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Budget 2021 Highlights: Chidambaram lashes out at govt; says migrants, farmers deceived

Budget 2021 Highlights: Chidambaram lashes out at govt; says migrants, farmers deceived

Union Budget 2021 Highlights: Congress leader P. Chidambaram said that the government had only marginally raised health funding, which when adjusted to inflation becomes nil

Union Budget 2021: Although the government has claimed a massive increase of 137 per cent in health allocation in Budget 2021, Congress leader P. Chidambaram lashed out at the Centre saying the figure was just a "conjurer's trick Union Budget 2021: Although the government has claimed a massive increase of 137 per cent in health allocation in Budget 2021, Congress leader P. Chidambaram lashed out at the Centre saying the figure was just a "conjurer's trick

Union Budget 2021: Although the government has claimed a massive increase of 137 per cent in health allocation in Budget 2021, Congress leader P. Chidambaram lashed out at the Centre saying the figure was just a "conjurer's trick." Chidambaram further said that the government had only marginally raised health funding, which when adjusted to inflation becomes nil.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made several key announcements in her budget speech today. The Centre has empahsised more on healthcare and infrastructure this time, while giving no particular relief for middle class in terms of income tax exemption. Senior citizens above 75 years of age with only pension income, however, are exempted from filing tax returns. The central government will borrow around Rs 12 lakh crore in FY22, said the FM. The government's expenditure is pegged at Rs 34.83 lakh crore, including Rs 5.54 lakh cr of capital spending, she added. She said the fiscal deficit for FY21 has been pegged at 9.5 per cent of India's GDP due to Covid-19, which is highest so far.

Also read: Budget 2021: Date, speech time, sector-wise expectations; everything you need to know

Check out all the latest updates on Union Budget 2020 on BusinessToday.In live blog

7:50 PM: Stock market records strongest Budget day rally; Sensex surges over 2,000 points

The Indian benchmark index Sensex took a big leap on the Budget Day and jumped over 2,000 points to end 5 per cent higher, recording the strongest rally in the past 20 years. The index recorded its biggest Budget Day gain ever since 1997, as the first digital Budget in the history of India ticked all the right boxes for the equity market, with heavy buying seen in PSU banks, banking, infra and metal stocks. Sensex had gained over 6 per cent since Budget day in 1997.

7:40 PM: Budget reflects Centre's 'persistent efforts to sideline' non-BJP ruled states: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Commenting on Union Budget 2021, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says that it reflects Centre's 'persistent efforts to sideline' non-BJP ruled states.

7:35 PM: Budget 2021: Sports budget cut by Rs 231 crore, Khelo India sees biggest reduction

Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman has proposed Rs 2596.14 crore to the sports budget for the financial year 2021-22, which is Rs 230.78 crore lower than the amount earmarked initially for the previous year. The Sports Ministry's flagship Khelo India saw sharp decline in budgetary allocation to Rs 660.41 crore, compared to Rs 890.42 crore allocated in the 2020-21 Budget.

7:25 PM: Budget to give boost to education sector: Union Education Minister

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' lauded the Union Budget 2021-22 and expressed his gratitude to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for giving a major boost to education. Pokhriyal highlighted that the Budget allocation for the National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS), has been substantially increased from Rs. 175 Cr to Rs. 500 Cr in next FY 2021-22 for providing post-education apprenticeship, training of graduates and diploma holders in Engineering.He also said that an outlay of Rs. 50,000 Cr over next 5 years for National Research Foundation (NRF) will give a major boost to Innovation and R&D.

The Minister said in a big boost to education sector allocation of KVS has increased by Rs 362.32 crore and allocation of NVS increased to Rs. 320 crore w.r.t. RE 2020-21. The budget allocation of NCERT increased to Rs.110.08 crore from RE 2020-21.

7:10 PM: Govt committed to work for interest of farmers: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

Commenting on Union Budget 2021, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the central government is committed to working for the interest of farmers. Every year the focus is not only on increased budget allocation, but also the implementation of schemes, he said.

7:00 PM: Budget to bring positive change for investors, businesses, public: Anurag Thakur

Anurag Thakur, Minister of State (MoS) for Finance has said that the Union Budget 2021 will bring in a positive change for investors, businesses and general public. "We've focused on MSME & infrastructure & are going to spend big on healthcare sector. We've allocated around Rs 1.10 lakh crores for roadways & railways each," he said.

"During Congress rule, crops worth Rs 3.75 lakh crores were procured whereas we procured crops worth Rs 8 lakh crores... The infrastructure cess will be used to strengthen the basic infrastructure in the agriculture sector," he added.

