Healthcare Spending Hiked; Insurance FDI Limit Raised

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New Delhi- Following are the highlights of the 2021-22 Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Monday:

Fiscal position and health outlay:

* Spending on healthcare hiked by 137 pc to over Rs 2.23 lakh crore

* Rs 35,000 cr outlay for COVID vaccine in fiscal beginning April 1

* Today India has 2 vaccines available, 2 more vaccines are expected soon

* Sharp increase in capital expenditure for next fiscal to Rs 5.54 lakh cr, up from Rs 4.39 lakh cr of last fiscal

* Fiscal deficit for current fiscal at 9.5 pc, against 3.5 pc budgeted

* Fiscal deficit for next fiscal pegged at 6.8 pc, government to borrow Rs 12 lakh crore

* Committed to bring down fiscal deficit below 4.5 pc of GDP by 2025-26

TAX PROPOSALS:

* ITR filing not mandatory for senior citizens above 75 years, banks to deduct TDS

* Time bar for reopening I-T assessment cases halved to 3 years, for serious frauds it is 10 years

* Income tax return filers increased to 6.48 cr in 2020 from 3.31 cr in 2014.

* Agri infra cess of 2.5 pc on gold, silver and dore bars; 35 pc on apples

* Agri infra cess of 30 pc on Kabuli chana, 10 pc on peas, 50 pc on Bengal gram/chickpeas, 20 pc on lentil (mosur); 5 pc on cotton

* Rs 2.5 per litre agri infra cess on petrol, Rs 4 on diesel

* New Agri Infra Development Cess to be applicable from February 2

* Tax deptt to notify rules to remove hardships of double taxation faced by NRIs

* Tax holiday for startups, capital gains exemption extended by 1 yr

* Tax exemption for aircraft leasing cos; tax exemption for notified affordable housing for migrant workers.

* Rs 1.5 lakh tax deduction on payment of interest for affordable housing extended by 1 yr

* Exemption from tax audit limit doubled to Rs 10 cr turnover for companies doing most of their business through digital modes

* Proposes review of over 400 customs duty exemptions; to begin extensive consultation from October 2021

* Customs duty on certain auto parts, solar equipment raised

Allocation and reforms:

* FDI in insurance increased to 74 pc from 49 pc

* Disinvestment target pegged at Rs 1.75 lakh crore

* BPCL, IDBI Bank, two more PSU banks, one insurance company to be privatised among others

* PSU Bank recapitalisation pegged at Rs 20,000 crore next fiscal

* Aatmanirbhar health programme with an outlay of Rs 64,180 cr to be introduced

* Budget proposals rest on 6 pillars– health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infra, inclusive development for aspirational India, human capital, innovation and R&D, Minimum Governance and Maximum Governance

* Govt to introduce a bill to set up development financial institution with an outlay of Rs 20,000 cr

* Voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old vehicles; fitness tests after 20 yrs for personal vehicles

* National monetisation pipeline for potential brownfield infrastructure assets

* Rs 3,726 cr for forthcoming Census which will be the first digital census.

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Press Trust of India

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