Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday delivered her third Budget speech in the Parliament. She stated that her Budget 2021 rests on six key pillars: Health and Wellbeing; Physical and Financial Capital, and Infrastructure; Inclusive Development for Aspirational India; Reinvigorating Human Capital; Innovation and R&D; and Minimum Government and Maximum Governance.
After that, she went on to announce key reforms that sought to address the path to revive the COVID-19 battered economy.
You can catch all the updates on Budget Session 2021 here.
Here's a look at the key highlights of Budget 2021
1. A new centrally sponsored scheme, PM Atma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, will be launched with an outlay of about Rs 64,180 crore over six years. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission, the FM said in her Budget speech.
2. On nutrition, the FM said the government will merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the Poshan Abhiyan and launch the Mission Poshan 2.0.
3. FM Sitharaman also announced "Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban)" which aims at a universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crore household tap connections. It will be implemented over 5 years, with an outlay of Rs 2,87,000 crores.
4. The government provided Rs 35,000 crore for coronavirus vaccine in the FY22 Budget Estimates.
5. The FM allocated Rs 2,23,846 crore for 'Health and Wellbeing' in BE 2021-22 as against the FY 21 BE of Rs 94,452 crore-- an increase of 137 per cent.
1. The FM announced the launch of Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 which will be implemented with a total financial allocation of Rs 1,41,678 crores over a period of 5 years from 2021-2026.
2. To tackle the problem of air pollution, FM Sitharaman allocated Rs 2,217 crore for 42 urban centres.
3. The government also announced 'voluntary vehicle scrapping policy' to phase out old and unfit vehicles.
In order to boost the manufacturing sector, the Production Linked Incentive scheme (PLI) has been announced for 13 sectors. For this, the Centre has committed to allocate Rs 1.97 lakh crore over five years, starting for Financial Year 2022.
1. The Finance Minister said she will table a Bill to set up Development Financial Institution that will be a catalyst for infrastructure financing. The FM announced Rs 20,000 crore to capitalise DFI.
2. A "National Monetisation Pipeline" of potential brownfield infrastructure assets will be launched. An Asset Monetisation dashboard will also be created for tracking the progress and to provide visibility to investors.
3. Railways will monetise Dedicated Freight Corridor assets for operations and maintenance, after commissioning.
4. The next lot of airports will be monetised for operations and management concession.
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
1. FM Sitharaman announced a 3,500 km of National Highway works in Tamil Nadu at an investment of Rs 1.03 lakh crore.
2. The FM also announced a 1,100 km of national highway works in Kerala at an investment of Rs 65,000 crore.
3. The Centre allocated Rs 25,000 crore for poll-bound West Bengal for a 675 km highway project.
4. The Finance Minister further allocated Rs 34,000 crore to finish the 1,300 kms of national highway work in Assam in the coming three years.
5. FM also announced an outlay of Rs 1,18,101 lakh crore for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, of which Rs 1,8,230 crore will be for capital.
1. The FM provided a sum of Rs 1,10,055 crore of Railways of which Rs 1,07,100 crore will be for capital expenditure.
2. The Centre has planned to introduce the aesthetically designed Vista Dome LHB coach on tourist routes.
1. Two new technologies, that is "MetroLite" and "MetroNeo" will be deployed to provide metro rail systems.
2. Centre will provide funding to Kochi Metro Railway Phase-II of 11.5 km at a cost of Rs 1957.05 crore; Chennai Metro Railway Phase-II of 118.9 km at a cost of Rs 63,246 crore; Bengaluru Metro Railway Project Phase 2A and 2B of 58.19 km at a cost of Rs 14,788 crore; and Nagpur Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Nashik Metro at a cost of Rs 5,976 crore, and Rs 2,092 crore, respectively.
1. A revamped reforms-based result-linked power distribution sector scheme will be launched with an outlay of Rs 3,05,984 crore over five years.