6:43 PM: Defence, health not adequately addressed: Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said the vital defence sector has not been adequately addressed in the Union Budget despite the growing border threat from China and Pakistan. Health allocation was actually down amid the COVID crisis, he further added.

The Punjab CM slammed the Centre for stepmotherly treatment meted out to Punjab and other northern states in Budget, which was designed to cater to poll-bound state of West Bengal, as well as south India, with a massive infrastructure development allocation for these regions.

6:18 PM: Nitish Kumar congratulates Centre on 'balanced' Budget

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar congratulated Centre for presenting a 'balanced' Union Budget for financial year 2021-2022 despite constraints on revenue collection in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget in Lok Sabha with measures to boost infrastructure, strengthen healthcare sector, among other measures.

6:15 PM: Scrappage policy details within 15 days: Nitin Gadkari

Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that details of Voluntary Scrappage Policy will be declared within 15 days. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the much-awaited policy in Union Budget 2021-22 today.

Scrappage Policy is expected to result in new investment of Rs 10,000 crores, and create 50,000 jobs.

6:08 PM: Health Minister lauds Budget; appreciates Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan hailed the Union Budget 2021-22 and the focus on healthcare. The minister said that allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines will help end this pandemic and expedite economic recovery.

6:03 PM: Welcome emphasis on healthcare: Adar Poonawalla

"We welcome the FM's emphasis on healthcare spending, and immunisation especially for COVID-19 and the pneumococcal vaccines as this will help India recover rapidly from this pandemic. Hopefully, this will also encourage more innovation and expansion in the sector," said Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.

5:59 PM: Budget for growth with next-gen reforms: Uday Kotak

"A Budget for growth with next-gen reforms. Focus on healthcare, infra, financial sector. A stable tax regime, higher borrowings for capex. Specific reforms: disinvestment & monetization, opening up of insurance, cleanup plan for stressed assets. Sign of a self confident India," said Kotak Mahindra Bank head Uday Kotak.

5:57 PM: 'Box ticked': Anand Mahindra praises liberal fiscal deficit target

"In a time of unprecedented economic stress, the Govt's responsibility was to spend enough to revive the economy or else face enormous human suffering.  So I had one expectation from this budget: that we should be very liberal in terms of the targeted fiscal deficit. Box ticked," said Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra.

5.32 PM: Union Budget 2021 all-inclusive, says Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah termed the budget 2021 a guide to "self-reliant India" saying that it has reinforced PM Modi's efforts towards doubling' farmers' income and making India the fastest growing economy in the world. Taking to Twitter, Shah, in a series of tweets called it an "all-inclusive budget" adding that it was prepared under the guidance of the Prime Minister in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

5.21 PM: FM Sitharaman two key features of Budget 2021

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in the post-Budget conference, said "huge spending on infrastructure and healthcare sector" were the two key characteristics of Budget 2021. She stated that the government wanted to stimulate the economy which was possible by spending "big" on infrastructure.

Read More Here: 'Huge spending on health, infra two key features of Budget 2021': FM Sitharaman

5.14 PM: Union Budget 2021 inclusive, says JP Nadda

"The budget 2021 has been presented in an unprecedented situation. It is inclusive and is dedicated to the welfare of all people of India," said BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda.

5.03 PM: Budget 2021: Chidambaram slams govt

Although the government has claimed a massive increase of 137 per cent in health allocation in Budget 2021, Congress leader P. Chidambaram lashed out at the Centre saying the figure was just a "conjurer's trick." Chidambaram further said that the government had only marginally raised health funding, which when adjusted to inflation becomes nil.

"The FM gave out a mind-boggling figure of Rs 2,23,846 crore for health, a breathtaking "rise" from the BE of the current year of Rs 94,452 crore. As I had warned, it was a conjurer's trick," he said. Chidambaram stated that "she (FM Sitharaman) added the one-time cost of vaccination ((Rs 35,000 crore) and the Finance Commission grants amounting to Rs 49,214 crore. She also included the allocations to the Department of Water and Sanitation."

4.49 PM: Union Budget 2021: FICCI welcomes reduction of margin money requirement under Stand-Up India

Puneet Dalmia, Chair, FICCI Affirmative Action Council said that the federation has welcomed the budgetary announcement of cut in margin money requirement from 25 per cent to 15 per cent, under Stand-Up India to enable credit flow for SCs and STs.

