By SHEFA RAFI
As expected, the BJP government came out with some heart-warming announcements in the budget presentation targeting salaried class and farmers. Thanks to Piyush Goyal, chartered accountant turned Union Finance Minister incharge for his people-friendly budget with tax exemptions to middle class and sops to farmers besides monthly pension to workers belonging to unorganised sector.
Perhaps, it’s a path-breaking initiative to announce Rs.6000 per annum to be distributed in three instalments to farmers owning under 2 hectares while workers in unorganised sector to get Rs.3000 per month. To top it all, the Minister announced doubling the income tax exemption ceiling from Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs.5 lakh. Really, a boon to salaried people. Giving more surprises to people, the Minister went a step further to announce that taxpayers gross income upto Rs 6.50 lakh need not pay any tax provided they invest in provident fund and prescribed equities.
And the standard tax deductions for salaried has been hiked from Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000. This would benefit middle class, self employed and senior citizens.
In a step further, concessions on interest income from bank deposits and rent has been announced in the budget, which is yet another relief to retired persons, who solely rely on them. Terming that India’s is second largest hub for startups, the Minister said that the government has envisaged on a national programme on Artificial Intelligence to tap the benefits of new age technologies.
Enterprising Minister announced about one lakh more digital villages and expected youth involvement in creating digital India thru’ numerous startups thereby creating millions of jobs in the ecosystem. Truly, those were heartening words bringing cheers to crores of jobless youth.