Key Highlights of the Union Budget 2020-21 The FM proposed to remove The Dividend Distribution Tax.In order to make sure that India remains a favoured destination for investments, FM brought down the tax rates for existing companies to 22% and the tax rates for new companies has been reduced to 15%.FM also proposed a new Income Tax Regime Income Old Tax Rate Proposed Tax Rs. 2.5 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs 5% No tax Rs. 5 lakhs to 7.5 lakhs 20% 10% Rs 7.5 lakhs to 10 lakhs 20% 15% Rs 10 lakhs to 12.5 lakhs 30% 20% Rs 12.5 lakhs to 15 lakhs 30% 25% Above Rs 15 lakhs 30% 30% The FM proposed to sell a part of its holding in LIC through initial public offer.Government raised turnover threshold for audit of MSME accounts to Rs 5 cr. Introduction The Union Budget 2020-21 presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mainly focused on putting more money in the hands of individuals and proposed three themes namely aspiring India, Economic development Caring society. Presenting the Budget FM said growth of 7.4 per cent was surpassed in 2014-19 wth average inflation of 4.5 per cent. The Government is committed to double farmers income by 2022. Three primary themes proposed by the FM The Finance Minister said that the Union Budget will revolve around three primary themes namely Aspirational India, Economic development for all and a caring society The first theme Aspirational India focuses on the fact that every section of society will aspire for better lifestyle, healthcare and job opportunities. Second theme is economic development for all and the third theme focuses on caring society that shall look after the needs of weaker sections of Indian society. This budget will be an opportunity for every member of the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe, for every member of the minority community said FM. Finance Minister recited a few verses in Kashmiri ahead of revealing the action points of the Budget. She said our country is like a Shalimar garden, it is like a lotus on Dal Lake, like the warm blood of our youth and it is our best country in the world. Impetus given to Agriculture Sector Finance Minister allocates Rs 2.38 lakh crores for sectors comprising agriculture, allied activities, irrigation and rural development for 2020-21. This includes agricultuire, irrigation, rural development and Panchayati Raj. Further, revealing the 16-point action plan the FM says that the government is committed to double farmer income by 20222. She said that a total of 6.11 crore farmers are insured under Fasal Bima Yojna and focused on hand-holding of farm-based activities. Finance Minister presented a 16-point action plan for this purpose. Some of the key pointers of the 16-point action plan includes the expansion of PM KUSUM Scheme, which reduces dependence on diesel and kerosene and increases dependence on social energy. FM quoted “Annadata can be Urjadata too”. Further she added that a total of 20 lakh farmers can set up standalone solar pumps. Focusing on the agriculture sector, FM said, “NBFCs and cooperative banks are active in agriculture lending and the government recognizes that. She proposed to expand the NABARD refinance scheme and proposed a Rs 15 lakh crore Agri credit target for 2020-21. Focus on Healthcare Sector Now, shifting the focus towards healthcare, the Finance Minister proposed to expand Mission Indradhanush to cover new diseases and new vaccines. FM further added that there are 20,000 empanelled hospitals in Ayushman Bharat and need more hospitals in Tier2 and Tier 3 cities to benefit poor in these cities. Public Private Partnership mode hospitals to support the funding for areas where there are no hospitals. FM said that there will be 112 aspirational districts where the first priority will be given to PPP mode hospitals. Since India is expected to have largest working age population in the world by 2030, Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a degree level full-fledged online education programme will be offered by institutions ranked in top 100. Since India is expected to have largest working age population in the world by 2030, Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a degree level full-fledged online education programme will be offered by institutions ranked in top 100. Focus on Sanitation Giving impetus to Swachh Bharat, the flagship scheme of the Modi Government, FM proposed Rs 12,300 cr for the scheme. Further, to transport perishable goods FM proposed to set up Kishan Rail in Public-Private-Partenership. Setting up of Kishan Rail will help to ferry perishable goods faster and moreover, will offer refrigerated coaches. A new scheme named Krishi Udan will also be launched on domestic and international routes. Now, shifting the focus towards infrastructure development the FM proposed setting up of five new smart cities in Public-Private Partnership mode. Further she added that “We propose to digitally refund duties and levies to exporters.” FM proposed to complete Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and other similar projects by 2023. The work on Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway will start soon, said the FM. Focus on Digital India Finance Minister also laid focus on digital push. To enhance the ongoing digitization in the country, the government proposed new data centre parks for post offices and police stations. About 1,00,000 gram panchayats are proposed to be linked through BharatNet. FM allocated Rs 6,000 cr for the program. FM in a bold move allocated Rs 8,000 crore for five years for studying commercial applications of quantum technology. India would be the third nation to do so. Focus on Sustainable Development In view of sustainable development, FM in her budget allocated Rs 22,000 cr for power and renewable energy sector. Fm said that this is a very important step in reaching electricity to all people. Further, elaborating the Caring Society theme proposed in her speech, the FM talked about the success rate of ‘Beti bachao, Beti padhao’ and shared some stats. As per the FM the enrollment of girls in school has increased as compared to boys. To enhance the outputs of the scheme more than 6 lakh anganwadi workers are equipped with smartphones to upload the nutritional status of more than 10 crore households. Fm further added the allocation of Rs 85,000 crore for uplifting SCs and Rs 53,700 cr for uplifting STs. Tourism Sector The Tourism sector is widely growing in India to help this sector grow more the FM said that the Government will set up an Institute for heritage and tourism, which eventually is supposed to benefit archeology and history. The government will develop 5 sites as “Iconic sites” with in-site museums. The 5 sites are Rakhigadi (Haryana), Hastinapur (UP), Shiv Sagar (Assam), Dholaveera (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (TN). The FM also proposed Tribal museum in Ranchi and Maritime Museum at Lothal. Focus laid on Environment and Climate Change The Finance Minister also focused on environment and climate changes. Government proposed to allocate Rs 4400 crore for clean air. FM said that the government will stick to the commitments of Paris Climate Accord. Moreover, the FM also advised to close the Thermal Power Plants which are old and have emissions over prescribed norms. Focus on Financial Markets In a focus laid on financial markets the FM proposed certain categories to be available for non-resident investors as well as domestic investors. FM also increased the FPI investment limit in corporate bonds from 9 per cent to 15 per cent.