4.38 PM: "Budget 2021 anti-people": Mamata Banerjee slams Centre

Addressing a rally in poll-bound West Bengal, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that "India's first paperless sold almost every sector. There is nothing for the unorganised sector in the budget," she added.

4.30 PM: FM Sitharaman hits back at Rahul Gandhi, says he "doesn't understand what he tweets"

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a rebuttal to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that either he doesn't understand what he tweets or he is ill-advised. Addressing a post-Budget presser, FM Sitharaman said, "My budget is enough to speak for itself. He needs to check Kerela's record also, the Congress government in Kerela had invited a 'crony capitalist' to run a port. Before he writes this tweet, he should answer about what his government did."

4.17 PM: Rahul Gandhi slams Budget 2021

Criticising the budget Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed that the Centre was planning to hand over India's assets to crony capitalists. Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said, ""Forget putting cash in the hands of people, Modi Govt plans to handover India's assets to his crony capitalist friends."

4.10 PM: Budget 2021: We welcome FM's emphasis on healthcare spending, says Serum Institute's Adar Poonawalla

"We welcome the Finance Minister's emphasis on healthcare spending & immunization especially for COVID-19 & the pneumococcal vaccines as this will help India recover rapidly from this pandemic," Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla.

4.00 PM: Budget 2021 overlooked farmers' issues, says Randeep Singh Surjewala

Union Budget 2021 overlooked farmer concerns, claimed Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. Taking to Twitter, Surjewala said the government slashed allocation for agriculture by 6 per cent in the budget, cut PM Kisan Samman budget by 13 per cent, and reduced budget for Market Intervention Scheme (MIS-PSS) by 25 per cent.

3.53 PM:Centre has little say in petrol, diesel rates, says FM Sitharaman

When asked about soaring rates of petrol and diesel, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has little say in the same as the prices are decided by the open market. "Petrol-diesel already open to the market, government, especially for Union government, has no big role or say in that," she said.

3.42 PM: FM Sitharaman on fiscal deficit

FM says the Centre's fiscal deficit, which started at 3.5 per cent during February 2020, has increased to 9.5 per cent of the GDP, which shows "we have spent, we have spent and we have spent". "At the same time, we have given a clear glide path for deficit management," she adds.

3.37 PM: Budget will give impetus to economy: FM

"This Budget comes at a time when all of us decided to give impetus to the economy and that impetus, we thought, would be qualitatively spent and give necessary demand push if we choose to spend big on infrastructure," says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

3.20 PM: Centre thought of giving great impetus to economy: FM

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds a press conference on Union Budget 2020. Sitharaman says the government has put special focus on building infrastructure, including roads, bridges, ports, power generations, among others. The Centre says there was also a special focus on the healthcare sector. Overall, the FM said the Centre thought about giving a great impetus to the economy.

3.10 PM: Union Budget 2021-22 highlights: What PM Modi said on budget

  • This budget lays a strong foundation for the new decade
  • Budget has provisions for further strengthening APMC mandis via AIF
  • Budget for MSMEs more than doubled to boost growth and create jobs
  • Budget focuses on strengthening agriculture, boosting farmers' income
  • This Budget talks of all-round development for all parts of country
  • Budget aims to widen new opportunities for growth, new openings for youth
  • Budget boost to infra, structural reforms will give major fillip to growth and job creation -- PTI

2.58 PM: The Budget 2021 focuses on increasing farmers' income, several measures have been taken in this direction. Farmers will be able to get loans easily. "Provisions have been made to strengthen APMC markets with the help of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund," says PM Modi. - ANI

2.56 PM: Today's Budget shows India's confidence, says PM

"The Budget has the vision of self-reliance and features every section of the society," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

2.55 PM: Union Budget 2021-22 has been presented amid unprecedented circumstances, says PM Narendra Modi

2.44 PM: FY22 budget much better than market's expectations: Motilal Oswal

"The FY22 budget has been much better than the market's expectations. The feared and anticipated measures around Covid-Cess/higher capital Gains tax/Wealth Tax etc did not materialise. This will provide a huge relief to market and economy and help in sustaining the buoyant sentiments in the economy. The government has clearly articulated the focus towards Infra and Capex spending with five key measures: [1] Capex spends proposed to go up by 26% in FY22 vs. FY21 RE [2] Setting up of Development Financial Institution [3] Setting up of ARC/AMC to deal with stressed assets [4] Asset monetization plans in various segments and [5] List of CPSE's for divestments," says  Motilal Oswal, MD & CEO, Motilal Oswal Financial Services. 

