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LIVE: Union Budget 2020

Union Budget 2020-21 Latest Updates: Track this LIVE blog for the latest developments through the day

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LIVE: Press Conference by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Ordinance to amend IBC likely this week

03:45 PM- On divestment, FM Sitharaman said: “You will see successful divestments in the next few months. Between July (2019) and now, a lot of groundwork has happened. But the benefits will be seen in the next financial year.”

03:42 PM- FM Sitharaman said employer contribution to EPFO will be retained as exemption in the new regime.

03:41 PM- Fiscal deficit target raised to 3.8% from 3.3% for FY20

The government raised its FY20 fiscal deficit target to 3.8 percent of the GDP from 3.3 percent pegged earlier due to revenue shortage.

The government utilised ‘escape clause’ under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act which provides it leeway for relaxation of fiscal deficit roadmap during time of stress.

03:39 PM- FM Sitharaman on real estate: “We had announced some things earlier for the sector. We had announced that stalled projects need to be completed and will be given last-mile funding. Now, we have extended the date by one year.”

01:58 PM- “Fall in core sector growth is serious; Budget fails to layout roadmap on how to address it,” says Congress, news agency PTI has reported. The party’s leader, Anand Sharma, meanwhile, said that the Budget was “insipid, lacks stimulus for growth; no clear roadmap for job creation”.

01:47 PM- LIC IPO is likely to be the largest public issue in FY21 and most subscribed.

01:42 PM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman lays the Union Budget 2020 before the Parliament.

01:40 PM- Nirmala Sitharaman says customs duty on footwwear anf furniture is being raised. She added Make in India is giving dividends. Have made progress in medical equipments too, says FM. Government will provide health services to all. A health cess will be imposed on import of medical equipment, says FM.

01:38 PM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says exemptions from customs duty has been given in public interest from time to time. On review, some exemptions are being withdrawn, she added. Rest will be reviewed after September 2020.

01:36 PM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says GST rate is being deliberated upon. FM says ease of doing business has improved in India. Undue claims of FTA benefits has been a concern, says Sitharaman.

01:33 PM- FM says GST reforms will continue including a simplified return-filling form. Refund has been simplified and has been fully automated, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

01:29: PM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman that key is to reduce litigation in direct taxes. A total of 4.83 direct tax cases pending in various forums. So a new direct tax dispute settlement under ‘Vivad se Vishwaas Scheme’. No penalty will be charged if taxpayers pay by March 31, 2020.Here, only disputed tax amount has to be paid.

01:26 PM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says that it will amend I-T Act to enable faceless appeals on the lines of faceless assessments.

01:25 PM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says to ease deduction donation it is proposed to pre-fill information of those donating. This will result in hassle free claims for the individuals claiming tax exemptions.

01:23 PM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says for affordable housing, the deduction of Rs 1,50,000 will be extended to loan sanction by one year. Tax holiday on profits of developers involved in affordable housing projects will be extended by one year to March 2021. 

01:20 PM- Withholding tax extended to municipal bonds – Budget 2020 Latest Updates: FM Nirmala Sitharaman says the concessional 5% withholding tax has been extended  to municipal bonds. Cooperatives are taxed at 30 percent now.

FM says cooperatives can choose a 22 percent tax with 10 percent surcharge and 4 percent cess with no exemptions. 

01:13 PM- Dividend distribution tax abolished, says FM. Companies will no longer be required to pay DDT. A total of Rs 25,000 crore is revenue foregone due to DDT abolition, says FM. This will make India an attractive investment destination.

01:12 PM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says currently more than 100 exemptions provided in I-T Act. Now around 70 of them have been removed in the simplified regime. Remaining will be reviewed over the coming years to simplify the system, says FM.

– 10% for income between Rs 5 lakh-7.5 lakh against 20%.
– 15% for income between Rs 7.5 lakh-10 lakh against 20%
– 20% for income between Rs 10-12.5 lakh against 30%
– 25% for income between Rs 12.5 -15 lakh against 30%
– 30% for income above Rs 15 lakh

01:11 PM- There will be a significant reduction in tax payed even by those having Rs 15 lakh. But the new tax regime will be optional. A total of Rs 40,000 crore a year will be revenue foregone per year, says FM.

