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Here are the key highlights of Union Budget 2019

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden Union Budget speech in the Monsoon Session of Indian Parliament.

SNS | New Delhi |

“Together, with mutual trust, we can gain, catalyze fast and attain sustained national growth. I wish to propose a number of initiatives as part of a framework for kick-starting the virtuous cycle of domestic and foreign investments”, with these words the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden Union Budget speech in the Monsoon Session of Indian Parliament.

With the budget receiving mixed reactions from the ruling party, the opposition and the citizens, let us see the key highlights of the budget in various sectors:

Infrastructure: The connectivity of the country via all forms of transportation through Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Industrial Corridors, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Bhartamala and Sagarmala projects, Jal Marg Vikas and UDAN Schemes.

Navigation capacity of Ganga to be enhanced via multi-modal terminals at Sahibganj and Haldia and a navigational lock at Farakka by 2019-20, under Jal Marg Vikas Project.

Investment of Rs. 50 lakh crore needed in Railway Infrastructure during 2018-2030.

Public-Private-Partnership proposed for development and completion of tracks, rolling stock manufacturing and delivery of passenger freight services.

Outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore for 3 years approved for Phase-II of FAME Scheme

Upfront incentive proposed on purchase and charging infrastructure, to encourage faster adoption of Electric Vehicles.

Only advanced-battery-operated and registered e-vehicles to be incentivized under FAME Scheme.

Model Tenancy Law to be finalized and circulated to the states, deeming the current rental laws archaic and unrealistic in dealing with the lessor-lessee relationship.

 Banking and Finance:

SEBI to consider raising the threshold for minimum public shareholding in the listed companies from 25% to 35%.

Proposed transfer/sale of investments by FIIs/FPIs (in debt securities issued by IDF-NBFCs) to any domestic investor within the specified lock-in period.

To raise capital as equity, debt or as units like a mutual fund.

Rs. 70,000 crore proposed to be provided to PSBs to boost credit.

PSBs to leverage technology, offering online personal loans and doorstep banking, and enabling customers of one PSBs to access services across all PSBs.

Proposals for strengthening the regulatory authority of RBI over NBFCs to be placed in the Finance Bill.

Rs. 100 lakh crore investment in infrastructure intended over the next five years. Committee proposed to recommend the structure and required flow of funds through development finance institutions.

Target of Rs. 1, 05,000 crore of disinvestment receipts set for the FY 2019-20.

Present policy of retaining 51% Government stake to be modified to retaining 51% stake inclusive of the stake of Government controlled institutions.

Government to meet public shareholding norms of 25% for all listed PSUs and raise the foreign shareholding limits to maximum permissible sector limits for all PSU companies which are part of Emerging Market Index.

Foreign Direct Investment:

FDI in sectors like aviation, media (animation, AVGC) and insurance sectors can be opened further after a multi-stakeholder examination.

Insurance Intermediaries to get 100% FDI.

Local sourcing norms to be eased for FDI in Single Brand Retail sector.

Government to organize an annual Global Investors Meet in India, using National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) as an anchor to get all three sets of global players (pension, insurance and sovereign wealth funds).

Statutory limit for FPI investment in a company is proposed to be increased from 24% to sectoral foreign investment limit. Option to be given to the concerned corporate to limit it to a lower threshold.

Cumulative resources garnered through new financial instruments like Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), as well as models like Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT), exceed Rs. 24,000 crore.

 For Taxpayers:

(Direct Tax)

Tax rate reduced to 25% for companies with an annual turnover up to Rs. 400 crore

Surcharge increased on individuals having taxable income from Rs. 2 crores to Rs. 5 crores; and Rs. 5 crores and above.

Interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar. Those who don’t have PAN can file tax returns using Aadhaar. Aadhaar can be used wherever PAN is required.

Pre-filling of Income-tax Returns for faster, more accurate tax returns. Pre-filled tax returns with details of several incomes and deductions to be made available. Information to be collected from Banks, Stock exchanges, mutual funds etc.

Additional deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs for interest paid on loans borrowed up to 31st March 2020 for purchase of house valued up to Rs. 45 lakh.

