The Budget 2018-19 has given sharper focus to growth, especially agriculture, rural infrastructure, generation of employment, education and health care sectors. Developments of these social factors are essential for the sustenance of stable growth of the country.
Plan and Policy
Plan & Policy
The Union budget would ensure that development touched all sections of society and help the government realise its dream of a "New India" by 2022. It was a pro-people budget that would take the country ahead on the path to development.
The budget gives "new wings" to the aspirations of the poor. Measures are aimed at giving a boost to farmers, infrastructure, rural sector and small and medium enterprises.
Prime minister Narendra Modi has sounded the poll bugle in the Union budget 2018, which he described as an exercise in strengthening the foundation of new India.
With the focus firmly on agriculture and health, the two most neglected areas till now, prime minister Modi deflated the opposition’s attack that his government had favoured only the corporate and India Inc.
As always, there are hidden bombs within the fine print.Deductions for instance in respect of certain incomes will not be allowed unless return is filed by due date. The existing provisions contained in the section 80AC of the Act provide that no deduction would be admissable under section 80 1A or section 80 1AB or section 80 1B or section 801C or section 80 1D or section 80 1E, unless the return of income by the assessee is furnished on or before the due date specified under sub section (1) of section 139 of the Act.
The first thought when hearing the FM speech was “but how’s he going to fund this? Is there a huge sting in the tail in the form of taxes lined up? As it turned out there was no real sting, if anything the 10 per cent tax on long term capital gains on equities was a mild one- easy to accept and digest. As compared to all other asset classes, only equities enjoyed a zero LTCG, seen in that light a 10 per cent tax on profits is just fine. People invest in equities for long term returns, and this tax is not going to dissuade investment in equities in the long run.
Here are the key highlightsof Union Budget for FY19 presented on Thursday:
Fiscal deficit: The government missed its FY18 fiscal deficit target (of 3.2 per cent of GDP) due to lower revenues and higher spending, revising it up to 3.5 per cent of GDP, as expected (Consensus and Nomura: 3.5 per cent of GDP). It expects to continue down a path towards fiscal consolidation in FY19, although at a more modest pace, targeting a deficit of 3.3 per cent of GDP, which is higher than expected (Consensus and Nomura: 3.2 per cent of GDP).
Infrastructure continues to be on top of the government’s agenda to boost investment cycle. Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday proposed to raise the total allocation for the sector to Rs 5.97 lakh crore in 2018-19, up by over Rs 1 lakh crore in the current fiscal.
The last full budget of the NDA government will have significant reverberations in the startup ecosystem. Investors awaited with bated breath for doing away with the draconian angel tax but that did not materialise. The finance minister acknowledged that the government has taken various measures to develop and promote the startup and venture capital ecosystem and decided that they require a special regime to ensure their sustained growth.
Mutual fund investing will no longer be tax free with capital gains as well as dividends distributed by the equity mutual funds and hybrid funds coming under the tax net. This could make retail investors more cautious while deploying fresh money in mutual funds and look out for other tax free investing avenues.
So far dividend distributed by equity mutual funds and hybrid funds to the retail investors were tax free.
The 2018 budget with political overtones is certainly not a populist budget. Fiscal slippage in FY 2018 to 3.5 per cent from the target of 3.2 per cent and the 10 per cent tax on Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) are negatives from the market perspective. But the grandfathering of LTCG on purchases till January 31 is welcome. From the market perspective, the retention of Securities Transaction Tax (STT) while introducing LTCG is a bit disappointing, but not worrisome.