UNION BUDGET 2020: POLICY HIGHLIGHTS

The Union Budget for 2020-21 was announced by Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India, in Parliament on 1st February, 2020. This year’s Union Budget centres around three ideas — Aspirational India, Economic development, and a Caring Society. The Policy highlights for the Budget are as follows: –

  • Welfare of Senior Citizens: – The Government plans to allocate Rs. 9,000 Crore for the welfare of senior citizens. Also, the Government has allocated Rs. 53,700 Crore for the uplift of Scheduled Tribes, and Rs. 85,000 Crore for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission: – The Central Government’s total allocation proposed for Swachh Bharat Mission is Rs. 12,300 Crore.
  • Infrastructure: –Rs 100 Lakh Crore has been proposed to be invested on infrastructure over the next 5 years. Also, more than 6500 projects across different sectors, to be classified as per their size and stage of development.
  • To clean air and pollution free cities: – Power plants with emissions above prescribed limits would be asked to close down. Accordingly, Rs 4,400 Crore has been allocated for states that work towards implementation of cleaner air programmes.
  • Connecting India: – Rs. 6,000 Crore allocated for BharatNet programme. Around 1 lakh gram panchayats to be linked with BharatNet this year.
  • Investments: – 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) would be permitted for insurance intermediaries. Also, relaxing the FDI standards in aviation, media and insurance sector would be scrutinized. Also, statutory limit for Foreign Portfolio Investment would be increased from the current 24% to sectoral limits.  Foreign shareholding limits in PSUs would be increased to the maximum permissible sectoral limit.
  • Skill India Initiative: – Government proposed Rs. 3,000 Crore for ‘Skill India’ to provide relevant skill training to the youth in the country, as according to the Finance Minister, there is a huge demand for teachers, paramedical staff and caregivers in foreign countries, whose skills do not match the demand of their employers.
  • Health Care: –Union Budget 2020 allocated Rs. 69,000 Crore for healthcare sector. Out of the total amount, Rs. 6,400 crore would be sanctioned for Ayushman Bharat Yojna.
  • Banking and Finance: – The Government plans to allocate Rs 70,000 Crore for recapitalisation of Public Sector Banks. Also, the Government plans to partially guarantee 10% loss for Public Sector Banks for funds that are to be provided in a polled manner to Non-Banking Financial Companies.

Thus, the Government has proposed reforms in the aforesaid sectors for an overall growth and development of the Indian economy.

Aakritee Gambhir

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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