5 times the costs incurred by farmers and said it showed the government's commitment to farmers and doubling their income.

"This budget gives new wings to the aspirations of the poor, farmers and the middle class. The #NewIndiaBudget will truly empower all sections of the society to attain prosperity," he said.

There is a "tremendous stress" on improving ease of living for the common man and this is happening with improving affordability and access, he said. This will give a boost to aspirations of common man, Shah added.

He also termed 'Ayushman Bharat' as an unparalleled initiative to ensure health insurance as well as health assurance. Protecting 10 crore families, which is about 40 percent of India's population, with a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family is a global first, Shah said.

'Saubhagya Yojana', which aims to provide electricity connection to 4 crore families, reflects sensitivity and commitment of the Modi government to brightening the lives of the poor and bring them into mainstream of India's development, he said.

Shah also said, "There are significant benefits to the MSME sector, which will not only give relief but also help small and medium entrepreneurs to achieve new heights of development."

"I thank the government for the budgetary allocation of Rs 3 lakh crore under Mudra Yojana for the year 2018-2019 that will boost employment generation. This will especially benefit the women, OBC, SC & ST, as so far 76 percent of loan accounts are of women and more than 50 percent belong to the SC, ST & OBC," he further said.

 In his last full budget before General Elections in 2019, Jaitley raised long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax to 10 percent from zero at present, reduced corporate tax for 99 percent of the companies to 25 percent but left the tax structure for individuals largely unchanged.

The finance minister's focus was on rural India and agriculture, announcing a number of schemes and incentives. For the Kharif agricultural output, the minister increased the minimum support price to one and half times of production cost, raising institutional farm credit to Rs 11 lakh crore in 2018-19 from Rs 8.5 lakh crore. His speech also focused on education and healthcare.

The finance minister indicated a slippage in fiscal deficit for the current year from 3.2 percent to 3.5 percent and from 3 percent to 3.3 per cent (Rs 5.95 lakh crore) of the GDP next year, indicating the government will be borrowing more to balance its books.

"In order to impart unquestionable credibility to the government's commitment for the revised fiscal glide path, I am proposing to accept key recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Budget Management Committee relating to the adoption of the Debt Rule and to bring down Central Government's Debt to GDP ratio to 40 percent," he said.

The government announced a health coverage called National Health Protection Service of upto Rs 5 lakh per family in secondary and tertiary treatments, which is expected to cover 10 crore poor families. The government is likely to make an expenditure of Rs 4,000 crore on this. The finance minister called it the world's largest health scheme.

To pay for the social welfare schemes, the government has imposed Social Welfare Surcharge at the rate of 10 percent on aggregate customs duties. The Surcharge replaces the earlier Education Cess and Secondary and Higher Education Cess.

There will be no indexation and there's no change in the short-term capital gains tax of 15 percent. The total amount exempted under capital gains, according to the minister, was Rs 3,67,000 crore. The government, therefore, may gain over Rs 36,000 crore from this one measure.

Jaitley also imposed a 10 percent dividend distribution tax on mutual fund companies which invest in equities.

In his one hour 45 minutes long speech, the finance minister spoke in English but delivered large tracts in Hindi, unlike earlier finance ministers who briefly peppered their speeches with poems or couplets in Hindi.

(With PTI and IANS inputs)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close