Union Budget 2020 For Family: Highlights, Key Takeaways
This year's budget had raised the expectations of everyone. Here are the key Union Budget 2020 takeaways which will help you decide if it was family-friendly.
By Arun Sharma
The Union Budget 2020 was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today. The Indian economy is now the fifth largest economy in the world, with 16 lakh new taxpayers being added since the introduction of GST, massive increase in digital penetration through broadband and UPI, and an average growth rate of 7.2% with inflation at 4.5% during 2014–2019.
With the government trying to boost India to a $5 trillion economy by the year 2024–25, the budget focused on allocation of more resources to healthcare, education and infrastructure. The Finance Minister also announced new income tax slabs and interest-free home loans.
To make you up-to-date with Union Budget 2020, with special focus on family, here are the highlights:
1. Core elements of Budget 2020
For taking our growth to the next level, this budget focuses on 3 major elements:
- Aspirational India (health education and better jobs),
- Economic development (for all),
- Caring Society (both humane and compassionate)
2. Farming and Agriculture
To improve the conditions of farmers and their families, and double their income, the budget lists 16 points, which includes discouraging the excessive use of chemical fertilisers and setting up a Kisan Rail (farmer’s train) for transporting perishable goods, high focus at the district level for horticulture, strengthening of online national organic foods market, eliminating 'Foot and Mouth' disease by 2025, increasing fish production to 200 lakh tonnes, and doubling the milk processing capacity.
To boost healthcare, Rs 69,000 crore has been allocated to the healthcare sector. For better health, 5 new vaccines will be promoted, Fit India movement will be expanded to eliminate lifestyle diseases, 20,000 hospitals will be empanelled in Ayushman Bharat, hospitals will be set up on PPP model in tier 2 and 3 cities, machine learning and AI will be used in Ayushman Bharat scheme, and TB will be eliminated by 2025.
With education becoming the most important tool for the upward mobility of Indian families, Rs 99,300 crore has been allocated to the Education sector in 2020–21, including Rs 3,000 crore for skill development. In a bid to encourage the education sector, the government will promote the ‘Study in India’ initiative. Ind-SAT, a new exam system has been announced for students of Asian and African countries. Forensic science and cyber forensic science will be the thrust areas. Foreign Direct Investment in education sector will also be encouraged.
5. Travel and Tourism
With increasing number of Indians enjoying traveling, both across the country and abroad, there will be an accelerated development of highways (Delhi-Mumbai expressway and Chennai-Bengaluru expressway will be started). Also, 2,000km of coastal road will be developed, more ‘Tejas’ type trains will be introduced between tourist destinations, and 100 new airports will be developed under the Udaan scheme. Moreover, Rs 2,500 crore has been allocated for tourism promotion.
6. Women empowerment
The focus on improving the condition of women continues in the Budget 2020 as well. A Task force will be set up to come up with the right marriageable age for women. The Finance Minister highlighted the success of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign. There are now 94.32 girls studying in elementary school against 89.28 boys. At secondary, it is 89.32% against 78%. Whereas, for higher secondary it is 59.7% girls versus 57.54 boys.
7. Economy and industry
To boost the economy and the spirit of entrepreneurship among Indians, the seed fund for start-ups has been enhanced. Quantum technology will be a major thrust area. Data centre parks will be developed throughout the country. AI, 3D design and Data storage will be given special focus.
LIC is a dominant player in the insurance sector in India with a market share of around 70%. But, the government plans to sell a part of its holding in this Corporation though an IPO.
9. Personal tax rates
One of the most important changes is the decrease in income tax rates. The new rates are 10% for income between Rs 5 and 7.5 lakhs against 20%; 15% for income between Rs 7.5 and 10 lakhs against 20%; 20% for income between Rs 10 and 12.5 lakhs against 30%; 25% for income between Rs 12.5 to 15 lakhs against 30%. From now on, an individual earning Rs 15 lakhs per annum (and not availing any deductions) will pay Rs 1,93,000 compared to Rs 2.7 lakhs earlier. The dividend distribution tax has been abolished. With the goal of reducing tax rates, 70 of more than 100 deductions and exemptions have been removed. The IT Act will be amended to introduce faceless appeals and reduce litigations from the present 4.83 lakh cases.
To make every Indian family’s dream of owning a home come true, affordable housing loans will be promoted. Exemption of interest (3.5 lakhs) paid on loans sanctioned on/before 31 March 2020 has been extended by one more year. So, loans sanctioned up to 31 March 2021 to buy affordable homes will also be covered.
Every year’s Union Budget takes our country a step forward towards becoming a better and more inclusive economy. Let’s all wait and see how the next financial year pans out for us and our families.
About the author:
Written by Arun Sharma on 1 February 2020
The author was associated with the healthcare industry before becoming a full-time writer and editor. A doting father to two preteens, he believes in experiential learning for his children. Also, he loves mountain trekking and nature trips.
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