Union Budget 2021 highlights: Pensioners over 75 years need not file IT returns, says FM

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Union Budget 2021 highlights: Pensioners over 75 years need not file IT returns, says FM
BCCL
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today assured that all the divestments announced so far will be completed by the end of 2021-22.
  • The companies where divestment is announced includes BPCL, Concor, Pawan Hans and more.
  • The target is to raise as much as ₹1.75 lakh crore.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that senior citizens aged 75 years and above who are living only on pension and interest income need not file income tax returns. “I offer them a pranam and as India completes 75 years of independence, and move to reduce their compliance burden,” said Sitharaman.

She also eased the painstaking prices of return filing for everyone by announcing that in addition to TDS and salaries that come pre-filled, details like capital gains and interest from post and other investments will also come pre-filled.

Sitharaman also extended tax holiday to startups and affordable housing projects by one year. The FM also ensured housing for migrant workers by exempting notified affordable rental projects from tax.

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She also ensured that migrant and gig workers receive minimum wages by covering them under the act. “All categories of workers will be covered by it. Social security will be provided to gig and platform workers,” she said, adding that this announcement will conclude the process that started 20 years ago.

Sitharaman also said that migrant, construction and gig workers will be registered on a portal and ensure that they receive health and insurance benefits. Women can also take up all jobs including night shifts provided they receive substantial protection.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today assured that all the divestments announced so far will be completed by the end of 2021-22. The target is to raise as much as ₹1.75 lakh crore by the end of next year. The companies where divestment is announced includes BPCL, Concor, Pawan Hans and more. Added to that, the government will also prepare a new list of divestments and also form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to monetize lands owned by it.

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Free gas connections will now reach 9 crore Indian homes that live below the poverty line. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today expanded the Ujjvala scheme by adding a crore more beneficiaries. Also, 100 more districts will be connected by the city gas pipeline and said that a new gas pipeline project will kickstarted in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sitharaman also proposed a sharp increase in capital expenditure to ₹5.54 lakh crore in the Union Budget 2021, which is 44.5% higher than last year’s expenditure of ₹4.39 lakh crore.

“More than ₹2 lakh crore will be given to states and autonomous bodies for their capital expenditure. We will nudge states to spend more on infrastructure creation,” she said.

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She also announced an Atmanirbhar Health Yojana with an outlay of ₹64,180 crore over 6 years. The government will also strengthen the National Center for Disease Control and will set up 15 health emergency centers.

She also provided a boost to the auto sector with a voluntary vehicle scrapping policy where passenger vehicles older than 20 years will undergo fitness tests.

“The three Atmanirbhar packages and two measures taken by the RBI are like five mini Budgets,” she said, adding that they accounted for ₹27.1 lakh crore and 13% of GDP.

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This is the first ever Union Budget after the Covid-19 pandemic where a large number of sectors that have been hit, are hoping for revival packages. At the same time, many sectors like education and technology are hoping for larger allocations to handle the transformatory effect that the pandemic has had on them. The financially stressed citizens, on the other hand, are expected some let up in income tax.

The government itself is facing a large chunk of expenditure on healthcare as it has already started a massive vaccination drive that will eat into the Budget itself. And experts hope that more announcements on privatisation of assets are heavily expected this year. “I think the government should go through with surgical execution of privatisation plans,” Uday Kotak, chairman of Kotak Mahindra Bank, said right before the Budget announcements.


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