Budget 2020 live updates | New scheme to bring down direct tax disputes

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds a folder containing the Union Finance Budget documents at the North Block in New Delhi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s second Budget is being presented in Lok Sabha. It is expected to announce measures to restore economic growth and to set out a clear road map for achieving the ambitious target of $ 5 trillion economy by 2025.

Here are the latest updates:

1.30 p.m.

Aadhaar-based verification for GST compliance

Instant PAN based on Aadhaar proposed.

Aadhaar-based verification for GST compliance to be introduced to identify dummies.

Imports under FTA are on the increase. Provisions of checking of dumping of goods are being strengthened. Customs duty hike on footwear and furnitures.

Now for Make In India policies - India is now making world class goods and exporting such products. We have made considerable progress in medical equipment too. This sector deserves further support as the govt is also committed to health care for all. I propose to impose a nominal cess on medical equipment imports as these goods are now being made in India.

She tables the rest of the pages as she feels unwell.

She then tables statements on fiscal responsibility and budget management. She then asks for leave to introduce the Finance Bill, 2020. The Bill is introduced.

House is adjourned till February 3, 2020.

1.20 p.m.

New scheme to bring down direct tax disputes

MSME, business with turnover of ₹1 crore. To reduce the burden on MSME industry, propose to raise the turnover threshold for audit has been raised to ₹5 crore. 

A new faceless appeals scheme is already in use. Currently most of the functions of the income tax are performed in electronic mode. To enhance this, the Income Tax act is amended to 'no dispute, but trust' scheme.

Currently there are 4,83,000 direct tax case pending in various appellate tribunal. This year, a new scheme is proposed to bring down the number for direct tax disputes.

1.10 p.m.

No more DDT

Dividend Distribution Tax - currently, companies are required to pay DDT on dividends paid to shareholders at 15% plus additional surcharge. It has been argued that the system of levying DDT results in increase of tax burden for investors.

Further, non-availability of credit for DDT to most foreign investors in their own country, hurts their returns. I propose to remove the DDT. Now the company shall not be liable to pay DDT, and the dividend will be taxed only in the hands of the recipient.

1 p.m.

Tax slabs revised

Our govt has spearheaded radical fiscal measures to ensure that the Indian economy continues to tread the path of high growth. To make sure India stays competitive, we took the bold decision to reduce corporate tax rate for new mfg companies to an unprecedented 15% and 22% for existing companies, which is the lowest in the world

Net market borrowing for FY21 at ₹5.36 lakh crore.

Personal Income Tax and simplification of taxation: Presently, an individual pays 20% on income between ₹5 lakh and 10 lakh. Currently, the IT act is riddled by various exemptions that make compliance burdensome. It is almost impossible for a taxpayer to comply without taking professional help

I propose to bring a new simplified PIT regime, wherein IT rates will be significantly reduced for those who forgo exemptions. For income between ₹5 lakh and ₹7.5 lakh, can now pay 10% instead of the present 20%.

For incomes between ₹7.5 lakh to ₹10 lakh, the income tax rate has been reduced to 15% from 20% presently.

Similarly, for income between ₹10 lakh to ₹12.5 lakh, the tax is currently 30% that is now being brought down to 20%. For those earning between ₹12.5-15 lakh will be charged 25%. Those earning above ₹15 lakh will continue to pay 30%.


Income (per annum)Proposed Tax Rate Old Tax Rate
Upto ₹2.5 lakhNo taxNo tax
₹2.5 lakh to ₹5 lakhNo tax5%
₹5 lakh to ₹7.5 lakh10% 20%
₹7.5 lakh to ₹10 lakh15% 20%
₹10 lakh to ₹12.5 lakh20%30%
₹12.5 lakh to ₹15 lakh25%30%
Above ₹15 lakh30%30%


Those who want to be in the old regime with exemptions, can continue to pay at the old rates. A new personal income tax rate will entail estimated revenue foregone of ₹40,000 crore per year. More than 100 exemptions of different nature are currently provided in the IT act. I have removed around 70 of them in the new regime. We will review the rest of the exemptions in coming years.

