Highlights of the Union Budget 2014-15

Here are the highlights of the Budget 2014-15 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Fiscal deficit
● Accepts fiscal deficit target of 4.1 percent of GDP for 2014/15
● Fiscal deficit seen at 3.6 percent of GDP in 2015/16
● Finance Minister says: "We cannot spend beyond our means"
● Tax-to-GDP ratio must be raised

Growth
● Aims for sustained growth of 7-8 percent in the next 3-4 years
● Finance minister says he is bound to usher in policies for higher growth, lower inflation

Taxation
● Aims to approve goods and services tax by end of this year
● Will not change rules on retrospective taxation
● All pending cases of retrospective tax for indirect transfers to be examined by a high-level committee before action is taken
● Proposes changes in transfer pricing mechanism
● Extends 5 percent withholding tax on corporate bonds until June 30 2017
● Income tax exemption limit raised by Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh and for senior citizens to Rs 3 lakh
● Government expects Rs 9.77 lakh crore revenue crore from taxes
● Long term capital gain tax for mutual funds doubled to 20 per cent; lock-in period increased to three years
● Excise duty on footwear reduced from 12 per cent to 6 per cent
● Net effect of direct tax proposals is revenue loss of Rs 22,200 crore
● Tax proposals on indirect tax front would yield Rs. 7,525 crore

Investment
● Raises limit on foreign direct investment in defence sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent; raises FDI limit in insurance sector to 49 percent
● Earmarks Rs 7000 Crore to create 100 "smart cities"
● Will provide the necessary tax changes to introduce real estate investment trusts and infrastructure investment trusts
● Proposes Rs 4000 crore for affordable housing through national housing bank and extends tax incentives for housing loans
● Exemption limit for investment in financial instruments under 80C raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
● Investment limit in PPF raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh
Foreign direct investment
● Raises limit on foreign direct investment in defence sector from 26 percent to 49 percent
● Raises FDI limit in insurance sector from 26 percent to 49 percent

Spending
● Capital outlay for defence raised by 50 billion rupees over interim budget
● Earmarks Rs 7000 crore to create 100 "smart cities"
● Proposes Rs 5000 crore for warehousing capacity; 100 billion rupees of private capital for start-up companies; and 378 billion rupees of investment in national and state highways
● Rs 4000 crore for affordable housing proposed through national housing bank and extends tax incentives for housing loans
● Proposes Rs 8000 crore for rural housing scheme

Subsidies
● Plans to make food and petroleum subsidies more targeted
● Rural job-guarantee scheme, which provides 100 days of paid employment a year, will become more focused on asset creation
● Proposes Rs 8000 crore for rural housing scheme

Agriculture
● Will focus on achieving 4 growth per year in agriculture
● Proposes a long-term rural credit fund with an initial corpus of Rs 5000 crore
● Rs 100 crore for development of organic farming

Social sector
● Pension Scheme to be revived for a year (Aug 15-14) for citizens above 60
● Rs 50,548 crore for SC welfare schemes.
● Rs 32,387 crore for ST welfare schemes.

Infrastructure
● Earmarks Rs 500 crore for 24x7 uninterrupted power in all homes
● Rs 100 crore for metro projects in Lucknow and Ahmedabad
● Rs 2,037 crore set aside for Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called 'Namami Gange'
● Rs 200 crore for world-class sports stadium in Jammu and Kasmir
● Trade Facilitation Centre in Varanasi Handloom and Crafts Museum
● Rs 1000 crore to enhance rail connectivity in the Northeast
● Rs 2250 crore for the development and modernization of the border infrastructure
● A project on the river Ganga called 'Jal Marg Vikas' for inland waterways between Allahabad and Haldia; Rs 4,200 crore set aside for the purpose
● War memorial to be set up along with a war museum; Rs 100 crore set aside for this
● Rs 7,060 crore for setting up 100 Smart Cities

Education
● Five more IIMs to be opened in HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan
● Five more IITs in Jammu, Chattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
● Four more AIIMS like institutions to come up in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in Uttar Pradesh

Tourism
● E-Visas to be introduced at 9 airports
● Finance Minister says tourism helps in job creation and e-visas will encourage more tourists to visit India
● A provision of Rs 500 crore for five tourism sector.

Banking
● Deduction limit on interest on loan for self-occupied house raised to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.
● Set aside Rs 11,200 crore for PSU banks capitalisation
● Government in favour of consolidation of PSU banks
● Government considering giving greater autonomy to PSU banks while making them accountable
● PSUs to invest to over Rs 2.47 lakh crore this fiscal

Others
● Earmarks Rs 200 crore for Sardar Patel statue
● Proposes Rs 150 crore for improving women safety
● LCD, LED TV become cheaper
● Cigarettes, pan masala, tobacco, aerated drinks become costlier
● Government proposes to launch Digital India' programme to ensure broad band connectivity at village level
● Rs 100 crore scheme to support about 600 new and existing Community Radio Stations
● Rs 150 crore for Communication facilities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
● Rs 188 crore for disaster preparedness in Puducherry
● Rs 3,600 crore for providing safe drinking water
● North-stop 24-hour channel is proposed to be introduced
● Farmer TV channel will be launched for the benefit of farmers.
● Rs 200 crore to make Delhi a world class city for social welfare and Rs 500 crore for energy
● Kisan Vikas Patra to be reintroduced, National Savings Certificate with insurance cover to be launched
● 'Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme' launched with initial sum of Rs 500 crore
● Government provides Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri migrants
● Indian Custom Single Window Project to be taken up for facilitating trade

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