The Union Budget 2019-20 was remarkable, given that it was an all inclusive Budget. It catered to all segments including youth, women, farmers, entrepreneurs, rich and poor alike.
On the other hand, it also kept in mind all segments of the economy including banking, digital, housing, infrastructure etc.
Limited time period
Given that Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister was delivering her first Union Budget and that too just 45-days after being sworn in, it was indeed remarkable.
A few things that were noteworthy, were a departure from the earlier budgets of bringing-in the brief case. This time the Union Budget papers were in a folder. Nonetheless, the Budget folder held more than elaborate budgetary papers. The stock markets did not seem to like the Budget though, given that there was a heavy taxation on the super rich. That was fine given that the government is hard-pressed for revenues and there is an increased expenditure, including cash payouts.
Lack of major changes in individual income tax no surprise
No major tax sops for individuals as far as income tax was concerned was not a surprise at all. In fact, the government has levied a surcharge on the super rich, by charging individuals with a surcharge on incomes above Rs 2 crores and Rs 5 crores annually. This is something that they can surely afford.
Benefits on home loans and electric vehicles was almost always expected. Benefits for the rural sector was not very much, though one did not expect further cash payouts for farmers. Normally, the budget these days does not have too many tax proposals on the indirect tax front, given that excise duties have now been subsumed with the Goods and Services Tax.
What's good in the Union Budget?
A host of things are good in the Union Budget. Recapitalization of PSU Banks, Aadhar card for NRIs on arrival, zero budget farming, reform on rental housing etc. There are somethings that also got cheaper like made in India electronic items, electric vehicle etc.
Of course, there are somethings that also got costlier, including the likes of gold, tobacco and petrol and diesel. In fact, whenever crude oil falls, the government increases the excise.
In any case, overall, the Union Budget 2019-20 was an all inclusive Budget. One is not sure whether it would boost economic growth. There was spending on infrastructure, though no major spending. Given that the Budgetary recommendations were prepared in 45-days, not a bad effort for a first time Finance Minister.