Budget 2019: 'Interim Budget just trailer for India's development,' says PM Modi

Budget 2019 farmer

"We would ordinarily have maintained a target of 3.3 per cent but have a major announcement involving extra expenditure being made in the current Budget", he added, referring to the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, assuring ₹6,000 per annum to vulnerable landholding farmer families, who have cultivable land up to two hectares.

The new scheme will be implemented from December 1, 2018, and the amount will be paid in three instalments through direct benefit transfer. The fact that the budget highlighted a concrete number of 12 crore marginal farmers, one hopes that the intent truly delivers. Also 10 crore labourers stand to benefit from this Budget by way of direct pension bonanza. Except in 2017-18, when it grossed more than ₹1 trillion through disinvestment, the government has failed to meet its ambitious disinvestment targets. "The slippage is more notable for FY20, to -3.4 per cent vs -3.1 per cent laid out in the roadmap, built on a 11.5 per cent nominal GDP growth projection", said Rao. In this time of competitive populism, when the Congress has upped the ante with farm loan waivers, the BJP couldn't be seen lacking in empathy.

Presenting the interim budget for FY 2019-20 ahead of the general elections due in April-May this year, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday proposed an array of incentives for both middle-class and farmers. There will be no tax on notional rent on second self-occupied house and no TDS on house rent up to Rs 2.4 lakh, " said Goyal. The government has also increased TDS threshold on deduction of tax on rent, which will benefit the salaried people. The two moves put together bring in other benefits. The move will strengthen the purchasing power of the middle class which holds the key for the country's future, he said.

The first is to extend the time to affordable housing projects from the current date of March 31, 2019 to be registered by the competent authority to claim tax deduction from profits and gains derived from the business of developing and building affordable housing projects, to March 31, 2020.

The cash infusion to Railways is another noteworthy aspect. "So even someone with an income of Rs 6 lakh invests Rs 1 lakh, can benefit from it". Besides, the government has also proposed a number of income tax sops for small and middle-income taxpayers.

For the scheduled tribes also, proposed allocation in 2019-20 BE is Rs 50,086 crore as against Rs 39,135 crore in BE 2018-19, an increase of 28 per cent, the minister said. Well, this is definitely a feel-good budget, where the focus is on the rural and urban poor and the lower middle class.

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