Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced higher capital expenditure for the financial year 2021-22 and focused on providing a major boost to healthcare and infrastructure building.
In her Budget speech, Sitharaman mentioned that this year’s budget focused on six 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.
Presenting the first-ever digital Union Budget, the minister stated that India’s fight against COVID-19 continues into 2021 and that this moment in history, when the political, economic, and strategic relations in the post-COVID world are changing, is the dawn of a new era – one in which India is well-poised to truly be the land of promise and hope.
Key highlights of Union Budget 2021-22:
- A new Centre-sponsored scheme Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crores to boost healthcare infrastructure across the country amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Senior citizens above 75 years of age, having pension and interest income exempted from filing tax returns.
- A National Faceless Income tax Appellate Tribunal Centre shall be established and all the communication between the Tribunal and the appellant shall be made electronically.
- In order to provide transparent tax appellate mechanism, it is proposed to make the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal faceless and jurisdiction-less.
- For reducing litigation and to give an impetus to the dispute resolution for small taxpayers, a Dispute Resolution Committee is proposed to be constituted.
- To incentivise digital transactions and to reduce the compliance burden of the person who is carrying almost all of their transactions digitally, it is proposed to increase the limit for tax audit for persons who are undertaking 95 per cent of their transactions digitally from Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore.
- Rs 1,000 crore to be provided for welfare scheme for tea workers of Assam & West Bengal especially women and children.
- National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) expanded to 7,400 projects.
- Rs 2,23,846 crore outlay for Health and Wellbeing in Budget Estimates (BE) 2021-22 as against Rs 94,452 crore in BE 2020-21 – an increase of 137 per cent.
- Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccine in Budget Estimates 2021-22.
- Rs 64,180 crore outlay over 6 years for PM AatmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana – a new centrally sponsored scheme to be launched, in addition to NHM.
- Rs. 2,87,000 crore over 5 years for Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) to be launched.
- Rs. 1,41,678 crore over 5 years for Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0.
- Rs. 2,217 crore to tackle air pollution, for 42 urban centers with a million-plus population.
- Voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles (After 20 years in case of personal vehicles and 15 years in case of commercial vehicles).
- Rs 1.97 lakh crore in the next 5 years for Production Linked Incentive scheme (PLI) schemes in 13 Sector.
- Rs 20,000 crore to set up and capitalise a Development Financial Institution (DFI) – to act as a provider, enabler and catalyst for infrastructure financing.
- Rs 5.54 lakh crore capital expenditure in BE 2021-22 – a sharp increase of 34.5 per cent over Rs. 4.12 lakh crore allocated in BE 2020-21.
- Rs 1,18,101 lakh crore, highest ever outlay, for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways – of which Rs 1,08,230 crore is for capital.
- Rs 1,10,055 crore for Railways of which Rs. 1,07,100 crore is for capital expenditure.
- Rs 3,05,984 crore over 5 years for a revamped, reforms-based and result-linked new power distribution sector scheme.
- Capital infusion of Rs 1,000 crore to Solar Energy Corporation of India and Rs 1,500 crore to Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.
- FDI limit in Insurance Sector increased from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.
- Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to be enhanced to Rs 40,000 crore from Rs 30,000 crore.
- Rs 15,700 crore budget allocation to MSME Sector, more than double of this year’s BE.
- An agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess of Rs 2.5 per litre has been imposed on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel. Unbranded petrol and diesel will attract basic excise duty of Rs 1.4 and Rs 1.8 per litre respectively.
- 100 per cent Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess on Alcoholic beverages.