Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her second budget, Union Budget 2020 on Saturday. The finance minister announced several steps in order to promote various sectors including healthcare, finance and education to help boost the crunch the Indian economy is in. Here’s a brief overview the Union Budget 2020 highlights the whopping 160 minutes long speech by the FM.
The agricultural sector saw the release of many schemes such as “Kisan Rail” and “Krishi Udaan” for a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables; and expansion of PM-KUSUM to provide 20 lakh farmers for setting up stand-alone solar pumps along with farmer friendly initiatives such as Agriculture credit target of Rs 15 lakh crore for 2020-21.
The healthcare sector was given prominence in the budget, with a proposal of building 20,000 empaneled hospitals under PM Jan Arogya Yojana for the deprived sections of the society. An expansion of Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme to all districts which will offer 2000 medicines and 300 surgicals by 2024 was also announced.
Infrastructure received a boost in this year’s budget. 100 more airports have been proposed to be built by 2024, to support the ‘Udaan Scheme’, and operation of 150 passenger trains is to be done through a public–private partnership or PPP mode.
Implementation of a simplified GST return from the April 1, 2020 was announced in this year’s budget. This will make GST return filing simple with features like SMS based filing for Nil return, return pre-filing, improved input tax credit flow and overall simplification of the whole process. Other proposals include ‘Dynamic QR-code’ for consumer invoices. GST parameters will be captured when payment for purchases is made through the QR-code.
The budget paid attention to the climate change and a proposal for a Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure which will be implemented from January 2021. There has been an allocation of Rs 4,400 crore to promote clean air in cities with a population of over 1 million people.
- Startup ecosystem boost
Union Budget 2020 acknowledged that startups have become a driving force in the economy. For being eligible for registering as a startup, the earlier criteria of turnover of Rs 25 Crore has now been increased to Rs 100 Crore. Additionally, the tax exemption benefit that was given to startups for a period of 3 years in a block of 7 years has now been increased to 10 years, which means that a startup can now avail tax benefits for a period of 3 years out of a block of 10 years.
There were many reforms that were income tax highlights in Budget 2020.
From the Budget 2020 takeaways we can hope that these bold moves made by our Finance Minister will yield fruitful results given that the economy is struggling.