DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2019, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 26 PAGES `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 THE MACRO: Govt gives fiscal deficit target a miss | TAXATION: Salaried class and pensioners can save more REAL ESTATE: Incentive for purchase of second house | SOCIAL WELFARE: Unorganised sector: Rs 3,000 pension FULL COVERAGE PAGES 10,11,13-19 Directed Benefit Transfer Half of households are target: small farmers, middle class, urban poor; PM calls it trailer NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 WITH THE Lok Sabha elections just a couple of months away, the NDA government’s last Budget, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as a “trailer” of what will take India “towards prosperity”, targeted two critical voter segments: an estimated 12 crore farmer families and 3 crore middle-class taxpayers. It handed them more money that can spur consumption-led growth. To address the growing disquiet over jobs, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, in his debut Budget, announced a string of incentives not just for builders, but also home buyers, to boost demand in a sector that could be a force multiplier for the economy. In the Interim Budget 20192020, Goyal set aside Rs 75,000 crore towards the Pradhan Mantri - Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), under which farmers holding upto 2 hectares will get Rs 6,000 as assured income support every year. “Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this,” Goyal said in his BUSINESS AS USUAL NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 WORK OUT the basic arithmetic of a farm’s expense — fertiliser, machinery, fuel, seeds — and an annual Rs 6000-payout, an average of Rs 16.40 a day, doesn’t add up to much. In fact, a Rs-2,000 payout to about 12 crore farmers before the ensuing Lok Sabha polls — that’s what the government’s 100-plus minute speech that was unusually long for an interim Budget. The income support will be spread over three instalments and the first one will be handed out by March 31, well before the Lok Sabha elections. For the middle class, the Finance Minister offered full tax rebate up to a taxable income of Rs 5 lakh, potentially raising disposable income by Rs 10,000 a year. “Even persons having gross income up to Rs 6.5 lakh may not be required to pay any income CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 much-awaited “farm package”, unveiled in the Interim Budget for 2019-20 on Friday, would practically amount to. Under the Pradhan Mantri — Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme, all farmers cultivating up to two hectares (5 acres) will get direct income support ofRs 6,000 annually, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each. As per the 2015-16 Agricultural Census, out of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 0.1% fiscal slip: In handout year, Govt keeps fist tight SHAJI VIKRAMAN & HARISH DAMODARAN NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 WEEKS BEFOREthe presentation of the Budget for 2015-16, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and top officials sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s views on allowing extra government spending that would have entailed an overshooting of fiscal deficit targets. This came even as WITH THE Interim Budget proposals focusing on an estimated 12 crore small farmers, three crore middle class taxpayers, and about 10 crore workers in the unorganised sector, smiles returned to the faces of BJP MPs who had looked increasingly downcast after the party’s defeat in the Hindi heartland states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan last December. While the full tax rebate for individual annual income up to Rs 5 lakh is being seen as an attempt to woo the middle class ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the announcement of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), offering flat cash transfer of Rs 6,000 in three equal instalments every year, seeks to address a lingering issue that the party thought had been overplayed by the Opposition. “The Budget announcements E Rs 2000 won’t pay for fertilisers for 1 acre of wheat or fill a tractor’s tank NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 RAVISH TIWARI & LIZ MATHEW BY UNNY Rs 6000 farmer payout: won’t cost much but won’t mean much either HARISH DAMODARAN Budget initiatives will join 10% EWS quota, Ayodhya on party list of issues EXPLAINED ANIL SASI & P VAIDYANATHAN IYER After tri-state loss, BJP gets new talking points for election campaign the Finance Ministry’s own midyear economic review tabled in Parliament on December 19, 2014 had made a case for “reviving public investment” and a review of the government’s mediumterm fiscal policy to enable such additional expenditures. “Aap nirnay kijiye (you may take the call)” is what Jaitley supposedly told the Prime Minister, according to an official who was present at that meeting. The CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE 2 IAF PILOTS KILLED IN MIRAGE 2000 CRASH, PAGE 9 IN ED CASE, VADRA SEEKS ANTICIPATORY BAIL IN COURT, PAGE 12 Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal at Parliament House on Friday. Praveen Khanna NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 THE GOVERNMENT’Sannouncement of zero tax for all individuals — salaried, self-employed, pensioners, small business and traders — who have a taxable those with taxable income above Rs 5 lakh, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, speaking to the media, did suggest that there may be more tax relief in the offing when the full Budget is presented in July. “I had the constraint of this being an interim Budget. However, there were many things ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 1 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE which could not have waited for the final Budget, particularly relief for the small taxpayer which I have passed on. The rest is for the then Finance Minister to decide in July 2019,” Goyal said. While taxpayers can claim deductions of up to Rs 1.5 lakh THE GUJARAT High Court on Friday directed a magisterial court in Bhavnagar district to file prosecution complaint against policemen accused of assaulting villagers who were protesting against limestone mining by a private firm. Justice Sonia Gokani after going through the report sent by sessions judge, Bhavnagar, asked the Judicial Magistrate at Talaja in the district, “to initiate prosecution/ complaints against the erring police officials who were involved in the custodial violence.” Earlier this week, justice RELIANCE COMMUNICATIONS, controlled by the Anil Ambani group, Friday decided to opt for insolvency proceedings through the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after failing to sell assets to pay up debt to the tune of around Rs 45,000 crore. “RCom board of directors decides upon implementation of debt resolution plans through NCLT framework,” the company said in a statement. The board of directors of RCom on Friday reviewed the progress of the company’s debt resolution plans since the invocation of strategic debt resolution on June 2, 2017. RCom’s plan to sell spectrum CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Plan some, pay 0 tax on Rs 10 lakh annual income income of up to Rs 5 lakh will incentivise individuals with gross income of even around Rs 10 lakh to visit their HR and chartered accountants to make the best use of the deductions available. Goal: to bring taxable income under Rs 5 lakh. While it does not benefit policemen ● NO TAX FOR TAXABLE INCOME BELOW RS 5 LAKH SANDEEP SINGH RCom of Anil Ambani Gujarat HC orders action files for against erring insolvency FARMERS’ STIR AGAINST MINING AHMEDABAD, FEBRUARY 1
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.