The Interim Finance Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal, being a Chartered Accountant with deep insight of the state of affairs of the Indian economy, while presenting his maiden Union Budget 2019-20, emphasized that the country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during the last four years, with a high annual average GDP growth since 1991, the year when significant economic reforms were first initiated.
He iterated that generation of high growth rate, curtailing inflation and restoring fiscal balance, has taken India to the 6th position in world economy. This period also witnessed a rapid liberalisation of the FDI policy, a wave of next generation structural reforms, including the path breaking implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was introduced in this period and the same has institutionalised a resolution-friendly mechanism, helping in recovery of non-performing loans while preserving the underlying businesses and jobs. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988 were also introduced in this period to bring transparency in the real estate sector.
As per this Government's vision reflected through Union Budget, India is poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years and the country aspires to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter.
This is proposed to be achieved through a comprehensive ten dimensional vision, which includes building physical as well as social infrastructure, creating a Digital India reaching every sector of the economy, becoming a major source of energy supply, employing micro-irrigation techniques, developing inland waterways, becoming the launch-pad of satellites, working towards distress-free health care and last, but not the least, transforming India into a minimum Government maximum Governance nation.
CA. Naveen N. D. Gupta, President, ICAI today said "Chartered Accountant Finance Minister presents maiden Union Budget with ten dimensional vision for India's growth & nation building".
The Interim Finance Minister detailed the tax reforms on the direct taxes and GST front, and the benefits of the same to the citizens of India. He highlighted that tax collections as well as the tax base have shown significant increase and India has made considerable progress towards achieving a moderate taxation-high compliance regime. He acknowledged the valuable contribution of tax payers to nation building and in particular, for providing a better life to the poor and marginalized sections of society. In order to pass on the benefit of tax reforms to such tax payers without any delay, tax proposals have been introduced in this interim budget itself favouring small taxpayers especially middle class salary earners, pensioners, and senior citizens.
The beneficial tax proposals include complete tax rebate for individual taxpayers having total income up to RS. 5 lakhs, increase in standard deduction from Rs.40,000 to Rs. 50,000, extension of benefit of Nil annual value for self-occupation to two residential houses and increase in TDS threshold on interest earned on bank/post office deposits from Rs.10,000 to Rs.40,000 and on rent from Rs.1,80,000 to Rs.2,40,000. Further, investment in two residential houses would be permissible for claiming capital gains exemption under section 54.
Overall, the budget proposals on the personal taxation front would put more money in the pockets of small taxpayers and increase their purchasing power. In short, it is a progressive budget from a Chartered Accountant FM.