2.30 PM: FM has fullfilled all expectations: Rajiv Kumar

Finance Minister has raised a lot of expectations regarding Budget 2021 and she has fulfilled all of them. "Given the current times, the budget is focussed on India's growth and is tailored to accelerate the growth rate," says NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar. - ANI

2.28 PM: Budget 2021 Highlights: Agri cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol, Rs 4 on diesel

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced agriculture infrastructure and development cess (AIDC) of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel to improve agricultural infrastructure in the country. "An Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) of Rs 2.5 per litre has been imposed on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel. Overall there would be no additional burden on the consumer," she said.

1.15 PM: Budget 2021: Other key highlights

  • Rs 1.5 lakh deduction on payment of interest for affordable housing extended by 1 yr
  • Govt proposes to relax norms to attract more foreign investment in infrastructure sector
  • Advance tax liability on dividend income shall arise only after payment of dividend
  • Exemption from tax audit limit doubled to Rs 10 crore turnover for companies doing business via digital modes
  • Govt proposes to make income tax appellate tribunals faceless
  • Serious tax offences of concealment of income of over Rs 50 lakh can be reopened after 10 years
  • States to get 41 per cent share of taxes as per 15th Finance Commission recommendation

1.07 PM: Union Budget Highlights: Tax exemptions announced by FM

  • Govt to review over 400 old exemptions in indirect taxes
  • Tax holiday for startups extended by 1 year in view of Covid
  • Exemption on capital gains on investment in startups also extended by 1 year
  • Tax exemption for aircraft leasing companies
  • Tax exemption for notified affordable housing for migrant workers

1.00 AM: Union Budget Highlights: Announcements on auto, customs, steel

  • Customs duty on certain auto parts, solar equipment raised
  • Govt rationalises customs duties on gold and silver for FY22
  • Govt exempts duty on steel scrap up to March 2022
  • Customs duty on naphtha cut to 2.5%

12.55 PM: Budget 2021 Highlights: No I-T returns filing for pensioners over 75

Senior citizens above 75 years of age with only pension income exempted from filing tax returns, says the FM.

12.50 PM: Budget 2021 Highlights: Govt to borrow Rs 12 lakh crore in FY22

The central government will borrow around Rs 12 lakh crore in FY22. The expenditure pegged at Rs 34.83 lakh crore, including Rs 5.54 lakh cr of capital spending, says the FM.

12.45 PM: Union Budget Highlights: Govt to borrow Rs 80,000cr in next 2 months

The FM says COVID-19 relief led to rise in expenditure to Rs 34.50 lakh crore in the current fiscal as against Rs 30.42 lakh crore budgeted a year back. "The government will borrow Rs 80,000 crore in the remaining two months to meet FY21 expenditure," says FM.

12.40 PM: Union Budget 2021 Highlights: Forthcoming census to be digital, says Sitharaman

The forthcoming census would be the first digital census in the history of India. "For this monumental task, I have allocated 3,768 crores in this year 2021-22," says FM Nirmala Sitharaman. Over Rs 3,726 crore allocated for forthcoming Census, which will be the first digital census.

12.36 PM: Union Budget 2021 highlights: Fiscal deficit pegged at 9.5%

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says in the RE 2020-21, the fiscal deficit has been pegged at 9.5 per cent of India's GDP, while the fiscal deficit in BE 2021-22 is pegged at 6.8 per cent of the GDP. The central government is aiming to bring it down to less than 5 per cent of the GDP by 2025-26, says Sitharaman.

12.33 PM: Budget 2021 highlights: More opportunities under apprenticeship law

The Centre has proposed to amend apprenticeship law to enhance opportunities for youth. Modalities have been worked out for national research foundation. The Centre has earmarked Rs 50,000 crore over five years.

12.31 PM: Watch live presentation of Union Budget 2021-22 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here

12.28 PM: Union budget 2021 highlights: Other key announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

  • Allocation to rural infra development increased to Rs 40,000 crore in FY22 from Rs 30,000 crore in FY21
  • Operation green scheme to cover 22 more perishable commodities.
  • FM announces development of 5 major fishing hubs.
  • Over 1,000 more mandis to be integrated with electronic national market.
  • Agri infra fund to be made available to APMCs to augment infra facilities.
  • Agri Infra Fund increased to Rs 40,000 cr, Micro Irrigation Corpus doubled to Rs 10,000 cr.
  • Social security benefit to be extended to platform and gig workers.
  • One nation, one ration card plan under implementation in 32 states and 1 UT
  • Central university to be set up in Leh.
  • Govt proposes portal to collect info on gig-workers, building and construction workers, among others.

