Union Budget 2019 India: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sought to apply a soothing balm over the tax wounds inflicted upon India’s super-rich in her maiden Union Budget.
Union Budget 2019 India: The extra surcharge on the tax on individuals with very high income is a small contribution to nation building, she said in the Lok Sabha during a debate on the Union Budget 2019. Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed to raise the surcharge from 15% to 25% for people earning between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore and to 37% for those with income above that, per year.
Speaking in the last budget session of 14th Finance Commission, Sitharaman said that central sponsored scheme amount allocation is higher than earlier. She also mentioned that the budget reflects the government’s commitment to boost investment in agriculture and social sector. Budget expenditure in agriculture related schemes has been doubled in 2019-20. Expenditure on the schemes under Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare has been raised from Rs 67,800 crore to Rs 1.3 lakh crore in the current year. Sitharaman said the Centre has raised Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all 22 commodities.
Sitharaman said that the government aims to spend Rs 27.86 lakh crore in FY 2019-20 and the amount to be transferred to the states is estimated to be Rs 13.29 lakh crore. Keeping the fiscal deficit target for the current financial year 2019-20 at 3.3%, Sitharaman assured that the government is committed towards financial consolidation without compromising expenditure.
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In her speech, Nirmala Sitharaman made it clear that economic growth is as important as national security. She said that the government is trying several steps to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25. Adding further, she mentioned that the government’s intention is to push infrastructure development and invest over Rs 100 lakh crore in the next five years.
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Nirmala Sitharaman revealed that the growth rate of nominal GDP in 2019-20 has been projected to be 12% at Rs 188.4 lakh crore, over advance estimates for the budget documents and the growth rate of nominal GDP has been projected to be 11%, at Rs 190.1 lakh crore over the provisional estimates for the economic survey.