Monday, February 6, 2017

Key points for common man - Indian Budget 2017

Guest Post: Pooja Bhandari

Finance minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017 in Parliament on Wednesday. 
Here are the key highlights of his budget speech:

1.      Existing rate of tax for individuals between Rs.  2.5- Rs 5 lakh is reduced to 5% from 10%. All other categories of taxpayers in subsequent brackets will get a benefit of Rs 12,500.  10 % surcharge on individual income above Rs. 50 lakh and up to Rs 1 crore and 15% surcharge on individual income above Rs. 1 crore to remain.

2.   Simple one-page return for people with an annual income of Rs. 5 lakh other than business income.

3.      No transaction above Rs 3 lakh is permitted in cash. The limit of cash donation by charitable trusts is reduced to Rs 2,000 from Rs 10,000. The maximum amount of cash donation for a political party will be Rs. 2,000 from any one source.

4.  Digital India - BHIM app will unleash mobile phone revolution. The government will introduce two schemes to promote BHIM App - referral bonus for the users and cash back for the traders.

5.  The total allocation for Railways is Rs. 1,31,000 crore. No service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC. 3,500 km of railway lines to be commissioned this year up from 2,800 km last year. By 2019 all trains will have bio-toilets.

6.      Rs. 500 crore allocated for Mahila Shakthi Kendras. For pregnant women, Rs. 6000 will be transferred to each person.

7.   Over Rs 3 lakh crore will be spent for rural India MGNREGA to double farmers' income. Participation of women in MGNREGA is to be increased up to 55%.

8.   A sum of Rs. 10 lakh crore is allocated as credit to farmers, with 60 days interest waiver. NABARD fund will be increased to Rs. 40,000 crore. 

9.      Two new AIIMS in Jharkhand and Gujarat.

10.  The holding period for long-term capital gain lowered to two years. Capital gains tax to be exempted for people holding land from which land was pooled for creation of the state capital of Andhra Pradesh.

11.  The government proposes to reduce basic customs duty for LNG to 2.5% from 5%.

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