01:08 AM- FM says that the tax proposals would bring ease of compliance and reduce litigation. Nirmala Sitharaman says a new personal income tax regime would be reduced who forego deductions and exemptions. Tax of only 10 percent will be charged to Rs 5 lakh-7.5 lakh income as against prevailing 20 percent rate. From Rs 7.5 lakh-10 lakh income, a tax rate of 15 percent against 20 percent prevailing rate. For income Rs 10-12.5 lakh, a rate of 20 percent as against 30 percent earlier. For income between Rs 12.5 lakh-15 lakh will be taxed at 25 percent as against 30 percent. For those at Rs 15 lakh plus income, tax will be 30 percent.

01:03 AM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says that loss of substantial revenue in short term due to corporate tax rate cut. 

01:02 PM- The FY21 total expenditure at Rs 30.42 lakh crore, says FM. Net Market Borrowing for FY20 at Rs 4.99 lakh crore and net market borrowing for FY21 at Rs 5.36 lakh crore, says FM. 

01:00 PM- FM says issue of fiscal deficit has to be addressed in every budget. Government has undertaken tax reforms for this. We estimate fiscal deficit on 3.8 percent of GDP in FY20 and 3.5 percent for BEFY21, says FM.

12:57 AM- Revised expenditure estimate for FY20 at Rs 26.99 lakh crore, says FM. Revised receipts for FY21 at Rs 19.32 lakh crore. 

12:56 AM- Budget 2020 Latest Updates: FM says there has been a debate on projected fiscal numbers. Procedure adopted is compliant with FRBM Act, assures FM. She says repayment of these debts as hitherto are done of Consolidated Fund of India.

12:53 AM- Budget 2020 Latest Updates: Government to list LIC on the stock exchanges. Big news on Life Insurance Corporation of India which is the largest institutional investor.

12:52 AM- Budget 2020 Latest Updates: FM says IFSC has a potential to become a centre of finance. It has 19 insurance entities already and GIFT City will now set up an international bullion exchange. This will enable India to enhance its position, create more jobs and better price discovery of gold.

12:50 AM- Financial markets Budget 2020 Latest Updates: FM says for the financial markets, deepening the bond market is key. She says that some government securities will be open for non-resident investors. To improve investor confidence, a legislation on laying down mechanism for netting of financial contracts will be done. A debt ETF consisting of government securities will be launched. For NBFCs and HFCs, liqduity constraints will be addressed. The FPI Limit in corporate bonds will be raised to 15% from 9%.

12:47 AM- MSME Budget 2020 Latest Updates: Subordinate debt for entrepreneurs of MSMEs will be provided and will be treated as quasi-equity, says FM. More than 5 lakh MSME benefited from debt restructuring last year. Government has asked RBI to consider extending window of debt structuring by one year to March 2021 for this purpose. 

12:43 AM- BIG ANNOUNCEMENT BUDGET 2020 latest updates: She added that deposit insurance cover will be hiked to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh. She reiterated that all deposits are safe.

12:41 AM- Budget 2020 Latest Updates: Financial inclusion is key, says FM. A clean, reliable and robust financial sector is critical for robust economy, she says. Infused Rs 3.5 crore capital into PSU banks. A few among them will be encouraged to move capital market for fund raising purposes, said FM. She added that deposit insurance cover will be hiked to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh. She reiterated that all deposits are safe.

12:39 AM- G-20 Budget 2020 Latest Updates: India will host G-20 residency in 2022 during 75th year of India’s independence. During this event, India would be drive global economic advantage and an allocation of Rs 100 crore has been done for this purpose.

12:37 AM- FM says stable and predictable business environment is key for government. Contracts Act will be strengthened to ensure that all contracts are honoured, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

12:36 AM: FM says will businesses will need to be confident. She added that a  tax-payer charter will be instutitionalised in the budget. This will be building trust, says FM. Government will ensure that citizens need not worry about tax harassment, says FM. There is a debate on building criminal liabilites for civil acts. Companies Act will be amended to correct this, says Sitharaman.

12:35 AM- “Corporatisation of ports and listing of one major port will set the tone for asset monetisation in the ports sector,” says CRISIL.

