A dedicated Union Budget 2021 mobile app has been launched by Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance, to ensure hassle-free access of Budget documents by Members of Parliament (MPs) and the general public. The mobile app, developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the guidance of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), facilitates complete access to 14 Union Budget documents, including the Annual Financial Statement (commonly known as Budget), Demand for Grants (DG), Finance Bill and other related documents as prescribed by the Constitution, said a PIB release.
The app, which is bilingual and available in Hindi and English, can be downloaded from the Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store. The app is also available for download on the Union Budget Web Portal (www.indiabudget.gov.in). Some of the features embedded in the app are downloading, printing, search, zoom in and out, bidirectional scrolling, table of contents and external links. All the documents of the Union Budget 2021 will be available on the Mobile App after the completion of the Budget Speech by the Finance Minister in the Parliament.
Union Budget 2021 Expectations
The Union Budget 2021, scheduled to be held on 1 February 2021, is the first ever paperless budget being presented in the parliament. The industry has several expectations from this year’s budget, as the country hopes to recover from the losses suffered in the COVID-19 pandemic. “With the FM set to present the most challenging budget of her tenure, the IT sector, which anchored a Pandemic ridden economy, is hopeful of finding a resolution to the digital taxation fault lines and enable foundational support for the post pandemic operating environment. There is an immediate need to disperse ambiguities around the scope and applicability of the expanded Equalisation levy (EL) provisions. In its current form, foreign technology players, amongst others, are grappling with myriad interpretations due to lack of any Revenue guidance, as also a potential double whammy of withholding tax and EL on certain transactions, for FY 2020-21. Simplification and certainty in the expansive provisions would not only result in wider final quarter compliance, but also allay concerns of the levy being inequitable,” said Naveen Aggarwal, Partner, Tax, KPMG in India.
“Secondly, with a pandemic induced virtual working format, WFH may become a norm rather than an aberration. This is especially true for the technology services sector. There is a need to clarify, whether services delivered by employees of SEZ based IT-ITeS units, virtually from their home location, shall be eligible for income-tax holiday. This would not only ensure that future litigation is minimised but also provide some elbow room to the sector to drive higher operational efficiencies,” he added.
“The Covid pandemic dealt its most lethal and devastating blow on service sector SMEs who were locked out of work for several months and ensuing sharp decline in business even after the lockdowns were lifted. The Government of India, taking into consideration that the service sector SME has become the backbone of our economy, must provide relief to this sector in the form of fast-approval guarantee-free loans and allow them GST-free spending for their marketing to start building their business back up,” said Satya Prabhakar, CEO and founder, Sulekha.com.