Officiating Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday began the interim Budget speech in the Parliament.

As widely expected, the interim Budget 2019 contained certain sops for farmers and the middle class. This is the last of the current NDA regime as the general elections are due in May this year.

Beginning his speech, Goyal said India is solidly back on track and marching towards growth and prosperity.

He said the Government brought down the average rate of inflation down to 4.6 per cent, fiscal deficit to 3.4 per cent in 2018-19, adding that India is the fastest growing economy in the world.

He further said India was moving towards realising a ‘New India’ by 2022.

Goyal said measures are being implemented by the Government to ensure clean banking.

Rs 3 lakh crore was recovered in favour of banks and creditors, he said in the Parliament, adding that defaulting managements are either paying or leaving businesses.

The minister said the Government has taken transformational structural reforms.

The Finance Minister said the Government has ushered in an era of transparency with the introduction of RERA, Benami Transaction Prohibition Act.

Lauding the BJP government’s Swachh Bharat scheme, he said India has achieved over 98 per cent rural sanitation coverage.

“Over 5 lakh villages open defecation free,” he said.

The minister also praised the Government EWS quota which provides 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to the economically weaker section of general category.

12: 45 pm: Officiating Finance Minister Piyush Goyal concludes his Interim Budget speech saying that the Government was committed to the welfare of the citizens of the country.

12: 36 pm: TDS threshold on rental income raised from 1.8 lakh to 2.4 lakh

12: 35 pm: Standard deduction raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000

12: 35 pm: Taxpayers with a gross income of Rs 6.5 lakh may not pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities

12: 31 pm: Benefit of Rs 18,500 crore to 3 crore middle-class taxpayers

12: 30 pm: Full tax rebate for taxpayers with income up to Rs five lakhs

12: 20 pm: Fiscal deficit target at 3.4% of GDP for 2019-20

12: 13 pm: Vision 2030: India placing an Indian astronaut in space by 2022 under the ambitious mission “Gaganyaan”

12: 12 pm: Vision 2030: Clean Rivers, with safe drinking water to all Indians

12: 10 pm: Vision 2030: Expanding rural industrialisation using modern tech

12: 08 pm: Vision 2030: To build next-gen infra – physical and social

12: 07 pm: Vision 2030: Digital India reaches every citizen

12: 06 pm: Vision 2030: India will lead the world with electric vehicles

12: 05 pm: Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announces Vision 2030

12: 03 pm: We are poised to become $5 trillion economy in the next five years. We aspire to become a $10 trillion economy in the next 8 years

12: 03 pm: 3.38 lakh shell companies deregistered

12: 02 pm: 1 crore people filed IT returns for the first time after demonetisation, says Finance Minister

12: 02 pm: Praising Government’s demonetisation move, Goyal says anti-black money measures have brought Rs 1.30 lakh crore under the tax

11: 58 am: GST rate reduction has resulted in relief of Rs 80,000 cr to consumers

11: 56 am: Most items of daily use under 0-5 per cent tax slab. High taxation on multiple commodities has been rationalised. Only 12 per cent GST for cinemagoers

11: 53 am: Finance Minister lauds GST, says it is the biggest taxation reform since independence

11: 50 am: Within the next two years, all assessment of tax returns to be done electronically. Tax returns up from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore. Direct tax collection up from Rs 6,38 lakh crore to Rs 12 lakh crore

11: 47 am: Single window clearance for shooting films for Indian filmmakers

11: 46 am: We aim to have 1 lakh digital villages in the next five years, says Piyush Goyal

11: 45 am: All unmanned crossings on broad gauge network eliminated

11: 44 am: Under the Ujjwala Yojana, 6 crore free cooking gas connections have been given, says the Government adding that it will achieve the target of 8 crore connections next year.

11: 44 am: Under PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana, one crore youth being trained to earn a livelihood

11: 43 am: Allocation for Defence crosses Rs 3 lakh crore for the first time

11: 42 am: Assured monthly pension of Rs 3000 for organised sector workers, announces Government

11: 42 am: Pension scheme to benefit 10 crore workers in the unorganised sector

11: 41 am: Panel under NITI Aayog to identify nomadic communities

11: 40 am: Two per cent interest subvention for animal husbandry & fisheries farmers. All farmers hit by natural calamity to get interest subvention of 5 per cent

11: 37 am: 1.53 lakh houses for the poor constructed by the Government, says the minister

11:36 am: Under Ayushman Bharat, till now 10 lakh people have benefitted, says Goyal

11: 35 am: Rs 19000 crore allocated for Gram Sadak Yojana.

11: 32 am: Gratuity limit increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh

11: 30 am: The Finance Minister said a “PM Kisan” programme would provide direct income support for small farmers.

“The government has made a historic plan called the PM Kishan programme. Those small farmers who have less than two acres will get the support of Rs. 6,000,” Piyush Goyal. “It will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of farmers in three instalments of Rs. 2,000.”