12:33 AM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says governance and financial inclusion is needed. Governance should be clean and corruption free, she says. Trusting every citizen including aspirational youth, farmers, senior citizens and hard-working women is key, added FM.

12:30 AM- Ayushman Bharat, wealth creators being respected, PM Kisan doubling income, ease of living, national security being top priority are the main reforms of the country under PM Modi, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

12:28 AM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman quotes poet Thiruvalluvar. She says there are five jewels for a country, which is one without illness, one with wealth, it will have good crops, it should have happiness as well as safety/security, quoting the poet.

12:27 AM- Environment Budget 2020 Latest Updates: Climate change will be looked at. India’s commitment under the Paris Agreement action will kick-in from January 1,2021. Power plants with higher emissions will have to be closed. This land will be used for other purposes. Government will encourage plans to have clean air by the state governments with allocation of Rs 4,400 crore.

12:23 AM- Tourism Budget 2020 Latest Updates: Five archaeological sites will be set up with museums on site in Rakhi Gadi in Haryana, Hastinapur in UP, Dholavira in Gujarat, Shivsagar in Assam and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu. A tribal museum will be set up in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Maritime site will be set up in Lothal. A total of Rs 3,100 crore has been set aside for Culture Ministry in FY21. A 100 more airports will be developed under UDAN by 2024. A total of Rs 2,500 crore will be allocated for tourism promotion in FY21. 

12:19 AM- Proposed allocation for relief, development of SC/ST: FM Nirmala Sitharaman says for SC/OBC relief, a proposal of Rs 85,000 crore for FY21. For STs, Rs 53,700 crore will be provided. Allocation of Rs 9,500 crore for senior citizens for FY21, says FM.

12:18 AM- FM says gross enrollment of girls under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is higher than boys. Here, she says that gross enrollment of girls is 94.32 percent in elementary levels, 81.32 percent in secondary level and 59.7 prercent in higher secondary level. She adds that women are a priority especially pregnant women and lactating women. More than 6 lakh anganwadi workers are equipped to upload status of more than 10 crore households This scale is unprecedented. Overall, FM says there are imperatives to lower maternal mortality rates. FM proposes task-force on six months on this matter. An allocation of Rs 35,600 crore for nutrion-related programmes in FY21. Further, Rs 28,600 crore will be allocated in FY21 by government for women-linked programmes.

12:15 AM- “Powering railways via solar farms on land near tracks. Will be negative for discoms as it takes lucrative consumers away,” says CRISIL. 

12:13 AM- An allocation of Rs 8,000 crore has been set up for the National Mission on Quantum Computing and Technology.

12:12 AM- Mapping of genetic landscape is critical for India, says FM. Two national level science schemes to be set up for getting a comprehensive national-level database. 

12:10 AM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says India has embraced sharing economy with aggregators displacing regular businesses. Analytics, IoT and AI are changing the world. A policy will bve set up to build data centre parks throughout the country. All public institutions at Gram Panchayat levels will be provided with digital connectivity. Fibre to home through BharatNet will link 100,000 Gram Panchayats in FY21 itself. An allocation of Rs 6,000 crore will be provided for BharatNet.

12:08 AM- A new scheme of smart meters will be launched. Here, the prepaid meters will give freedom to give consumers to choose suuplier and rate as per their requirement, says FM. A total allocation of Rs 22,000 crore will be given to power and renewable sector, says Sitharaman. 

12:07 AM- “Solar plans for agri and railways will boost India’s renewable energy sector,” says CRISIL.

12:05 AM- More TejasExpress -type trains will be set up for tourist destinations, says FM. A governance framework for ports will be set up. It will also look at one major port and its listing on the stock exchanges, says FM. Government will provide 20% equity for Bengaluru Suburban Transportation Project. This will be a Rs 18,600 crore project.

12:02 AM- A total of 12 lots of highway bundles will be monetised by 2024, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman.

12:01 AM- FM says National Infrastructure Pipeline involves 6,500 projects. NSDC will help skill development in the infrastructure sector. Making MSMEs competitive will be our goal. A total of 9,000 km of economic corridor will be set up, says FM. Chennai-Bengaluru expressway will also be started, says FM. Delhi-Mumbai Expressway To Be Completed By 2023, she added.

