Saturday, February 28, 2015

General Budget 2015-16

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Deficits, GDP growth, Inflation, Disinvestment
  1. Fiscal Deficit - will meet the target of 4.1 % of GDP in 2014-15. Set a target of 3.9 % of GDP for 2015-16 fiscal year. And a final goal of 3 % of GDP (as set by FRBM Act)
  2. Current Account Deficit (CAD) - below 1.3 %
  3. Revenue Deficit seen at 2.8 % of GDP
  4. GDP growth for 2015-16 will rise to 8 - 8.5 %, and double-digit in subsequent years (new GDP method). GDP growth for 2014-15 is 7.4 % and 2013-14 is 6.9 %
  5. Consumer Inflation (CPI) to remain close to 5 % by March, opening room for more monetary policy easing. Objective of keeping inflation below 6 %
  6. Disinvestment target of Rs. 410 billion from stake sales in companies in 2015-16

Taxation
  1. Income-Tax (I-T) No change in I-T slab. Deduction limit raised to Rs. 4,44,200 a year for an individual (meaning an individual tax payer can claim tax benefits for up to the deduction limit in addition to the tax exemption, which is unchanged)*
  2. Wealth tax is abolishedwhereas additional 2 % surcharge for the super rich with income of over Rs. 1 crore, and firms with income of over Rs. 10 crore
  3. Corporate tax to be reduced to 25 % (from 30 %) over next 4 years (aiming to up employment generation)
  4. 100 % exemption for contribution to 'Swachh Bharat', apart from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  5. Service Tax and Education cess increased to 14 % (from 12.36 %)
  6. General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) deferred by 2 years (GAAR framed to minimize tax avoidance)

Financial Sector Reforms
  1. Forward Markets Commission (FMC) (commodity market regulator) to be merged with SEBI
  2. NBFCs (registered with RBI) having minimum asset size of Rs. 500 crore to be considered as 'Financial Institutionsunder SARFAESI Act, 2002 - enabling them to fund Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and mid-corporate businesses.
  3. New bankruptcy code
  4. To amend RBI Act and provide for a Monetary Policy Committee
  5. To establish an Autonomous Bank Board Bureau to improve management of Public Sector Banks (PSBs)

Agriculture
  1. Rural Infrastructure Development Bank - Rs. 25,000 crore
  2. Micro Irrigation Programme - Rs. 5,300 crore
  3. Farmer's credit - target of Rs. 8.5 lakh crore

Infrastructure
  1. Investment in Infrastructure sector - Rs. 70,000 crore
  2. Plans to set up National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
  3. Tax-free Bonds for projects in rail, road and irrigation
  4. Atal Innovation Mission to be established to draw on expertise of entrepreneurs and researchers to foster scientific innovations - allocated Rs. 150 crore
  5. Government proposes to set up 5 "Ultra Mega" Power projects - each of 4,000 MW
  6. Will need to build additional 1,00,000 km of road
  7. Ports in public sector will be encouraged to corporatise under Companies Act

Education
  1. AIIMS Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam (total 6)
  2. IIT - Karnataka; Indian School of Mines (ISM) in Dhanbad to be upgraded to IIT (total 2)
  3. IIM - Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh (total 2)
  4. PG Institute of Horticulture - Amritsar in Punjab
  5. University of Disability Studies - Kerala
  6. Center of film production, animation and gaming - Arunachal Pradesh

Defense
  1. Allocation of Rs. 2,46,726 crore (increased by 9.87 % from last year)
  2. Focus on Make in India for quick manufacturing of Defense equipment

Welfare Schemes
  1. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan - 50,000 toilets
  2. Goods and Services Tax (GST) - to be implemented by April 2016
  3. JAM Trinity - Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar, Mobile - for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to better serve poor and reduce leakage of subsidiesDBT will be further expanded from 1 crore to 10.3 crore
  4. National Skills Mission to enhance employability of rural youth
  5. MUDRA bank - will refinance micro-finance organizations to encourage first generation SC/ST entrepreneurs
  6. Housing for all - by 2020
  7. Atal Pension Yojana - government will contribute 50 % of the premium limited to Rs. 1,000 a year
  8. Universal Social Security system - for all Indians
  9. Senior Citizens Fund - government to use Rs. 9,000 crore unclaimed funds in PPF/EPF
  10. MGNREGA - Rs. 5,000 crore additional allocation
  11. New scheme for physical aids and assisted living devices for people aged over 80
  12. Upgradation of 80,000 secondary schools

Tourism
  1. Development schemes for - Goa churches and convents, Hampi, Elephanta caves, Rajasthan forests, Leh palace, Varanasi, Jalianwala Bagh, Qutb Shahi tombs at Hyderabad
  2. Visa on Arrival - increased to 150 countries (from 43 countries) in a phase-wise manner

Renewable Energy
  1. Electric cars production - Rs. 75 crore
  2. Renewable energy (RE) target for 2022 total 1,75,000 MW (including 1,00,000 MW of solar power, 60,000 MW of wind power, 10,000 MW of biomass energy, 5,000 MW from small hydroelectric projects) - (currently, India has capacity of 33,000 MW clean energy)

Gold
  1. Sovereign Gold Bond - as an alternative to purchasing gold metal
  2. New scheme - for depositors of gold to earn interest and jewellers to obtain loans on their metal accounts
  3. To develop an Indian Gold Coin - which will carry the Ashoka Chakra on its face, to reduce the demand for foreign coins and recycle the gold available in the country

Claim Tax Benefits -

  1. Deductions under Section 80C - Rs. 1.5 lakh
  2. Deductions under Section 80CCD for contribution to NPS - Rs. 50,000
  3. Interest on house property loan - Rs. 2 lakh
  4. Exemption with new transportation allowance of Rs. 1,600 per month - Rs. 19,200
  5. New deductible Health Insurance premium - Rs. 25,000
Total = Rs. 4,44,200



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