The union finance minister, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman tabled India’s first ever digital budget 2021-22 in the Parliament February 1, 2021. The theme of this year’s budget includes economic revival, inclusive growth and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s take a look at the key highlights of the union budget 2021-22:
- The centre sponsored a new healthcare scheme, the Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana to enhance the healthcare infrastructure in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
- Allotted a sum of Rs.35,000 crore for COVID vaccines.
- Senior citizens (above the age of 75) won’t be required to file tax returns.
- Set up of a National Faceless Income tax Appellate Tribunal Centre to digitally handle the communication between appellate and tribunals.
- A sum of Rs 1,18,101 lakh crore has been allotted for the infrastructure of road transport and highways. (The highest every outlay for this sector).
- Suggested to increase the upper limit for tax audit of persons making 95% of their transactions (Rs 5 – 10 crore), digitally.
- The centre will sponsor a welfare scheme for the tea workers of West Bengal and Assam. A sum of Rs. 1000 crore is allotted for this purpose.
- Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess to be imposed on petrol and diesel. It stands at Rs 2.5/litre on branded petrol and Rs 1.4/litre on unbranded petrol. For diesel, it stands at Rs 4/litre on branded diesel and Rs 1.8/litre on unbranded diesel.
- Alcoholic beverage to get a 100 percent of agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess.
- Steps to manage urban pollution for 42 urban areas with a population exceeding millions.
- To phase out old vehicles that are in poor condition, a Voluntary vehicle scrapping policy will be introduced.
- To enhance the infrastructure financing sector, Rs 20,000 crore is allotted to establish and capitalise a Development Financial Institution (DFI).
- FDI in the insurance sector has been hiked from 49% to a whopping 74%.
- Agriculture credit target increased to Rs 16.5 lakh crore. The MSP will be 1.5 times the cost of production.
- The next census of India will be a digital census, which is historic for the country.