July 5, 2019 / 6:03 AM / 2 months ago

Highlights: India unveils budget aimed at boosting infrastructure and foreign investment

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India on Friday unveiled a budget aimed at boosting infrastructure and foreign investment, the first since the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned for a second term in power.

India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives to present the 2019 budget in Parliament, New Delhi, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Here are the highlights of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget for the 2019/20 fiscal year that began April 1:

DEFICIT

* Fiscal deficit for 2019/2020 seen at 3.3% of GDP

BORROWING

* Government to borrow a gross 7.1 trillion rupees via bonds in 2019/20

* Government to borrow a net 4.73 trillion rupees via bonds in 2019/20

* Short term borrowing seen at 250 billion rupees in 2019/20

* Government to buy back 500 billion rupees of bonds in 2019/20

REVENUES/RECEIPTS

* Dividends from state-owned firms seen at 574.87 billion rupees in 2019/20

* Gross tax revenue seen at 24.6 trillion rupees in 2019/20

* Net tax revenues seen at 16.49 trillion rupees in 2019/20

TAXATION

* Will levy tax deduction at source of 2% for cash withdrawals exceeding 10 mln rupees per year

* Proposes relief in securities transaction tax

* All companies with annual turnover of 4 bln rupees will now be under the 25% tax bracket

* Customs duty on steel raised to 7.5% from 5%

* To increase customs duty on gold and precious metals to 12.5%

EXPENDITURE

* Total government spending seen at 27.86 trillion rupees in 2019/20

* Government to spend 1.74 trillion rupees on pensions in 2019/20

* Government to spend 6.6 trillion rupees on interest payments in 2019/20

ECONOMY

* India will become a $3trn economy in the current fiscal year, and a $5trn economy in the next few years

* India to invest heavily in infrastructure and job creation

* Government will raise part of its gross borrowing in external markets in foreign currencies

INVESTMENT

* India will ease foreign direct investment restrictions in single-brand retail

* Proposes further opening up of FDI in aviation, insurance, media and animation sectors

* Important to get retail investors to invest in treasury bills

* Will allow foreign investors to buy debt of listed real estate investment trusts

* Government aiming for $14.5 billion target for disinvestment proceeds in FY20

BANKING

* State-owned banks proposed to be provided 700 billion rupees of additional capital

* Will strengthen central bank’s authority over shadow banks

* There is a need to give tax parity to non-banking finance companies

INFRASTRUCTURE

* The government will upgrade 125,000 kilometres of roads over the next five years at a cost of $11.6 bln

* Railway infrastructure will need an investment of $72bln between 2018 and 2030

* Govt to encourage global companies to set up large manufacturing plants

* India will enter into aircraft financing and leasing activities

Reporting by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani

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