12.55 p.m.

Nominal growth estimated at 10%

Overhaul of Centrally sponsored schemes and central sector schemes necessary.

For greater clarity, I have enumerated central govt debt that are not part of market borrowings but are used to fund for expenditure.

RE of expenditure for 2019-20 - ₹26.99 lakh crore, receipts - ₹19.22 lakh crore.

We have estimated nominal growth for the year 2020-21 at 10%. Accordingly, receipts for the year are estimated at ₹22.46 lakh crore.

And level of expenditure has been kept at ₹30. 42 lakh crore. There's substantial enhancement on the capital expenditure front. Every Budget must address appropriately the issue of Fiscal Deficit. Recently, govt has undertaken very significant tax reforms for boosting investment. We estimate a fiscal deficit of 3.8% in RE 2019-20 and 3.5% in BE 2020-21.

I have taken a 0.5% deviation from the FRBM law targets for both years, based on the trigger it permits for a phase of structural reforms. ₹4.99 lakh crore borrowing in 2019-20 and ₹5.3 lakh crore in 2020-21.

12.45 p.m.

Govt to sell part of stake in LIC

Minister proposes a scheme of subordinate debt for MSMEs. Govt requested RBI to extend the debt recast window of MSME by one year to 31 March 2021.

Certain specified categories of government securities will be opened for non-resident investors. Limit of FPI in Corp bond increased to 15%.

Govt. plans to sell a part of its stake in LIC.

12.30 p.m.

Govt holding in IDBI Bank to be sold

A taxpayer charter is to be enshrined in the statutes to avoid citizen harassment. Major reforms proposed in recruitment in non-gazetted posts in government and public sector banks. Govt to set up National Recruitment agency for recruitment to non gazetted posts.

New National Policy on Official Statistics proposed. Clean, reliable, robust financial sector critical for economy. To achieve $5 trillion, financial architecture should keep evolving. In the last few years ₹3.5 lakh crore has been infused in public sector banks as capital.

A mechanism is in place to monitor the health of all Scheduled Commercial Banks. Depositors’ money in Scheduled Commercial Banks is absolutely safe. Deposit insurance cover increased to ₹5 lakh from ₹1 lakh.

Govt holding in IDBI Bank to be sold to private sector.

12.20 p.m.

Five archaeological sites to be developed

Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation to be set up, with the status of a deemed university.

Five archaeological sites will be developed as world-class sites - Rakhigarhi, Haryana; Hastinapur, UP; Sivasagar, Assam; Dholavira, Gujarat; Adichanallur, TN.

A Tribal Museum is proposed in Ranchi.

Ministry of Culture - ₹3,150 crore.

India's tourism sector grew at 7.8% to 1.88 lakh crore from 1.75 lakh crore. ₹2,500 crore allocated to promote tourism

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure launched from September 2019. Its implementation will be from January 2021.

₹4,400 crore allocated to promote clean air in cities with 1 million population.

She quotes the Thirukkural: Piniyinmai Selvam Vilaivinpam Emam Aniyenpa Naattiv Vaindhu (A country's jewels are these five: unfailing health, farm productivity, and joy, a good defence, and wealth)

National Security is the top priority of this government. She compares Ayushman Bharat initiative to Thiruvalluvar's emphasis on a healthy nation. As FM compares Mr. Modi with Thiruvalluvar, Opposition begins slogan shouting.

12.10 p.m.

₹8,000 crore for National Mission on Quantum Technology

The govt proposes to expand the national gas grid from 16,200 km to 27,000 km.

Soon there will be a policy to enable the private sector to build data centre parks throughout the country. Fibre to Home connections through Bharat Net will link 1 lakh gram panchayats this year itself. The Bharat Net programme will be allocated ₹6,000 crore.

Budget proposes to provide ₹8,000 crore over five years for the National Mission on Quantum Technology and Applications.

‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ has yielded tremendous results, she says, and other Members in the House raise their voices against the Minister’s statement. Gross enrollment is higher than boys, she says. I would request you not to politicise the issue, FM tells Opposition MPs.