The overall benefit of around Rs. 7 lakh over a an period of 15 years.

Additional income tax deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh on interest paid on electric vehicle loans. Customs duty exempted on certain parts of electric vehicles.

Higher tax threshold for launching prosecution for non-filing of returns

Appropriate class of persons exempted from the anti-abuse provisions of Section 50CA and Section 56 of the Income Tax Act.

Capital gains exemptions from sale of residential house for investment in start-ups extended till FY21.

Funds raised by start-ups to not require scrutiny from Income Tax Department

(Indirect Tax)

5% Basic Custom Duty imposed on imported books.

Basic Customs Duty increased on cashew kernels, PVC, tiles, auto parts, marble slabs, optical fibre cable, CCTV camera etc.

Increase in Special Additional Excise Duty and Road and Infrastructure Cess each by Rs. 1 per litre on petrol and diesel

Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, named as ‘Sabka Vishwas’ for quick closure of pending litigations in Central Excise and Service tax from pre-GST regime.

 Rural India

Electricity and clean cooking facility to all willing rural families by 2022.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) aims to achieve “Housing for All” by 2022:

Eligible beneficiaries to be provided 1.95 crore houses with amenities like toilets, electricity and LPG connections during its second phase (2019-20 to 2021-22).

1,25,000 kilometres of road length to be upgraded over the next five years under PMGSY III with an estimated cost of Rs. 80,250 crore.


Scheme of Fund for Upgradation and Regeneration of Traditional Industries’ (SFURTI)

Common Facility Centres (CFCs) to be set up to facilitate cluster-based development for making traditional industries more productive, profitable and capable for generating sustained employment opportunities.

100 new clusters to be setup during 2019-20 with special focus on Bamboo, Honey and Khadi, enabling 50,000 artisans to join the economic value chain.

80 Livelihood Business Incubators (LBIs) and 20 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) to be set up in 2019-20.

75,000 entrepreneurs to be skilled in agro-rural industry sectors.


10,000 new Farmer Producer Organizations to be formed, to ensure economies of scale for farmers.

Government to work with State Governments to allow farmers to benefit from e-NAM.

Zero Budget Farming in which few states’ farmers are already being trained to be replicated in other states.

Urban India

Gandhipedia being developed by National Council for Science Museums to sensitize youth and society about positive Gandhian values.

Railways to be encouraged to invest more in suburban railways through SPV structures like Rapid Regional Transport System (RRTS) proposed on the Delhi-Meerut route.

Proposal to enhance the metro-railway initiatives by encouraging more PPP initiatives and ensuring completion of sanctioned works.

Supporting transit-oriented development (TOD) to ensure commercial activity around transit hubs.


Rs. 400 crore provided for ‘World Class Institutions’, for FY 2019-20, more than three times the revised estimates for the previous year.

Draft legislation to set up Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), to be presented.

To prepare youth for overseas jobs, focus to be increased on globally valued skill-sets including language training, AI, IoT, Big Data, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality and Robotics.

Set of four labour codes proposed, to streamline multiple labour laws to standardize and streamline registration and filing of returns.

Stand-Up India Scheme to be continued for the period of 2020-25. The Banks to provide financial assistance for demand based businesses.


One woman per SHG to be eligible for a loan up to Rs. 1 lakh under MUDRA Scheme.

Proposal to consider issuing Aadhaar Card for NRIs with Indian Passports on their arrival without waiting for 180 days.

Overdraft of Rs. 5,000 to be allowed for every verified women SHG member having a Jan Dhan Bank Account.


18 new Indian diplomatic Missions in Africa approved in March, 2018, out of which 5 already opened. Another 4 new Embassies intended in 2019-20.

Proposal to consider issuing Aadhaar Card for NRIs with Indian Passports on their arrival without waiting for 180 days.


TDS of 2% on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs. 1 crore in a year from a bank account

Business establishments with annual turnover more than Rs. 50 crore shall offer low cost digital modes of payment to their customers and no charges or Merchant Discount Rate shall be imposed on customers as well as merchants.