12:00 AM- Proposed allocation for development of Industry & Commerce: FM Sitharaman proposes allocation of Rs 27,300 crore for industry and commerce In FY21. 

11:58 AM- Export Budget 2020 Latest Updates: A new scheme Nirvik will be offered for exporters. This will have lower premiums and a faster claims settlement. Refund to exporters the duties levied including electricity and VAT which have been not refunded. This will be launched this year itself, says FM. Each district will have to be developed as an export hub. The governments e-marketplace has a lot of opportunities for SMEs. A total allocation of Rs 27,300 crore for development of industry and commerce in FY21, says FM.

11:55 AM- FM says there is cost advantage for electronics manufacturing in India. But she says that this needs more investment. FM proposes a scheme on encourage manufacturing of mobile phones, semi conductor packaging and electronic equipment, She said that this can be used for manufacture of medical devices as well. A detailed scheme with details will be released soon.

11:53 AM- FM says India for a millennium has been rich in skills in mettalurgy and trading. FM says entrepreneurship is the spirit of India ad has been its strength. Indians have given up greener pastures to come back to India and look at local challenges, she added. Will creare more opportunities for startup owners. Investment clearance cell will be set up for entrepreneurs, she added. These individuals will be offered assistance in funding as well and a portal will be set up for this purpose. 

11:50 AM- “District-level storage infrastructure to get a boost through Centre- states, and private partnerships. Efficient implementation is key,” says CRISIL. 

11:48 AM- There is a huge demand for teachers, nurses, paramedical staff and care givers abroad. However, their skill-sets do not match standards and needs to be improved, says FM.

11:47 AM- Degrees can be taken online soon and will be offered by the Top 100 NIRF ranked institutes, says Nirmala Sitharaman. INDSAT exam will be held in Asian and African for scholarships to Study in India. Police Academy and Forensic Sciences will be set up, she added.

11:45 AM- Education Budget 2020 Latest Updates: FM says dialogues have been with states about education policy of NEP. She added that NEP will be announced soon. Education sector needs greater finance to attract good teachers, she said. ECBs and FDI will looked for education sector. A total of 150 higher education institutes will have apparenticeship programmes by March 2021. Urban local bodies will provide fresh engineers a job opportunity for one year, says FM. This will help engineers learn on the job, she says.

11:43 AM- FM says the TB Harega, Desh Jeetega campaign will be strengthened to end TB by 2025 in the country. A total of Rs 69.000 crore has been provided for the healthcare sector of which PM Jan Arogya Yojana will get Rs 6,400 crore.

11:42 AM- FM says the TB Harega, Desh Jeetega campaign will be strengthened to end TB by 2025 in the country. A total of Rs 69.000 crore has been provided for the healthcare sector of which PM Jan Arogya Yojana will get Rs 6,400 crore.

11:40 AM- FM says there is a holistic vision of healthcare. Mission Indradhanush has been extended to cover new diseases and new vaccines. Fit India is part of it, she said. There are 20,000 empanelled hospitals in Ayushman Bharat and need more in Tier 2 and 3 cities to benefit poor in these areas. PPP mode hospitals will be set up under viability gap funding to look at areas where there are no hospitals. This will be 112 aspitational districts where first priority will be given.

11:37 AM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says for agri and allied activities an allocation of Rs 2.83 lakh crore has been made for FY21. This includes agriculture, irrigation, rural development, Panchayati Raj. 

11:36 AM- Doubling of milk producing capacity will be to 108 MT by 2025 from 53.5 MT, says Nirmala Sitharaman. WiIl raise 200 lakh tons of fish production and there will be Sagar Mitras who will be the fish farmers, says Sitharaman. Added to this is production of algae and caged cultivation as well, says FM. 

11:34 AM- Farmer relief Budget 2020 Latest Updates: NBFCS and cooperatives are active in agriculture. NABARD refinance scheme will be expanded, says FM. There will be Rs 15 lakh crore agriculture credit availability, said Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:33 AM- Vinay Pandit, Head, Institutional Equities, IndiaNivesh: This is the budget to boost income and enhance purchasing power. At the beginning, (it) gives a sign of things to come. Expect significant benefits for consumption as the speech progresses. Aspirations, Economic development, Caring Society— an ACE in the making (is) aimed towards a $5 tn economy by 2024-25. If achieved with the right efforts, is in the right direction. 