₹35,600 crore allocated for nutrition-related programmes.

We will appoint a task force to look into the issue of low age of girls entering motherhood.

SC and OBC development - ₹85,000 crore

ST development - ₹53,700 crore

Senior citizens and persons with disabilities - ₹9,000 crore.

12 noon

₹1.7 lakh crore for transport infrastructure

The National Infrastructure Pipeline presents a huge employment opportunity. A National Logistics Policy to be released soon.

Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway to be started.

Within 100 days of the governments formation, it has eliminated unmanned level crossings, and aimed to achieve electrification of 27000 km of lines. We plan a large solar power capacity for Indian Railways, alongside the rail track on the land owned by the Railways.

The government also proposes a Bengaluru suburban rail project at a cost of ₹18,600 crore.

Govt to monetize 12 lots of national highways by 2024. 100 more airports will be developed by 2024 to support UDAN.

Budget proposes to provide ₹1.7 lakh crore for transport infrastructure in 2021. Aircraft fleet size will increase to 1,200 planes by 2024.

Govt urges the States to replace the existing energy meters with prepaid smart meters.

Budget to provide ₹22,000 crore to power and renewable energy sector.

11.50 a.m.

Each district to become an export hub

An Investment Clearance Cell to be set up to provide end to end facilitation services, including free investment advisory, information related to land banks. It will work through a portal. Five new smart cities have been planned.

India needs to attract large investments in electronics manufacturing. She proposes a scheme for encouraging investment in this. She also proposes a National Technical Textiles Mission with an outlay of ₹1,480 crore over 4 years to cut down imports.

All ministries will issue quality standards. A new scheme, NIRVIK will be launched. Reversion of duties and taxes on exported products to be launched this year

Each district is to become an export hub, she says. Budget to provide ₹27,300 crore for development and promotion of industry and commerce in 2021.

11.45 a.m.

FDI in education proposed

Minister proposes FDI and ECB in education.

150 higher education institutions to start apprenticeships. Urban Local Bodies to provide internships opportunities for fresh engineers for a year.

In order to provide quality education to students of deprived sections, it is proposed to start a degree level full-fledged online education programme.

Under the Study in India programme, an INDSAT exam is proposed to be held in Asian and African countries. A National Police University and National Forensic Science University are proposed.

There is a shortage of qualified medical doctors. For this, it is proposed to attach a medical college to existing district hospitals under PPP mode.

Education sector - ₹99,300 crore

Skill development - ₹3,000 crore.

11.40 a.m.

Swachch Bharat mission to get ₹12,300 crore

The Minister moves on to wellness, water and sanitation.

Fit India movement is a vital part of the fight against non-communicable diseases.

The government proposes to set up hospitals in Tier-II and Tier-III cities with the private sector using PPP.

The Minister also proposes to expand Jan Aushadhi Kendra.

Health sector allocation - ₹69,000 crore.

Swachch Bharat mission - ₹12,300 crore

11.30 a.m.

Railways to launch Kisan Rail for cold storage

The Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail for cold storage of perishable goods through the PPP model. Krishi UDAN will be launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on international and national routes.

For the horticulture sector, with its current produce of 311 million metric tonnes exceeds the production of foodgrains. For better marketing and exports we will support States which support ‘one product, one district’.

Integrated farming systems in rain-fed areas will be established.

Youth and fishery extension work to be enabled by rural youth as Sagar Mitras, 500 fish farmer producing organisations to be set up.

Financing on negotiable warehousing receipts has already crossed ₹6,000 crore.

Agricultural credit target has been set at ₹15 lakh crore. All eligible beneficaries of PM Kisan will be covered under Kisan Credit Card scheme.

MNREGA will be dovetailed to create fodder farms.

By 2022-23, she proposes raising fish production to 200 lakh tonnes.

58 lakh SHGs have been mobilised to alleviate poverty.

The fund allocation for all these steps: for the sector comprising agriculture, allied activities - ₹2.83 lakh crore.

11.21 a.m.

Govt committed to doubling farm income by 2022

The government is committed to doubling farm income by 2022.

