The Budget 2021 can be widely considered as one of the most difficult times in Humankind (owing to COVID 19). While presenting her third budget (by far the most challenging), Honourable Finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has delivered a budget, that is expected to lay the groundwork for Indian growth and development for years to come.
The FM budget speech this year was economical in terms of time spent. A shade under an hour and 50 minutes as compared to 2 hr and 40 minutes last year. In her speech, Honorable FM laid mentioned the budget which is built on the following 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 government-maximum governance
The primary focus of this budget was to create jobs primarily through big infrastructure announcements. Now, let us give you a brief Union Budget 2021 Overview.
Budget 2021 Overview – Major Budgetary Announcements
Here are some of the key announcements in this budget included:
- Since the last budget, the nominal GDP has reduced to Rs. 1.94 from 2.24 lakh crore. This is owing to the increase in expenditure to handle the situation of Pandemic, COVID-19
- For the first time ever, the budget went paperless and it was presented on Made In India tablet.
- The total COVID support measures amounted to nearly 13% of the GDP and total COVID-19 support measures by the government and RBI amount to Rs 27.1 lakh crore
- The PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana is projected to outlay Rs 64,180 crores over the next six years. The aim of this scheme is to develop the overall healthcare system and develop institutions for the detection and cure of new and emerging diseases
- The Jal Jeevan Mission Urban to be launched and it has an outlay of Rs. 2.87 lakh crores. The aim of this scheme is to provide Universal water supply, 2.86 crores household tap connections and liquid waste management 500 AMRUT cities
- A grant of Rs. 35000 crores have been provided for COVID vaccines for the year 2021-22. And if required then the government is committed to spending more.
- For Railways, a total amount of Rs. 1,10,055 crores have been committed. And this money will be used for overall railway infrastructure development and for 100% electrification of railway broad gauge by 2023
- The government to allot Rs 1.03 lakh crore for National Highway Projects in Tamil Nadu. Rs 65,000 core for National Highway Projects in Kerala; Rs 25,000 crore for National Highway Projects in West Bengal. The government will also allot additional Rs 34,000 crore for National Highway Projects in Assam.
- The FM also proposed to divest two PSU banks and one general insurance company in FY22. Further, divestments of BPCL, CONCOR, Pawan Hans, and Air India will be completed in FY22. FY22 Divestment target is at Rs 1.75 lakh crore.
- The Government also aims at doubling the ship recycling capacity by 2024. More seven port projects worth more than Rs. 20,000 crores to be undertaken in FY 2022 via PPP
- Social security benefits to be extended to gig and platform workers. Women to be allowed to work in all categories in night shift also
- The ‘1 Nation 1 Ration Card’ plan is under implementation by 32 States & UTs. The Centre will launch a portal to collect data on migrant workers.
- Senior citizens to be benefitted. The ones who are having income sources as Interest and Pension income are exempted. The age limit is for citizens above 75 years. Further, the timeline for re-opening of tax returns has been reduced to three years from six years.
- To reduce hassle for small taxpayers a dispute resolution committee has been proposed. This will be faceless to ensure efficiency and transparency. Anyone with a taxable income up to Rs 50 Lakhs & disputed income up to Rs 10 Lakhs are eligible to approach the committee.
- Custom duties are aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing and to promote that following steps have been taken: 1)Cutting duty on Copper scrap to 2.5 %, 2) Plan on bringing nylon at par with polyester with respect to taxation, 3)Duty on Naphtha reduced to 2.5%, 4)The plan is to rationalize custom duties on Gold and Silver
- The power distribution companies across the country are monopolistic and a need to provide choice to the consumers. A framework will be put in place to give consumers alternatives to choose from among more than one distribution company.
Budget 2021 Overview: Major Reactions on the Budget
According to PM Narendra Modi, Budget Will Give Major Boost To Agriculture, Create Employment
Congress leader Anand Sharma said that the “nation needed a bold budget and more direct transfers to the weaker sections to revive demand, restart job creation.”
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed Budget 2021 as the budget for an AtmaNirbhar Bharat that will strengthen the economy.
According to Tapati Ghose, Partner, Deloitte India, The budget speech had an undertone of the Government’s focus on ease of doing business in India. Towards the FM reiterated that tax systems to be transparent, efficient and promote investments in our country. The tax rates, surcharge, cess etc. have been left untouched. Even the much-debated Covid Cess was not brought out. This brings stability and certainty to the tax framework. Definitely a positive move.
According to Adar Poonawala, CEO, Serum Institute of India, “Great Budget 2021 announcements, Nirmala Sitharaman ji, especially on healthcare and vaccines; this is the best investment any country can make. A healthier India is a more productive India
According to Harsh Goenka, Chairman of RPG group, “Cong-anti poor,anti-farmer, unimaginative. BJP-innovative,pro-farmer, help all sections of society CII, FICCI-will kickstart economy, encourage investment
Some TV channels-wasted opportunity, will increase inflation Businessmen-pathbreaking, 10/10”