11:30 AM- FM Nirmala Sitharaman quotes Atichudi of Saint Avaiyar and says that farm land should have sufficient manure and water and not an excessive one. Will also revise incentives for use of chemical fertilisers, says FM. Warehouse building incentives will also be given by the government for the farmers. The thrust, she says, is to offer viability gap funding and Mudra loans will also be provided for such self-help groups. Here, women will be the ‘dhanya Laxmi’ in the villages, she added. 

11:27 AM- PM Kusum Scheme reduced dependence on diesel and kerosene and relied on social energy. Total of 20 lakh farmers can set up standalone solar pumps, she says. Further, she said that government can help 15 lakh solarise grid-connected pump sets, says finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Farmers can also use barren land for solar energy and have a livelihood out of it, says FM.

11:24 AM- Budget 2020 Latest Updates: FM translates Kashmiri poem into Hindi. It says, “Hamara vatan kilte huey Shalimar bagh jaise …hamara vatan dal lake me khilte huey kamal jaisa…naujawanon ke garm khoon jaisa…mera vatan tera vatan hamar vatan duniya ka sabse pyara vatan”

11:23 AM- Agriculture Budget 2020 Latest Updates: Will double farmer income by 2022, says Finance Minister. A total of 6.11 crore farmers insured under Fasal Bima, says finance minister. She says hand-holding of farm-based activities needs to be done. This, she said, can be done in cooperation with states. Presents a 16-point action plan for this purpose.

11:21 AM- Budget 2020 Latest Updates: FM Nirmala Sitharaman will talk about skills, education and agriculture in the first theme. 

11:20 AM- FM says our country is like a Shalimar garden, it is like a lotus on Dal Lake, like the warm blood of our youth and it is our best country in the world.

11:18 AM- Budget 2020 Latest Updates: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman recites a few verses in Kashmiri. 

11:18 AM- Budget 2020 Latest Updates: Digital revolution will see the next wave, says FM. Will achieve seamless delivery of services through this, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:16 AM- Entrepreneurship has helped wither crisis, says finance minister.

11:15 AM- Technology like machine learning, robotics, AI alongwith number of productive age group (15-65 years) are cross-cutting streams in India, says finance minister. This is special to India, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:14 AM- Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman says central government debt reduced to 48.7% of GDP in 2019. Will take the country forward, says FM.

11:13 AM- Poverty alleviation: There are 1 million out of poverty and we should be proud of it, says finance minister.

11:12 AM- Moved on from over 4 percent growth in 1950s to 7.4 percent to 2014-19 period, says finance minister.

11:11 AM- Nirmala Sitharaman mentions insurance protection, digital penetration, affordable housing and Ayushman Bharat as key reforms of the government. 

11:11 AM- Motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’ has implemented new programmes for poor and disadvantaged under PM Modi, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:10 AM– Total of 60 lakh new taxpayers and 105 crore e-way bills generated under GST, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:09 AM- GST reforms: GST has integrated economically and has consolidated multiple taxes, says Nirmala Sitharaman. GST has led to inspector raj vanishing, says FM. Average household now saves 4 percent of monthly spend due to reduced GST rates, she added.

11:07 AM– Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman says GST has been the most historic reform in the country. FM pays homage to late Arun Jaitley who was the architect of goods and services tax.

11:06 AM– Fundamentals of economy are strong and inflation is well contained, says finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:04 AM– FM Nirmala Sitharaman says in May 2019 PM Narendra Modi received a massive mandate to form the government again. WiIl serve with humility and dedication, says the FM.

11:03 AM-Nirmala Sitharaman presents the statement of receipts and expenditure for FY21. 

11:02 AM– Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rises to present Budget

10:59 AM– Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman may give a path to revival of the economy in FY21.

Budget 2020 live updates: Cabinet meeting to approve Budget underway.

Biggest issue today is job creation for youth: Ashok Gehlot 

Even as Congress has said that it hopes the Union Budget will provide relief to salaried class and invest in rural India, its leader and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the “biggest issue today is job creation for our youth”.

Budget 2020 live updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s family including her daughter Parakala Vangmayi arrive in Parliament.

Video Source- India Today.