PORT, SHIPPING, and WATERWAYS
1. Seven projects worth more than Rs 2,000 crores will be offered by the Major Ports on Public-Private Partnership mode in FY21-22.
2. A scheme to promote the flagging of merchant ships in India will be launched by providing subsidy support to Indian shipping companies in global tenders floated by Ministries and CPSEs. An amount of Rs 1,624 crores will be provided over 5 years.
1.To instil confidence amongst the participants in the Corporate Bond Market during times of stress and to generally enhance secondary market liquidity, the FM proposed a permanent institutional framework. The proposed body would purchase investment-grade debt securities both in stressed and normal times and help in the development of the Bond market.
2. Towards investor protection, the FM introduced an investor charter as a right of all financial investors across all financial products.
3. Sitharaman also provided an additional capital infusion of Rs 1,000 crore to the Solar Energy Corporation of India and Rs 1,500 to Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.
4. To further consolidate the financial capacity of PSBs, a further recapitalization of Rs 20,000 crores is proposed in 2021-22.
1. FM Sitharaman the permissible FDI limit from 49 per cent to 74 per cent in Insurance Companies and allow foreign ownership and control with safeguards.
COMPANIES and STARTUPS
1. The Finance Minister increased the threshold for paid-up capital for small companies from "not exceeding Rs 50 lakh" to "not exceeding Rs two crore", and a turnover from " not exceeding Rs 2 crore" to "not exceeding Rs 20 crore".
2. The FM incentivised the incorporation of One Person Companies (OPCs) by allowing OPCs to grow without any restrictions on paid up capital and turnover, allowing their conversion into any other type of company at any time.
1.BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corp, Container Corp and other disinvestments will be completed in 2021-22
2. Barring four strategic areas, PSUs in other sectors will be divested, says FM announcing new disinvestment policy
3. FM says NITI Aayog to be asked to work on next list of central public sector companies for disinvestment.
4. FM puts disinvestment receipts at Rs 1.75 lakh crore for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2021.
1. The FM enhanced agricultural credit target to Rs 16.5 lakh crore in FY 22.
2. The FM also allocated Rs 40,000 crore to the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund.
3. "Operation Green Scheme" will include 22 perishable products apart from the current tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.
4. 1,000 more mandis will be integrated with e-NAM.
5. The government raised customs duty on cotton from nil to 10 per cent, on raw silk and silk yarn from 10 per cent to 15 per cent
MIGRANT WORKERS AND LABOURERS
The FM launched a portal that will collect relevant information on gig, building, and construction-workers among others, which will help to formulate health, housing, skill, credit, food among other kinds of schemes for migrant workers.
1. The FM announced Rs 15,700 crore for the MSME sector in the Budget 2021 speech.
2. The FM reduced custom duty to 7.5 per cent on semis, flat, and long products of non-alloy, alloy, and
stainless steels. The FM also exempted duty on steel scrap for a period up to March 31, 2022.
1. 100 new Sainik Schools will be set up in partnership with NGOs, states, and private schools.
2. Sitharaman announced to set up a Central University in Leh.
1. FM Sitharaman announced Rs 1,500 crore to promote digital modes of payment.
2. The Finance Minister also allocated Rs 3,726 crore for the forthcoming Census-India's first digital census
1. The FM announced that senior citizens who are 75 years of age or above and who only have a pension and interest income will be exempted from filing their income tax returns.
2. To further reduce litigation for small taxpayers, Sitharaman announced to constitute a Dispute Resolution Committee for them, which will be faceless to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability. Anyone with a taxable income up to Rs 50 lakh and disputed income up to Rs 10 lakh shall be eligible to approach the Committee.
3. The Finance Minister proposed to make a dividend payment to REIT/ InvIT exempt from TDS.
1. The FM extended the eligibility of an additional deduction of interest, amounting to Rs 1.5 lakh, by March 31, 2022.
2. Affordable housing projects can avail a tax holiday for one more year - till March 31, 2022