Union Budget 2019 Highlights for Technology Industry

A lot was being expected by the technology industry from this Union Budget 2019, as it is the last for the current BJP led NDA government, it is still unclear as to how many of the expectations were met

The much awaited Union Budget 2019 has been announced by Interim Finance Minister Mr Piyush Goyal today. Several notable measures for the technology industry were announced such as National Programme on Artificial Intelligence has been envisaged by the government wherein centres of excellence and a national artificial intelligence portal will be opened soon.

While a lot more was being expected by the technology industry from this budget, as it is the last for the current BJP led NDA government, it is still unclear as to how many of the expectations were met. However, here are a few highlights which will be of interest to the IT industry:

  • 54% returns have been accepted without any scrutiny.
  • Mobile data consumption has increased 50 times in last 5 years.
  • Rs 3 lakh crore recovered from big corporate loan defaulters.
  • 2% interest subvention on MSME loans with ticket size of Rs 1 crore.
  • Government projects now have to source 25% of their requirements from SMEs.
  • Increased tax-free gratuity from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
  • Increased EPFO membership by 2 crore in last two years.
  • Inflation in December 2018 was just 2.1%, all time low.
  • Fiscal deficit and current account deficit down.
  • Ensured spirit of cooperative federalism.
  • Attracted $239 billion as FDI.
  • India poised to become $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years.
  • 38 lakh shell companies deregistered.
  • 1 crore people filed IT return for first time after demonetization.
  • High taxation on multiple commodities has been rationalized.
  • FM announces all tax scrutiny to be done via Anonymous Digital Interface.
  • SMEs with earnings below Rs 5 crore will soon file GST only once in 3 months.
  • Within next 2 yrs, all assessment of returns to be done electronically.
  • Direct tax: Tax collection up from Rs 6,38 lakh crore to Rs 12 lakh crore.
  • Most daily-use items are now under 0 to 5% tax slab under GST.
  • TDS Limit Hiked From Rs 10,000 To Rs 40,000 On Post Office Savings.
  • Individuals with gross income up to Rs 6.5 lakh will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.
  • Standard deduction has been increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000.
  • Individual taxpayers with annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh will get full tax rebate.
  • Capital expenditure – Rs 3.36,292 lakh crore.
  • Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4% of GDP for FY20.
  • Government to develop 100,000 digital villages in India over next 5 years.
  • Over 260 mobile manufacturing and assembly units to be setup in India.
  • Direct Tax Increased to Rs 12 lakh crore in FY19.
  • Over 1 Crore youth being trained through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana; India has become world’s second largest start-up hub.

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