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National AI portal & centre, tax redemption, Vision 2030 and more: Highlights of Budget 2019

Budget 2019

The weekend has arrived, and it seems like the perfect end to Friday with the recently out – Union Budget 2019.

Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal has presented the much awaited Budget for the year 2019-20 which is also an interim one. From showering tax sops to middle class to announcing national AI portal, the please-all budget sounds like a true treat for all the economic sectors.

Here’s a look at the highlights of Budget 2019 India:

Announcement of the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre, National AI Portal

With a strong case for futuristic AI technology, Goyal said that AI and related technologies will soon be a part of national program with government envisaging a national AI portal. Government will also be building nine priority areas for this.

The government under the Make in India programme was able to increase the number of mobile and parts manufacturing companies from 2 to over 268, per the interim finance minister. Such developments will help in creating huge job opportunities in the country.

Tax redemption of up to 5 Lakh rupees

Individuals with net taxable income of less than Rs 5 Lakh, are free from paying taxes, per the government budget 2019 proposal. However, there is no change in slabs, as clarified by the finance minister.

Other tax benefits include rollover on capital tax gains increasing from one residential house to two houses now. This rollover of up to Rs 2 crore can be exercised only once in a lifetime.

Income tax returns will be processed within 24 hours and is proposed to be paid immediately, within two years.

MSME registered under GST to get 2 percent interest subvention on a loan of Rs 1 crore

Per the finance minister’s speech, government has taken multiple initiatives to lend support to the MSME sector that gives employment to crores of people in the country.

Standard tax deduction for the salaried class and pensioners increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000

This move is poised to encourage more tax savings for the salaried class. The benefit of standard deduction is not only for the salaried class, but also the pensioners who are receiving pensions directly from their previous employers can benefit from this proposal.

Rental income TDS raised to Rs 2.4 Lakh from Rs 1.8 Lakh

The interim finance minister proposed to increase the TDS threshold on rental income to Rs 2.4 Lakh from Rs. 1.8 Lakh. Also, the TDS threshold limit on bank’s interest and post office deposits has been raised to Rs 40,000 from Rs. 10,000.

10 dimensions of Vision for India 2030

Acting finance minister also elucidated the top ten dimensions of India’s vision for 2030.

  • Provide ease of living with special focus on building physical as well as social infrastructure.
  • To digitize the government with synergies of young leaders and to shape Digital India.
  • To transform country into ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.’
  • Focus on electric vehicles and renewables to make a cleaner and pollution free India.
  • Ayushman Bharat initiative to promote healthy India with equal rights to women and special focus to enhance their safety and empowerment.
  • Increase the use of modern digital technologies to generate massive employment and expand rural industrialization.
  • Increasing world exports to meet global food needs and to produce organic food in the country.
  • Providing safe drinking water and ensuring efficient use of water through micro-irrigation methods and to clean-up rivers.
  • To make India a launch pad of satellites with a focus on space programme – Gaganyaan. To place an Indian astronaut into space by 2022.
  • Develop inland waterways faster, scale-up Sagarmala. Foster growth and development by harnessing long coastline and oceans of the country.

A quick glance at other important highlights of Union Budget 2019 India:

  • Businesses with an annual turnover of less than Rs 5 crore, will be allowed to file quarterly returns. This comprises over 90% of GST payers.
  • 80,000 crore rupees relief to consumers with considerable reduction in GST.
  • Anonymized tax system will now electronically manage assessment and verification of IT returns.
  • 6,000 annual cash dole to the poor farmers in a scheme that will cost Rs 75,000 crore annually.
  • Proposal to launch mega pension yojana for the unorganized sector workers with a monthly income of up to Rs 15,000.
  • India poised to become a USD 5 trillion economy in next five years and USD 10 trillion in 8 years thereafter.
  • Direct tax collections increased to 12 lakh crore rupees from 6.38 lakh crore rupees in 2013-14.
  • GST collections cross 1 Lakh crore rupees mark.
  • One nation one tax eases the way of doing business with making India one common market with tax consolidation.
  • India is now possibly offering the lowest voice and data consumption service in the world.

What is the IT industry saying?

We got in touch with RackNap’s Vice-President – Sabarinathan Sampath, to know his views on the budget – “Very excited to hear that government will invest more in creating awareness about Artificial Intelligence. This could help businesses and IT companies to take these technologies to the common man who could benefit from it.

He added, “The Vision 2030: Digital India reaching every citizen is a very bold one. This requires considerable work at the grass roots and IT companies will play a big role in this. Gone will be the days when IT companies found work abroad. Instead with government attention on “Digital India” campaign, they can start focusing more on India now and serve the Indian market! Full tax rebate for up to Rs. 5 Lakhs annual income is a huge positive step and in the right direction.”

Overall, the interim union budget is a good trailer of the final budget set to be presented after May 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Surely the budget highlights leave the country pondering – How’s the Josh!

Drop in your comments and stay tuned for all the latest updates. Follow us on @Wire19s.

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