12.22 PM: Budget 2021 highlights: Farmers paid Rs 75,100cr wheat MSP

Over 43.36 lakh wheat growing farmers benefited from the Centre's MSP procurement scheme against 35.57 lakh previously, says FM Sitharaman. Farmers paid Rs 75,100 crore on wheat MSP in FY21, says FM. "Agriculture credit target raised to Rs 16.5 lakh crore in 2021-22."

12.16 PM: Budget 2021 highlights: Govt committed to farmers' welfare: FM

Agri procurement has increased steadily, benefiting farmers, says FM Sitharaman, amid opposition slogan shouting against three farm laws.

12.15 PM: FM announces new disinvestment policy

The Centre to divest PSUs in all sectors, except four, says FM; announces new disinvestment policy. NITI Aayog will work on the next list of central public sector companies for disinvestment.

12.12 PM: FM announces disinvestment receipts of Rs 1.75 lakh cr

Finance Minister puts disinvestment receipts at Rs 1.75 lakh crore for fiscal year beginning April 1, 2021. "Two PSBs and one general insurance company to be divested, legislations amendments to be introduced in this session," says the FM.

12.05 PM: Budget 2021-21 Live Updates: NCLT framework to be strengthened

The central government will strengthened NCLT framework. The finance minister says the definition of small companies will be revised by raising capital base to Rs 2 crore from current limit of Rs 50 lakh. Asset reconstruction and management company to be set up for stressed assets of banks.

12.03 PM: Union Budget 2021 Live Updates: FDI up in insurance to 74%

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces the enhancement of foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance to 74 per cent from 49 per cent. The FM also earmarks Rs 20,000 crore for further recapitalisation of state-owned banks.

12.00 AM: Union Budget 2021-22: Other key announcements in FM's Budget speech

  • FM announces Rs 25,000 cr road projects in poll-bound West Bengal
  • Power sector seen many reforms in last six years, 138 GW of installed capacity added, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman
  • FM allocates Rs 65,000 cr for road, highway projects in Kerala, Rs 3,400 cr for Assam
  • A framework to be put in place to give power consumer option to chose discoms: FM
  • Finance Minister says 100 pc electrification of broad gauge rail tracks by December 2023
  • FM announces 7 port projects worth more than Rs 2,000 cr via PPA mode
  • FM announces Rs 18,000 cr scheme to augment public transport in urban areas
  • Framework will be put in place to allow electricity consumers to choose from more than one distribution company: FM

11.56 AM: Budget 2021: Over 1.1 lakh crore for railways

Record Rs 1.1 lakh crore provided for railways, of which Rs 1.07 lakh crore for capital expenditure in 2021-22, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman.

11.55 AM: 8,500 kms of road, highways by 2022

The government to award about 8,500 kms of road and highway projects by March 2022 to further augment road infrastructure.

11.54 AM: Budget 2021: Rs 2 lakh cr to meet capex

The government will provide Rs 2 lakh crore to states and autonomous bodies to meet capital expenditure, says the FM 

11.50 AM: GAIL, IOC, HPCL to be monetised

The Centre government will monetise the pipelines of GAIL (India) Ltd, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and HPCL, says FM Sitharaman.

11.45 AM: Govt to monetise dedicated freight corridors

Railway to monetise dedicated freight corridors, says FM Sitharaman in her Budget speech on monetisation of assets.

11.41 AM: Union Budget 2021: Announcements made by Nirmala Sitharaman so far

  • Voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old vehicles; fitness tests after 20 years for personal vehicles
  • National monetisation pipeline for potential brownfield infrastructure assets will be launched
  • PLI scheme with outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crore for 5 years starting this fiscal
  • Govt to introduce bill to set up development financial institution with an outlay of Rs 20,000 cr
  • Swachh Bharat 2.0 will be implemented with outlay of Rs 1,41,678 cr over 5 years
  • Scheme of mega investment textiles park in addition to PLI scheme will be launched
  • Jal Jeevan mission with outlay of Rs 2.87 lakh crore for 4,378 urban local bodies
  • Govt to provide Rs 35,000 cr for Covid-19 vaccination in 2021-22
  • FM proposes Aatmanirbhar health programme with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore in addition to national health mission

11.37 AM: Rs 2.87 lakh crore for Jal Jeevan Mission

Jal Jeevan Mission Urban to be launched, outlay Rs 2.87 lakh crore over 5 years. Aimed at universal water supply in all 4,378 urban local bodies, with 2.86 crore household tap connections and liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities. 