The first thing is to encourage State governments to implement model laws passed by the central government — Model Agri Land Leasing Act, 2016, APMC, 2017 and Contract Farming, 2018.

The second action point is comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts.

The third action point is to provide 20 lakh farmers with stand-alone solar pumps. We shall also help another 15 lakh farmers to solarise their farms.

The fourth is to encourage balanced use of all kinds of fertilisers. This is to change the current incentive regimes, she says.

She then quotes the Aathichudi by Auvaiyar. Bhoomi Thiruthi Unn (Take care of your land first).

The next is a proposed village storage scheme run by self-help groups. Women SHGs can get assistance from NABARD or Mudra.

11.20 a.m.

She reads out a Kashmiri poem, which she then translates in Hindi.

Hamaara watan Khilte Shalimar bagh ke tarah

Hamara watan Dal lake mein Khilte hue Kamal jaisa hai

Naujawano ke garam Khoon jaisa hai

Mera watan tera watan hamara watan, Duniya ka sabse pyara watan

Our country is like a blooming Shalimar Bagh,

Our country is like a lotus blooming in Dal Lake

Its like the warm blood flowing through our youth's veins

My country, your country, our country, The world's most adorable country.

11.10 a.m.

Fifth largest economy in the world

The implementation of schemes and programmes that directly benefited the poor and the disadvantaged was sped up and scaled up, says the Finance Minister. She lists Ayushman Bharat, UPI, affordable housing through PMAY etc. The milestones achieved are unprecedented, globally recognised, she says.

We have moved on from a growth rate of just over 4% to around 7% in 2014-19.

Inflation was 9% in the last two decades, she says. We are now the fifth largest economy in the world, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

Our government shall work towards taking the country forward so that we can leapfrog to the next level of wealth, prosperity and well-being, she says.

Three prominent themes in the Budget are — aspirational India, economic development for all, a caring society that is both humane and compassionate.

The digital revolution which has placed India in a unique position globally will govern the future. We shall aim speedy delivery of services, she says.

11 a.m.

Nirmala Sitharaman begins her Budget speech

House is in session. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair. Papers are laid on the table.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rises to lay on the table the report of the 15th Finance Commission.

Ms. Sitharaman then presents a statement of estimated receipts and expenditure.

She then rises to present the Union Budget 2020-21. “In May 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a massive mandate to form the government again. People of India have unequivocally given their janaadesh for not just political stability, but have also reposed their faith in our economic policy. Let our businesses be innovative, healthy and solvent with use of technology.

Ms. Sitharaman presents a picture of “vibrant India” with what she calls the “gentle breeze of technology” to uplift minorities.

The Minister calls GST as historic and mourns the passing of Arun Jaitley, whom she calls the “architect of GST”. GST has integrated the country economically, she says, and has resulted in the formalisation of the economy. The turnaround time for trucks has reduced by 20%. Inspector Raj has vanished, she says.

The average family has saved 4% of its monthly spending on account of reduced GST rates. We have added 60 lakh new taxpayers, she says.

10.45 a.m.

Merge 'Make in India' with 'Assemble in India' to create jobs: Eco-Survey

The economic survey 2019-20 urged the government to integrate 'Make in India' with 'Assemble in India' to create 4 crore jobs by 2025. The survey pointed out that the current international trade environment presents an opportunity for India to chart a China-like, labour intensive, export trajectory. This in turn will create jobs for the youth, the survey said.

Officials check the Union Budget 2020 documents outside the Parliament building in New Delhi

Officials check the Union Budget 2020 documents outside the Parliament building in New Delhi   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy


By integrating 'Assemble in India for the world' into 'Make in India', India can raise its export market share to about 3.5% by 2025 and 6% by 2030. This will create 8 crore by 2030, the survey said.

10.30 a.m.

Delhi should get even more in this Budget, says Kejriwal

“People of Delhi hope that the Centre will protect the interests of Delhi. In view of the elections, Delhi should get even more. The budget will show how much the BJP cares about Delhi,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet on Saturday.

10 a.m.

