Nirmala Sitharaman, the country's first full-time woman finance minister on Friday delivered one of the longest Budget speeches which was peppered with Urdu, Hindi and Tamil couplets. All through her 2 hours 17 minutes long maiden budget presentation, Sitharaman did not pause to have a sip of water. The budget proposals were welcomed with frequent thumping of desks by the treasury benches with Prime Minister Narendra Modi too joining the members.
Here's are the winners and losers of Union Budget 2019:
To strengthen financial health of public sector banks (PSBs), Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will pump in Rs 70,000 crore to boost their lending capacity. Unveiling the Union Budget 2019-20, she said non-performing assets of PSBs have come down by Rs 1 lakh crore.
Banks have recovered Rs 4 lakh crore due to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and other means effected in the past four years, she said. To further improve ease of living, the finance minister said banks will leverage technology, offering online personal loans and doorstep banking, and enabling customers of one PSB to access services across all state-owned banks.She further said the provision coverage ratio is now at its highest in seven years, and domestic credit growth has risen to 13.8 per cent.
The government has proposed to increase budget allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare by over 78 per cent to Rs 1.39 lakh crore for the current fiscal, out of which Rs 75,000 crore will be for the flagship scheme PM-KISAN, according to the Budget document. The government had allocated Rs 77,752 crore in the revised estimate for 2018-19.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), launched just before the general elections, aims to give Rs 6,000 annually in three equal installments to 12.6 crore small and marginal farmers.
Besides PM-KISAN, the government has proposed to increase the allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to Rs 14,000 crore for the current fiscal against the revised estimate of Rs 12,975.70 crore for the 2018-19.About 5.61 crore farmers are taking benefit of the PMFBY.
In the Budget 2019-20, the government estimates Rs 18,000 crore spending towards interest subvention on short term crop loan, while Rs 14,987 crore was allocated in the revised budget for the 2018-19 financial year.
The aviation and travel industries have welcomed the budget proposals to make the country a hub for aircraft leasing and financing, along with allowing higher FDI in domestic airlines, and also identifying 17 iconic tourism sites for development.
At present, the aviation financing and leasing business is dominated by entities based in Ireland and China, and the country has an insignificant role as of now. Also, aircraft financing and leasing is a profitable business providing double-digit returns to investors globally.The present rules cap foreign direct investment by anoverseas carrier at 49 percent.
"As the world's third-largest domestic aviationmarket, the time is ripe for us to enter into aircraftfinancing and leasing activities from our shores," financeminister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the budget speech Friday. The government will bring in the essential elements ofa regulatory roadmap for making the country a hub for suchaviation activities, the minister said.After clocking a double digit growth for more thanfour years till December, domestic air passenger traffic grewat a low 2.62 percent between January and May with Aprilgrowth falling into the negative territory. Sitharaman also said the government will develop 17 iconic tourism sites into world-class tourist destinations andto serve as a model for other tourism sites.
Sitharaman said making available safe drinking water to every citizen is a priority for the government which is working towards 'Har Ghar Jal' by 2024. Presenting the first Budget of the Modi government in its second term, Sitharaman said the government also proposes to expand Swachh Bharat to include solid waste management in every village.
The finance minister said as much as 95 per cent of all cities have become open defecation free and 9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since October 2014. The government is on track to achieve Swachh Bharat Mission by October this year. Sitharaman also said 10,000 new farmer producer organisations will be set up.
The payments industry has welcomed the budget proposals saying these announced measures will help create a robust payments infrastructure in the country. However, the industry leaders have underlined the need for sufficient Internet penetration and data reach to achieve the aspirations. Sitharaman's maiden budget offered proposals including forcing companies with over Rs 50 crore turnover to offer digital modes of payments without levying merchant discount rates and common mobility card for quick payments.
The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry's budgetary provisions were pegged at Rs 48,000 crore in the Union Budget 2019-20, a hike of nearly 17 per cent from 2018-19.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), an ambitious programme of the Modi government, has been given Rs 6,853.26 crore as against Rs 6,505 crore in 2018-19. There has been an increase of nearly 25 per cent in the allocation to metro projects across the country. A sum of Rs 17,713.93 crore has been allocated in this regard in the Budget against Rs 14,864.60 crore in 2018-19.
"Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), over 81 lakh houses with an investment of about Rs 4.83 lakh crore have been sanctioned of which construction of about 47 lakh houses has started," Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been given Rs 414.70 crore grant as against Rs 50 crore in 2018-19.
The government has set aside Rs 19,152 crore for the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) as against the previous financial year's budgetary allocation of Rs 15,600 crore.
The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme, which aims at ensuring robust sewage networks, water supply and other infrastructure to improve the quality of life in urban areas, has been given Rs 7,300 crore. The allocation was Rs 6,400 crore in 2018-19.
The Smart Cities Mission, under which the government has selected 100 cities, has been granted Rs 6,450 crore as against Rs 6,169 crore in the 2018-19 financial year.
Allocation to another flagship programme of the government, Swachh Bharat Mission, has been increased to Rs 2,650 crore from Rs 2,500 crore in the previous financial year.
The defence budget remained unchanged at Rs 3.18 lakh crore, the amount set aside in the interim budget in February, notwithstanding expectations of steep hike in resources to modernise the armed forces and procure critical military platforms.
The allocation made in the Union Budget is an increase of 6.87 per cent over revised estimates of Rs 2.98 lakh crore given in 2018-19.
The allocation of Rs 3.18 lakh crore has been estimated at around 1.6 per cent of the GDP which, according to experts, is lowest since the 1962 war with China.In the interim budget presented on February 1, the defence budget was pegged at Rs 3.18 lakh crore and there was no change in the allocation.
In a significant move, import of defence equipment not manufactured in India has been exempted from basic customs duty by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.She said defence has an immediate requirement of modernisation and it is a "national priority".
In the wake of the Balakot strikes and China aggressively modernising its armed forces, there were expectations from the three services allocation will be significantly hiked by Sitharaman, who was defence minister in the previous government.
The automobile industry rued the lack of policy initiatives in the Budget to help the sector wriggle out of a prolonged slowdown. The industry, while welcoming government's push to promote electric vehicles through various policy measures, also sought similar kind of incentives for other green technologies.
Apex industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said the sector has been going through a very difficult time and the industry was expecting some form of a stimulus package in the Budget in line with what had been done by the government during the previous two similar slowdowns.
"It is disappointing that the Finance Minister has not recognised the distress in the auto sector and not come out with any kind of support or stimulus," SIAM President Rajan Wadhera said in a statement.
In fact, increasing the duties on auto parts and putting an additional cess on petrol and diesel could drive up costs of vehicles, specially where volumes are low and localisation is not viable. The overall cost of operations of transport could further aggravate the slowdown in the industry, he added.
(With PTI inputs)