The Union Budget 2019-20 can be termed as the most anticipated day of the Modi-government 2.0. The Budget will be presented by the newly-appointed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5. The finance ministry has been regularly engaged in the pre-budget consultations ahead of the budget presentation. Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting the full-year Budget which is likely to provide more visibility to the proposals made by the interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal.
The Budget 2019 speech is likely to begin at 11 am on July 5, 2019 (Budget 2019 time). FM Nirmala Sitharaman is the second woman finance minister after Indira Gandhi who will be presenting the budget in the history of independent India. Earlier this year, interim FM Piyush Goyal tabled the interim Budget for the financial year 2019-20. Under the interim Budget 2019-20, FM Goyal proposed a number of changes which were intended to benefit the salaried-class people and middle-income groups. While people are eagerly waiting for the Union Budget, here's a look at top 10 ground-breaking announcements made in previous budgets.
In the 2008 Union budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced that under the debt waiver and relief package, for small and marginal farmers (with holdings up to 2 hectare) there will be a complete waiver of all loans overdue on December 31, 2007 and which remained unpaid until February 29, 2008. For other farmers, there will be a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme. Under the OTS, a rebate of 25 per cent will be given against payment of the balance 75 per cent. The total value of overdue loans being waived was estimated at Rs. 50,000 crore and the OTS relief at Rs. 10,000 crore. The scheme was aimed at benefitting about three crore small and marginal farmers and one crore other farmers.
In the 2009 Union budget, which was presented by the then Finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, on 6 July 2009, allocation of Rs 12,000 crore to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Rs 7,000 crore to Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana was announced.
In the 2011 Union budget, Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee reduced the eligibility of old age pension for people below the poverty line (BPL) to 60 years. Pension amount for people aged above 80 years was increased to Rs 500.
In the 2013 budget, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram announced allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for Nirbhaya Fund to empower women and increase their safety.
In 2014, when the Narendra Modi-led government first came to power, in its very first budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed to set up 100 Smart Cities in India. Government said it would provide Rs 7,060 crore for development of such cities.
In 2015's Union Budget, Finance minister Arun Jaitley proposed Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, which would criminalise cash transactions of Rs 20,000 or above for purchase of immovable properties. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill enables confiscation of benami property—or property that’s registered in the name of either a fictitious person or a third party to hide the identity of the real owner—and provide for prosecution.
In 2016's Union Budget, Finance minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 850 crore for four dairying projects - ‘Pashudhan Sanjivani’, ‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’, ‘E-Pashudhan Haat’ and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds.
In 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs. 23,000 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin, the Government's flagship rural housing programme. During the budget speech Jaitley said, the Government proposes to complete 1 crore houses by 2019 for the houseless and those living in "kutcha" houses. He said the allocation for Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and credit support schemes has been increased more than three times.
Union minister Piyush Goyal in the Interim Budget 2019, announced a scheme named Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) which will provide direct income support of Rs. 6,000 per year to farmers with less than two hectares of land with effect from December 1, 2018.
In 2019's interim budget, one of the biggest measures was that no income tax will be payable by taxpayers with net taxable income up to Rs 5 lakh. Further, rebate available under section 87A was hiked to Rs 12,500 from Rs 2,500. However, even though no tax is payable for income up to Rs 5 lakh, individuals are still required to file their income tax return.