Congress hopes Union Budget will provide relief to salaried class, invest in rural India

The Congress expressed hope that the Union Budget 2020 would provide relief to the salaried class through tax cuts and invest in rural India besides providing a healing touch to the common man and industry facing “hardship” since demonetisation.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the last budget led to crashing consumption levels, soaring unemployment and falling GDP.

“Budget 2019= Consumption crashed, Unemployment soared, Farm distress surged, Incomes declined, Investments slumped, Public spending fell, GDP nose dived!,” Mr. Surjewala tweeted.

“Yet, Modiji gave Corporate Tax Cuts of ₹1,45,000 crore. Let Budget 2020 give tax cuts to Salaried Class and invest in Rural India,” he said.


9.45 a.m.

Ahead of Budget, Sensex slumps over 200 pts, Nifty tests 11,900

Market benchmark Sensex slumped over 200 points in opening session on Saturday ahead of the release of the Union Budget.

After shedding 279 points in early trade, the 30-share BSE index was trading 124.96 points or 0.31% lower at 40,598.53, and the broader NSE slipped 23.10 points, or 0.19%, to 11,939.

In the previous session, Sensex settled 190.33 points, or 0.47%, lower at 40,723.49, after the Economic Survey suggested relaxing fiscal deficit target to boost growth from a decade low.

Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty shed 73.70 points, or 0.61%, to finish at 11,962.10.

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9.15 a.m.

'Bahi-khata' makes a comback in this years' budget presentation

Like last year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman carried the 2020 Union Budget documents in a red bag, reminiscence of the traditional bahi-khata.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds budget papers during a photo opportunity as she leaves her office to present the Budget in the Parliament in New Delhi, India

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds budget papers during a photo opportunity as she leaves her office to present the Budget in the Parliament in New Delhi, India   | Photo Credit: Reuters


Earlier, Finance Ministers in different governments used to carry a briefcase to present budget, which was considered as a tradition of colonial past.

Ms. Sitharaman is presenting the full Budget for 2020-21. She is carrying the Budget documents in a red silk bag with national emblem.

During the Atal Behari Vajpayee government, the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha broke the one colonial tradition of budget presentation at 5 p.m. Since then all governments have been presenting the budget at 11 a.m.

Bahi-Khata is referred to books of account maintained by traditional Indian businessmen.

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Better to focus on growth than on fiscal deficit in current situation: CEA

Ahead of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s second Budget, Chief Economic Adviser K.V. Subramanian suggested the government should focus on growth rather than being rigid on fiscal deficit in times of slowing economy.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam with MoS Finance Anurag Thakur and Finance Budget team during photo shoot on the eve of the Union Budget presentation, at North Block office in New Delhi

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam with MoS Finance Anurag Thakur and Finance Budget team during photo shoot on the eve of the Union Budget presentation, at North Block office in New Delhi   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma


The government can look at option of increasing market borrowing to fund higher expenditure by the government in 2020-21, he said adding that if need be, the government can resort to higher market borrowing this fiscal.

“So, we’ve delineated the overall stance that needs to be taken in times like this. India has been in such situations earlier as well. There’s always a delicate balance between spurring growth and keeping the fiscal (situation) in order,” Mr. Subramanian told PTI in an interaction.

“The view that we have articulated is that it’s better at this point to lean on growth. When you look at the debt-to-GDP ratio, the denominator is the GDP, and our analysis has also shown that when GDP growth increases, the debt-to-GDP ratio falls as well,” he said.

It is time to focus on growth and, therefore, cutting expenditure is not an option, probably because at a time like this, growth needs to be taken care of, he added.




Fiscal deficit hits 132% of Budget Estimate till December

The government’s fiscal deficit touched 132.4% of the full-year target at December-end mainly due to slower pace of revenue collections, official data showed on Friday.

In actual terms, the fiscal deficit or gap between expenditure and revenue was ₹9,31,725 crore, the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) showed.

The government aims to restrict the gap at 3.3% of the GDP or ₹7,03,760 crore in the year ending March 2020.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:38:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/2020-union-budget-live-updates/article30709479.ece

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