11.34 AM: Union Budget 2021 Live Updates: FM proposes sharp increase in Capital Expenditure

"For 2021-22, I propose a sharp increase in Capital Expenditure & thus have provided Rs 5.54 lakh crores which is 34.5% more than the BE 2020-21," says FM Nirmala Sitharaman.

11.33 AM: Union Budget 2021 Live Updates: PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana to be launched, says FM

"A new centrally sponsored scheme PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana will be launched with an outlay of about 64,180 crores over 6 years," says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 

11.32 AM: Union Budget 2021 Live Updates: Investment on health infra priority for govt: FM

Investment on health infra in Budget 2021 has increased substantially, says Sitharaman. "Three areas - preventive health, curative health and well-being - to be strengthened during the current year," she adds.

11.27 AM: Union Budget 2021 Live Updates: FM lays out six pillars of Budget 2021

Budget 2021 proposals rest on six pillars

  • Health and Well-Being
  • Physical and Financial capital and infrastructure
  • Inclusive Development for Aspirational India
  • Reinvigorating Human Capital
  • Innovation and R&D
  • Minimum Govt., Maximum Governance

11.20 AM: Union Budget 2021 Live Updates: Govt announced PMGKY worth Rs 2.76 lakh crore 48 hours after first lockdown, says FM

"When I presented Budget 20'-21' we couldn't have imagined that global economy would be pushed into an unprecedented contraction. Within 48 hours of declaring lockdown PM @narendramodi announced PMGKY valued at Rs 2.76 lakh Crores," says the Union Minister.

11.17 AM: Union Budget 2021 Live Updates: FM Sitharaman lays out vision for AatmaNirbhar Bharat

As Part A of Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lays out a vision for AatmaNirbhar Bharat. "To strengthen the vision of Nation First, doubling farmers' income, strong infra, women's empowerment, healthy India, good governance, education for all, and inclusive development," says the FM

11.16 AM: Budget provides opportunity to grow sustainably: FM

Only three times has the Budget followed a contraction in the economy, says the FM. "This time, unlike before, the situation is due to a global pandemic. Budget 2021 provides every opportunity for economy to capture pace and grow sustainably," she said.

11.15 AM: Two more vaccines accepted soon

Sitharaman says India today has 2 vaccines available and has begun safeguarding not only her own citizens against COVID-19 but also those of 100 or more countries. "It has added comfort to know that 2 more vaccines are also expected soon," she adds.

11.14 AM: Govt delivered mini-budgets amid Covid crisis

The government stretched its resources for the benefit of the poorest of the poor, says the FM. "The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, the three Aatma Nirbhar Bharat packages and subsequent announcements were like five mini-budgets in themselves," says Nirmala Sitharman.

11.12 AM: Aatmanirbhar Bharat a success: FM

The total financial impact of all Aatmanirbhar Bharat packages, including measures taken by the RBI, was about Rs 27.1 lakh crore, more than 13 per cent of GDP, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

11.10 AM: Watch FM speaks in Parliament on Budget 2021-22

10.56 AM: India Inc wishlist

Industry representatives are hopeful that the Union Budget 2021 would play a vital role in achieving the objective of putting India on a sustained high-growth trajectory. In this year's budget, the Centre is expected to primarily focus on manufacturing, Atmanirbhar Bharat and healthcare as main themes. Agriculture and infrastructure may also receive a push.

Also read: Budget 2021: India Inc expectations from new budget

10.50 AM: Congress MPs wear black gown as mark of protest

Congress MPs Jasbir Singh Gill and Gurjeet Singh Aujla wear a black gown to the Parliament, as a mark of their protest against the three farms bills. Thousands of farmers are protesting these bills at Delhi borders for over two months now. 

10.46 AM: Cabinet clears Budget document

Union Cabinet approves the Union Budget 2021-22 that will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament. The FM will soon announce budget from Parliament. 

10.45 AM: Where to watch live coverage of Budget 2021?

One can watch all the latest updates on the Union Budget on the government's YouTube channel.

10.40 AM: Rahul Gandhi's suggestions on Budget 2021

Budget 2021 must:

  • Support MSMEs, farmers and workers to generate employment.
  • Increase Healthcare expenditure to save lives.
  • Increase Defence expenditure to safeguard border

10.28 AM: PM Modi chairs Cabinet meeting 

Union Cabinet's meeting begins ahead of the presentation of Union Budget 2021-22 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Parliament today. All prominent leaders have reached the parliament. The Budget is going to be paperless this time. The PM is chairing the meeting. 

