Union Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, tabled the Union Budget 2021-22 in Lok Sabha. This was the first Paperless or digital budget after Independence (1947).
- This section deals with the theme ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ (MGMG) and Fiscal Position of the government.
- Minimum Government, Maximum Governance (MGMG)
- The National Commission for Allied Healthcare Professionals already introduced to ensure transparent and efficient regulation of the 56 allied healthcare professions.
- National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill introduced for the same in the nursing profession.
- Proposed Conciliation Mechanism with mandate for quick resolution of contractual disputes with Central Public Sector Enterprises.
- Rupees 3768 crore allocated for first digital census after Independence (1947)
- Rupees 300 crore grant to the State Government of Goa for the diamond jubilee celebrations of the state’s liberation from Portuguese.
- Rupees 1000 crore for the welfare of Tea workers especially women and their children in Assam and West Bengal through a special scheme.
- Fiscal Position
- Fiscal deficit stands at 9.5 per cent of the GDP, and is estimated to be 6.8 per cent in 2021-22.
- Plan to continue on the path of fiscal consolidation, achieving a fiscal deficit level below 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-2026 with a fairly steady decline over the period.
- Amendment to Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003 proposed to achieve targeted Fiscal Deficit levels.
- The Contingency Fund of India is to be augmented from Rupees 500 crore to Rupees 30,000 crore through Finance Bill.
- Recommendations of 15th Finance Commission
- The final report covering 2021-26 was submitted to the President, retaining vertical shares of states at 41 per cent.
- Funds to Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh would be provided by the Centre Government.
- On the Commission’s recommendation, Rupees 1,18,452 crore have been provided as Revenue Deficit Grant to 17 states in 2021-22, as against Rupees 74,340 crore to 14 states in 2020-21.
- Tax Proposals
- No exemption on interest, if Provident Fund contribution is more than Rupees 2.5 lakh.
- Exemption from filing tax returns for senior citizens over 75 years of age and having only pension and interest income; tax to be deducted by paying the bank.
- Income Tax settlement commission abolished.
- Higher Tax Collection at Source rate for non-filers.
- Reducing time to file belated returns.
- Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess on a small number of items.
- Dispute Resolution Committee to be set up for taxpayers with taxable income up to Rupees 50 lakh and disputed income up to Rupees 10 lakh.
- National Faceless Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Centre (NFIRATC) to be established.
Budget 2021 Highlights of Minimum Government Budget 2021 Highlights of Minimum Government