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General Budget 2015-16
Mar 01, 2015

On 28th February, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely presented the Budger for 2015-16. Presenting the budget he announced the budget aimed at high growth and to boost investment and ensure that ordinary people benefit. He said Budget 2015-16 marks the beginning of co-operative federalism and empowerment of the states.

Key Features :

  • The total expenditure has been estimated at Rs 17,77,477 crore

  • Estimates of Plan expenditure at Rs 4,65,277 crore

  • Non-Plan expenditure estimates at Rs 13,12,200

  • 8 centrally sponsored schemes delinked from support of the centre 

  • 24 schemes to be run with the changed sharing pattern while 31 schemes will get full support of the centre

  • Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank to Refinance Micro Finance Institutions

  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana to cover Accidental Death Risk of Rs. 2 lakh for just Rs. 12 per year premium

  • Atal Pension Yojana for Defined Pension, Government to contribute 50% of the premium

  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana to cover both natural and accidental death risk

  • Proposal to create Senior Citizen Welfare Fund

  • National Investment & Infrastructure Fund to ensure an annual flow of 20,000 crores to it

  • Task Force to establish a Sector Neutral Financial Redressal Agency to be set up

  • Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds for projects in rail, road and irrigation sectors

  • SETU (Self-Employment & Talent Utilisation) Mechanism to support start-up businesses

  • 5 New Ultra Mega Power Projects to be set up

  • Gold Monetisation Scheme to replace present Gold Deposit and Gold Metal Loan Schemes

  • Sovereign Gold Bond, as an alternative to purchasing metal gold.

  • New scheme for depositors of gold to earn interest and jewellers to obtain loans on their metal accounts.

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to be set up

  • Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) to be set up

  • National Skills Mission will be launched soon

  • Student Financial Aid Authority to administer scholarships and educational loan schemes for poor students

  • Integrated education and livelihood scheme Nai Manzil will be launched for minorities

  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana to provide ‘Per Drop More Crop’

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna to be fully supported

  • Postal network spread across the country to be used for increasing access to formal financial system

  • Job creation through revival of growth and investment and promotion of domestic manufacturing and Make in India.

  • Deferment of the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) by two years to accelerate the momentum of investment sentiment in the country

  • Employees under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to be provided two options—1. May opt for EPF or the New Pension Scheme (NPS). 2. For employees below a certain threshold of monthly income, contribution to EPF should be optional, without affecting or reducing the employer’s contribution.

  • Forwards Markets Commission to be merged with SEBI

  • 5 New Ultra-Mega Power Projects to be set up

Main Budget Allocations :

  • Rs. 2,46,727 crore for Defence; an increase of 9.87 per cent over last year

  • Rs. 8.5 lakh crore for Farmers Credit 

  • Rs. 33,152 crore to the Health Sector 

  • Rs. 79,526 crore for Rural Development Activities including MGNREGA (34699 crore)

  • Rs. 68968 crore Education sector allocated 

  • Rs. 79526 Crore for  Rural Development 

  • Rs. 25000 crore for Rural Development Fund.

  • Rs. 68,968 crore for Education Sector including Mid-day Meals

  • Rs. 22,407 crore for Housing and Urban Development

  • Rs. 10,351 crore for Women and Child Development

  • Rs. 4,173 crore for Water Resources and Namami Gange

  • Rs. 1000 for Nirbhaya Fund

  • Rs. 5,300 crore for Micro Irrigation Programme.

  • Rs. 70,000 crores for Infrastructure Sector

  • Rs. 9000 crore unclaimed funds in PPF/EPF for will be used for Senior Citizens Fund

Taxation

  • The Service Tax rate is being increased from 12% plus Education Cesses to 14%

  • No change in the rate of personal income-tax and the rate of tax for companies on income in financial year 2015-16

  • Limit on deduction on account of contribution to a pension fund and the new pension scheme is proposed to be increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh.

  • Increase in the limit of reduction of health insurance premium from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000

  • All contributions to Sukanya Samridhi scheme to be tax free

  • Swachh Bharat Cess will be levied on all or certain taxable services at a rate of 2%

  • Eligible donations to Swachh Bharat Kosh and Clean Ganga Fund to be 100% deductible

  • Scheduled rate of Clean Energy Cess levied on coal lignite and peat is being increased form Rs. 100 per ton to Rs. 300 per ton

  • Concessional customs and excise duty rates on specified parts of Electrically Operated Vehicles and Hybrid Vehicles is being extended up to 31 March 2016

  • Wealth Tax abolished; replaced with additional 2% surcharge on super rich

  • Corporate tax will be reduced from 30% to 25% over next four years

  • Quoting PAN made mandatory for any sale exceeding Rs. 1 lakh

  • Health insurance premium exemption raised to Rs. 25,000 from Rs. 15,000

The Finance Minister counted five major challenges faced by the Indian economy which are agricultural income under stress, weak private sector investment in infrastructure, decline in manufacturing, resource crunch in view of higher devolution in taxes to states and maintaining fiscal discipline.


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