Also read: There have been 4-5 mini-budgets in 2020, this one is part of series, says PM Modi

10.15 AM: Latest visuals of FM arriving in Parliament

FM Nirmala Sitharaman to present a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India for the year 2021-22 at 11 AM today. 

10.12 AM: Sensex rises on Budget Day

Sensex surges 443 pts to 46,728.83 in opening trade ahead of Budget presentation; Nifty up 114.85 pts at 13,749.45

Also read: Share Market Live Updates: Sensex adds 450 points, Nifty above 13,730 ahead of Budget 2021 announcement

10.10 AM: 'Hope Sitharaman will acknowledge seriousness of situation'

Congress leader and MP Manish Tewari says this is the most crucial budget after 1991. GDP is in the 37 th straight month of Decline. "I do hope @nsitharaman acknowledges the seriousness of the situation. However if economic Survey was anything to go by then all you may get is a Talkathon of fluff sans any substance," he adds.

10.00 AM: Sitharaman reaches Parliament

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and MoS Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur have reached the Parliament. Sitharaman will speak in Parliament at 11 AM today. This is expected to be big bang budget for India.  Photo: -ANI

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9.50 AM: In a first, paperless budget for FY22

For the first time ever, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present a paperless budget due to COVID-19. People will be able to access the Budget document via online modes only.

9.40 AM: FM leaves for Parliament

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with MoS Finance Anurag Thakur has left from the ministry. They will meet President Kovind shortly before presenting the Budget.

9.30 AM: FM to read out budget via 'Made in India' tab

Both Nirmala Sitharaman and MoS Finance Anurag Thakur have left from the Ministry of Finance. The FM will present Union Budget 2021-22 at Parliament today. For the first time ever, the Budget 2020 will be paperless this year due to COVID-19. It will be available for all as a soft copy.

9.27 AM: FM to present paper-less budget

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present and read out the Union Budget 2021-22 at the Parliament through a tab, instead of the traditional 'bahi khata'.

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9.18 AM: A new national bank to finance infra projects?

FM may announce a national bank to finance infrastructure projects in the upcoming budget. The FinMin has reportedly prepared a draft of the bill called - the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, 2020, which will have an authorised capital of one lakh crore rupees and twenty thousand crore rupees as an initial paid-up capital.

Also read: Budget 2021: Govt likely to announce new national bank to finance infra projects

9.10 AM: Where to watch live coverage of Union Budget 2021

  • Catch the live updates of the "budget like never before" on Aaj Tak, India Today and Lok Sabha TV channels
  • Catch live coverage on YouTube channels of PIB India, Aaj Tak, India Today and Lok Sabha
  • Get latest updates on the Union Budget 2021 via BusinessToday.In website

9.05 AM: Will India see changes in I-T regime?

The new income tax regime did not pick up the way it was anticipated, so a move to include more exemptions for people who invest in provident fund and other schemes was being considered.

Also read: Budget 2021: New income tax regime introduced in 2020 may see tweaks

9.02 AM: FM arrives at ministry

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at the Ministry of Finance. She will present the Union Budget 2021 in the Parliament at 11 AM.

9.00 AM: Anurag Thakur arrives at finance ministry

MoS Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur arrives at the Ministry of Finance.

8.50 AM: 'Budget to be as per people's expectations'

"Govt which functions on mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas' gave new direction to India by announcing Aatmanirbhar package, protecting it from pandemic & bringing economy back on track swiftly," says  MoS Finance. -- ANI

8.43 AM: How India economy is performing?

Indian economy had started dwindling in FY18 when the growth declined to 7.04 per cent from 8.26 per cent in the previous fiscal. The GDP growth further declined to 6.15 per cent in FY19 and 4.2 per cent in FY20, which was the lowest in 44 quarters.

Also read: Budget 2021: How Indian economy performed in FY21 compared to FY20

8.41 AM: Rs 25,000 crore for bank recapitalisation?

The government may set aside about Rs 25,000 crore for bank recapitalisation for FY22, initial estimates suggest. State-owned lenders were asked about their fund requirement, apart from their plans to raise money and non-performing asset (NPA) numbers to set aside the amount for bank recapitalisation.

