India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her second Union Budget in the Parliament on 1st February amidst the slowing economy of the nation and growing concerns of unemployment. The Finance Minister stated that the main themes of budget 2020 are Aspirational India, Economic development, and caring society. The Finance Minister also introduced 16 action plans to support the themes and boost the nation's economy. In a vital move, the government has also reserved Rs 3,000 Cr for skill development.
Get an insight into the highlights of the budget 2020, here:
Sitharaman has focused on skills, education, and agriculture under the first theme of 'Aspirational India.' The government is looking forward to double the income of farmers by 2022. The government has decided to allow farmers to set up solar power units on the barren land, which can earn a living for the farmers.
Improvement In Educational Policies & Skills Development
As a part of the skill development program, the government will provide job opportunities to fresh engineers with the urban local bodies, which will help engineers to learn on the job. These opportunities will benefit both engineers as well as the urban bodies.
The FM even informed that there is a huge demand for teachers, nurses, paramedical staff and caregivers abroad, but the skill sets need to be improved. So, a total of Rs 3,000 crore will be allocated for the cause.
The FM further continued that she has proposed an allocation of Rs 99,300 crore for education. She even indicates that the government will work on promoting the 'Study in India.'
The government is taking bold steps to make education reach a wider audience by implementing online education programs, which will be offered by the top 100 institutes. African and Asian countries will hold the IN-SAT exam to benchmark foreign students.
The government is planning to set up a National Recruitment Agency for non-gazetted posts. All non-gazetted posts across the country, especially in the aspiration districts, will be shortlisted based on a common online test.
Benefits For Entrepreneurs
The FM stated that entrepreneurship is the spirit of India. The government is planning to create more opportunities for startup owners. Entrepreneurs will get funds, as well as a dedicated portal, will be set up for their assistance along with Investment clearance cells. ESPO tax will be suspended by 5 years to boost the startup ecosystem.
Although there is a cost advantage for electronics manufacturing in India, manufacturing needs much more investment than it is currently available in the market. Hence, the FM has introduced a scheme to encourage the manufacturing of mobile phones, semiconductor packaging, and electronic equipment, which can be used for the manufacture of medical devices as well. A detailed scheme will soon be released, as indicated by the FM.
Data Centre Parks
FM Nirmala Sitharaman noted that India is changing tremendously by sharing economy with aggregators displacing regular businesses. The government has assured us to implement a policy to set up to build data centre parks throughout the country.
All public institutions at Gram Panchayat will be digitally connected through BharatNet. BharatNet is expected to link 100,000 Gram Panchayats in FY21, and Rs. 6000 crore will be allocated for the same.
The Minister has even proposed Rs 8,000 crore outlay over 5-years for the National Mission of Quantum Technology and Application.
Development Schemes For Women
The Minister said that the gross enrollment of girls is very high as compared to that of boys. She has given the numbers that the gross enrollment of girls is 94.32%, 81.32%, and 59.7% in the elementary, secondary, and higher secondary level.
The government has taken the utmost care of pregnant and lactating women as 6 lakh anganwadi workers are equipped with smartphones to upload the status of more than 10 crore households.
The government has allocated Rs 35,600 Cr for nutrition-related programs in FY21 and a further Rs 28,600 Cr allocated in FY21 for women-linked programs.
Government allots Rs. 2500 to promote tourism and the FM, even mentioned that promoting tourism will eventually lead to employment opportunities. Besides, the government is looking forward to developing 100 more airports under UDAN by 2024.
Income & Tax
The government has made some effective changes in budget 2020 to ease the tax worries of the people. An individual with an income of Rs 5 lakh-7.5 lakh will have to pay a tax of 10%, which was earlier 20%. An individual with an income of Rs Rs 7.5 lakh-10 lakh will have to pay a tax of 15%, which was earlier 20%. For an income of Rs 10-12.5 lakh, a tax rate of 20 % as against 30 % earlier will be applied. An income between Rs 12.5 lakh-15 lakh will be liable for a tax of 25 % as against 30 % earlier. An individual with an earnings of 15 lakhs or more will have to pay a tax of 30 %. The government is looking forward to removing the Dividend Distribution Tax and will cut on corporate tax for power generation companies.
Climate change is a burning topic throughout the world, and the Indian government has ensured effective measures to cope with it. The FM has issued an order to close down power plants with higher emissions. The government encourages the plans of clean air by allocating Rs 4,400 crores.