Sitharaman also beat her own record for the longest budget speech ever. Her speech this year lasted for two hours and 41 minutes. She cut short her speech because she felt unwell, according to PTI. In her maiden budget in July 2019, her speech had lasted for two hours 17 minutes.
Here are the top ten takeaways from the budget:
1. The government proposed to sell a part of its holding in LIC through an initial public offer (IPO).
2. New slabs and reduced tax rates have been announced for those foregoing exemptions and deductions. The new tax regime will be optional for taxpayers. Here’s a breakdown of the new taxes.
3. Sitharaman proposed to increase the insurance cover for bank depositors to Rs 5 lakh from the existing Rs 1 lakh.
4. The Finance Minister said 100 more airports will be developed by 2025 to support the UDAN scheme.
5. The government raised the fiscal deficit target to 3.8% of GDP from 3.3% pegged earlier for 2019-20 due to revenue shortage.
6. The Finance Minister said nominal GDP growth for 2020-21 is estimated at 10%.
7. An accelerated highways development programme will be taken up that includes 9,000 kilometres of economic corridor and 2,500 kms of access-controlled highways.
8. Sitharaman said a new education policy will soon be announced. She said dialogues are being held with state education ministers, MPs and other stakeholders about the education policy.
9. The government plans to amend the Companies Act to decriminalise civil offences, the Finance Minister said.
10. Sitharaman said the government proposed to extend additional Rs 1.5 lakh tax benefit on interest paid on affordable housing loans to March 2021.
(With PTI inputs)