8.32 AM: Anurag Thakur offers prayers on budget day

MoS Finance Anurag Thakur offers prayers at his residence, ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament today. -- ANI

8.20 AM: Key highlights of Budget

  • Tax relief measures for pandemic-hit sectors such as real estate, aviation, tourism and auto are expected
  • PM Narendra Modi has said budget will be in continuation of government efforts to revive sectors impacted by pandemic
  • The economy is projected to contract 7.7% in the current fiscal year

Also read: Budget 2021 highlights: FM Nirmala Sitharaman unlikely to announce relief on income tax front

8.10 AM: What will be there for farmers?

According to the rating agency ICRA, the government could allocate funds towards the agricultural chain to improve productivity and reduce post-harvest losses. The budgetary allocation is also expected towards crop insurance schemes, irrigation infrastructure schemes, promoting soil health, and availability for farm credit amongst others.

Also read: Budget 2021: What will farmers get?

7.59 AM: Aviation industry expects revival package

The Indian aviation industry is expecting financial support and reduction in levies and taxes in short term to revitalise operations and boost passenger traffic, which include among others, lowering taxes on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and reducing other levies like airport charges, parking and landing and navigation charges.

7.55 AM: Debt-ridden telcos' wishlist

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the body that represents telecom operators, has asked for a reduction in licence fee and SUC levies. At present, there are two components to 8 per cent license fee- Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) of 5 per cent and license fee of 3 per cent. The COAI has also urged DoT to reduce license fee from 3 per cent to 1 per cent, and USOF contribution down to 3 per cent, with an objective of removing these charges over the next 2-3 years.

Also read: Budget 2021: Debt-laden telecom sector expects tax reliefs, lower licence fee

7.50 AM: Retailers want 'ease of doing business'

Retailers' body Retailers Association of India (RAI) has urged the government for formulation and implementation of national retail policy to boost the retail sector and facilitate ease of doing business. It also urged the Centre to "allow retailers to register under MSME so that retailers too can be entitled for all benefits available to MSMEs", while asking to encourage states to adopt Model Shops and Establishment Act. The retailers' association has also asked the government to modify or extend the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana Scheme to include financial support for digitalisation of kiranas and small retailers.

7.45 AM: Will govt double PPF limit?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has recommended the government to double the Public Provident Fund (PPF) contribution limit to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh. If FM accepts ICAI's suggestions, it would be a major relief for PPF account holders. Enhancement of PPF account investment limit is believed to boost further investment and encourage household savings.

7.40 AM: What can govt do on indirect tax front?

According to accounting major KPMG, the Union Budget 2021 has got plenty to ponder upon on the indirect tax front such as tax on dividend income; tax collected at source (TCS) on securities and commodities traded on domestic bourses; equalisation levy applicable to online goods and services; taxes related to COVID; GST on petroleum products and natural gas, among others.

7.30 AM: Will govt change income tax slabs?

There have been demands from various quarters for change in tax slabs to allow more money in the hands of salaried middle class, especially those earning below Rs 10 lakh, so that they can spend more, which in turn can provide a boost to the economy. While the government is believed to be considering this proposal, it remains to be seen if the finance minister can find enough room to accommodate this.

Also read: Budget 2021: Earn less than Rs 10 lakh? Here's what you can expect

7.25 AM: What auto sector is expecting?

The automobile and automotive component sectors have been braving low demand for the better part of three years due to a host of reasons  -  the absence of consumer confidence due to slowdown blues and liquidity crunch resulting from malaise in the NBFC sector to name a few. Now automakers are banking on two factors for a turnaround - a prospective rise in demand with COVID-19 fears driving preference for personal mobility, and projections of a robust economic recovery in the coming fiscal.

Also read: Budget 2021: Will FM Sitharaman announce relief measures for auto sector?

7.20 AM: What middle class is expecting?

Middle class would be expecting sops in the Union Budget 2020-21 to help overcome their problems. If anything, middle class taxpayers would expect certain tax reliefs so that they have more money in their hands out of their paychecks.

Also read: Budget 2021: Will middle class get bigger take-home salary?

7.15 AM: Will market see LTCG tax reforms?

Union Budget 2021 is expected to come out with one of the most awaited announcements for Dalal Street - big-ticket reforms regarding Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) taxes, capital market reforms and policies from the financial markets' perspective. Market participants are expecting some relief that could boost investing sentiments and kickstart the capex cycle in the economy.

Also read: Budget 2021: Will govt increase LTCG exemption limit beyond Rs 1 lakh

7.10 AM: What senior citizens expect from Budget?

Senior citizens also expect the FM Sitharaman to announce a full tax rebate on senior citizen saving scheme. Some senior citizen investment options, which provide a regular income, are bank fixed deposits, Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY), Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS), Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS), Floating Rate Savings Bonds 2020 and Immediate Annuity plans of life insurance companies.