Union Budget 2015 / 2016 has been tabled by the Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) on 28th Feb, 2015. Below are the key points and highlights of Budget 2015.
Budget 2015 & Personal Finance – Key points
- Employees will have the option to choose between EPF (Employee Provident Fund) and the New Pension Scheme. (Kindly note that NPS has a liquidity risk. You may have to buy annuity plan from a Life Insurance company after the retirement. The maturity proceeds of NPS (or) the annuities from insurance plan are taxable . So, EPF is a better option)
- The unclaimed deposits of about Rs 3,000 crore in the PPF (Public Provident Fund, and Rs 6,000 crore in the EPF corpus will be used to create a Senior Citizen Welfare Fund.
Universal Social Security System
- Govt proposes Accident Insurance ( Sum Assured of Rs 2 Lakh) under a new scheme called ‘Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana‘ for a premium of just Rs. 12 per year.
- Government will also launch the Atal Pension Yojana. To encourage people to join this scheme, the Government will contribute 50% of the beneficiaries’ premium but limited to Rs 1,000 each year, for five years, in the new accounts opened before 31st December, 2015.
- Another Social Security Scheme has been announced. It is called as ‘Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana‘ which covers both natural and accidental death risk of Rs. 2 lakh. The premium will be Rs. 330 per year, or less than one rupee per day, for the age group 18-50. (The above three schemes will be implemented as part of ‘Universal Social Security System.’)
Tax related proposals
- Kindly visit my article “Income tax rates FY 2015-2016. New proposals – Income Tax Deductions.”
Gold Monetisation Scheme
- The Finance Minister proposed to introduce Gold deposit scheme in Budget 2015. The depositors will be paid interest amount on their gold deposits. The jewelers will get loans against Gold deposits
- Arun Jaitley also proposed to introduce a ‘Sovereign Gold Bond‘, as an alternative to purchasing metal gold. These bonds will carry fixed rate of Interest.
- Govt will introduce Indian-made Gold coins (with Ashok Chakra), to reduce demand for foreign coins.
(You may like reading my article on “Gold Deposit / Monetisation Scheme.”)
- Govt is proposing to incentivize credit & debit card transactions. A clear move towards paperless transactions. (Rupay Debit Cards to be incentivized)
- Quoting your PAN is must for any sale exceeding Rs 1 Lakh.
- Hiding of Income will face penalty of 300% of Asset Value. Penalty for evaders will be 10 years in jail.
- Benami property transaction bill to be introduced, to tackle black money transactions in real estate industry.
- Wealth Tax has been replaced with 2% additional surcharge on taxable income of Rs 1 Crore and above.
Budget 2015 – Other key points
- GST (Goods & Service Tax) will be implemented by April 2016. General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) deferred by two years.
- Corporate Tax has been reduced from 30% to 25% for next 4 years.
- Electrification of villages by 2020.
- Housing for all. Government to build, room for each family. Two crore houses will be built in rural India and 4 crore houses in urban India by 2020.
- Govt aims for farm (Agri) credit of Rs 8.5 lakh crore in FY16.
- 80,000 secondary schools will be upgraded.
- Govt to build 6 crore toilets.
- Govt to sanction 1 Lakh km of new roads.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNRGA) gets initial allocation of Rs 34,000 crore.
- Govt to bring a comprehensive bankruptcy code for the ease of doing business by 2015-2016.
- Rs 30,000 crore allocated for SC welfare schemes.
- A new Bank called Mudra Bank, being proposed for small businesses. Lending priority to be given to SCs & STs in Mudra bank. To Allocate Rs 20,000 Cr For Mudra Bank For SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises).
- Investment in the Infrastructure sector will go up Rs 70,000 cr by FY16.
- Govt will establish National Infra Fund, to allocate Rs 20,000 crore.
- Govt to set up 5 ultra mega power projects.
- FMC (Forwards Market Commission) to be merged with SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India). SEBI now to oversee Commodities markets as well.
- Rs 1000 crore fund has been allotted to Nirbhaya Fund.
- To launch National Skills Mission to enhance employability of rural youth.
- IIMs in Jammu & Kashmir and Andrha Pradesh. IIT in Karanataka.
- Rs 15,000 crore scheme to skill rural India.
- Poor students to get aid through PM scheme.
- Allocation of Rs 2 Lakh crore to armed forces.
- Govt allocates Rs 2.47 Lakh crore for defense equipment.
- Health sector allocation at Rs 3,31,500 cr.
- To do away with distinction between FII (Foreign Institutional Investors) and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).
- Excise Duty will be increased to 12.5%.
- Education Sector gets Rs 68,968 crore
- Rural Development gets Rs 79,526 crore
My opinion : I think many of us expected ‘Big Bang Reforms’ from this budget. But, there are no major announcements in Budget 2015. Government has not taken a giant leap but chose to move forward by taking ‘small steps’, and lets hope that these steps are in the right direction.