GST Current Affairs - 2019
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The interim budget has announced a slew of welfare measures for farm and rural economy, middle class, realty and housing and the unorganised sector. The burden on the exchequer due to the farm income support scheme PM-KISAN itself comes around Rs 75000 crores. This necessitates the government to explore the avenues to find the corpus to pay for these schemes.
The government is exploring the following avenues to fund welfare schemes:
- Large dividend transfers by the Reserve Bank of India and PSUs to balance the Budget deficit after funding the welfare schemes.
- The government is expecting Rs 82,911 crore through dividend from banks, financial institutions and the RBI in 2019-20.
- In 2018-19 the government estimates receipts of Rs 74,140 crore from banks, financial institutions and the RBI, much higher than the budget estimate of Rs 54,817 crore.
- The government is estimating Rs 53,200 crore as PSU dividend in 2019-20.
- The government is expecting to raise anywhere between Rs 12,000 crore and Rs 20,000 crore through the CPSE buyback route.
Challenges in Revenue Mobilisation
The revenue from the Goods and Service Tax (GST) for the most part of the year has lagged behind the Rs 1 lakh crore monthly target. The government’s efforts at disinvestments are also not yielding desired results. The government’s planned stake sales in state-run firms are still short of the target.
As a result, the government is heavily dependent on the dividends from state-run firms, financial institutions and the RBI to fund its additional expenditure. The government has pegged dividends at Rs 1.36 lakh crore in 2019-20 which is a 14 per cent rise from an already elevated dividend collection of Rs 1.19 lakh crore in 2018-19.
The highlights of the Interim Budget 2019 presented by the Finance Minister are listed below:
- 6,000 rupees yearly direct support to farmers through PM-KISAN Programme.
- Pension of 3,000 rupees for unorganised sector workers earning up to 15,000 rupees through a mega Pension Scheme – Pradhan Mantri Shram- Yogi Maandhan.
- Present Income Tax rates to continue and full tax rebate up to an income of 5 lakh rupees for individual taxpayers. Standard deduction raised to 50,000, a hike of 10,000 for salaried class.
- Simplification of Direct tax system and returns to be processed in 24 hours with immediate refunds.
- 90 per cent GST payers can file quarterly returns.
- Two per cent interest rebate for Small and Medium Enterprises to get an incremental loan of one crore rupees.
- Constituting group of Ministers to examine GST burden on home buyers.
- Digitalization of Customs for export and import transactions.
- Allocations towards Health care, MGNREGA, SC/ST welfare programmes, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Development of infrastructure in North-East has been increased substantially.
- Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for genetic upgradation of the cow.
- Separate Department of Fisheries.
- Electricity connection to all willing families by next month.
- Allocations to Defence budget crosses three lakh crore rupees for the first time.
- More than three lakh 38 thousand shell companies deregistered after demonetization.
- 10 point vision for 2030 to realize India’s social economic potential.
- India to be a 10 trillion dollars economy in 13 years.
- Government e-Marketplace – GeM to be extended to all Central Public Sector Enterprises.
- Container cargo movement to the North-East through Brahmaputra river.
- Allocation for infrastructure development in the North East increased by 21 per cent.
- AIIMS to be established in Haryana.
- Digital connectivity for more than one lakh more villages.
- National Centre on Artificial Intelligence Centre to be established.
- Tightening of Cinematograph Act to check piracy.
- Single window clearance for shooting films for Indian filmmakers.
- Indigenous development of semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express train
- The fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4 per cent of GDP.
The Budget was keenly watched as the country is heading for a general election in 2019.
Tags: AIIMS • Department of Fisheries • Development of infrastructure in North-East • Finance Minister • GST • Haryana • Health care • MGNREGA • National Centre on Artificial Intelligence Centre • PM-KISAN • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana • Pradhan Mantri Shram- Yogi Maandhan • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog • SC/ST welfare programmes • Small and Medium Enterprises • Vande Bharat Express train