HIGHLIGHTS OF UNION BUDGET 2020-21

Presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, today announced a series of far-reaching reforms, aimed at energising the Indian economy through a combination of short-term, medium-term, and long-term measures.

The Budget aims to offer better standards of living with access to health, education and better jobs for all sections of the society; ensure economic development for all - "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas" – and build a caring society which is both humane and compassionate - with Antyodaya as an article of faith.

The three broad themes are held together by corruption-free, policy-driven good governance; clean and sound financial sector; ease of living underlined by the three Budget themes and the three components of Aspirational India.

The Budget proposes to spend Rs 2,83,000 crore under 16 action points for agriculture, Irrigation and rural development, envisaging the following:

  • · Rs1,60,000 crore for agriculture, irrigation and allied activities.
  • · Rs1,23,000 crore for rural development and panchayati raj.
  • · Rs15,00,000 crore target set for the agricultural credit in 2020-21.
  • · PM-Kisan beneficiaries to be covered under the Kisan credit card scheme.
  • · Nabard re-finance scheme to be further expanded.
  • · Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts proposed.

Blue Economy:

  • · Rs1,00,000 crore fisheries' exports to be achieved by 2024-25.
  • · Fish production targeted of 200 lakh tonnes by 2022-23.
  • · Ensure youth involvement in 3,477 Sagar Mitras and 500 Fish Farmer Producer Organisations.
  • · Growing of algae, sea-weed and cage culture to be promoted.
  • · Framework for development, management and conservation of marine fishery resources.
  • The Budget proposes a Kisan Rail, to be setup by Indian Railways through public-private partnership route. Besides, all passenger and freight trains will have refrigerated coaches.
  • It is also proposed to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables (milk, meat, fish, etc).
  • Besides, it is proposed that the ministry of civil aviation will launch Krishi Udaan, both domestic and international routes.This will help farmers in the North-East and tribal districts to realise Improved value of agri-products.

A scheme - One-Product One-District – has been proposed for better marketing and export in the horticulture sector.

The Budget will support balanced use of all kinds of fertilizers - traditional organic and innovative fertilisers. It also announced measures for organic, natural, and integrated farming.

  • · Jaivik Kheti Portal – the online national organic products market will be strengthened.
  • · Zero-budget natural farming (mentioned in July 2019 Budget) to be included.
  • · Integrated farming systems in rain-fed areas to be expanded.
  • · Multi-tier cropping, bee-keeping, solar pumps, solar energy production in non-cropping season to be added.

PM-KUSUM to be expanded:

  • · Two million farmers to be provided with stand-alone solar pumps.
  • · Another 1.5 million farmers to be helped to solarise their grid-connected pump sets.
  • · Scheme to enable farmers to set up solar power generation capacity on their fallow/barren lands and to sell it to the grid.
  • Village Storage Scheme:
  • · It is proposed to set up village storage systems which will be run by SHGs to provide farmers a good holding capacity and reduce their logistics cost.
  • · Women, SHGs will regain their position as Dhaanya Lakshmi.
  • · NABARD will map and geo-tag agri-warehouses, cold storages, reefer van facilities, etc.
  • · Warehousing to be in line with Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) norms.
  • · Viability gap funding will be provided for setting up such efficient warehouses at block/taluk level.
  • · Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) to undertake such warehouse building.
  • · Financing on Negotiable Warehousing Receipts (e-NWR) to be integrated with e-NAM.
  • · State governments that undertake implementation of model laws (issued by the central government) to be encouraged.

Livestock:

· Doubling of milk processing capacity to 108 million tonnes from 53.5 million tonnes by 2025.

· Artificial insemination to be increased to 70 percent from the present 30 per cent.

· MNREGS to be dovetailed to develop fodder farms.

· Foot and Mouth Disease, Brucellosis in cattle and Peste Des Petits ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goat to be eliminated by 2025.

· Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – 5 million households mobilised with 5.8 million SHGs for poverty alleviation.

Wellness, Water and Sanitation

  • · Rs69,000 crore allocated for overall Healthcare sector.
  • · Rs6400 crore (out of Rs69,000 crore) for PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
  • · More than 20,000 hospitals already empanelled under PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
  • · Viability Gap Funding window proposed for setting up hospitals in the PPP mode.
  • · Aspirational districts with no Ayushman empanelled hospitals to be covered in the first phase.
  • · Targeting diseases with an appropriately designed preventive regime using Machine Learning and AI.
  • · Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme to offer 2,000 medicines and 300 surgicals in all districts by 2024.
  • · TB Harega Desh Jeetega campaign launched - commitment to end Tuberculosis by 2025.
  • · Rs3,60,000 crore approved for Jal Jeevan Mission:
  • · Rs11,500 crore for the year 2020-21.
  • · Augmenting local water sources, recharging existing sources, and promoting water harvesting and de-salination.
  • · Cities with million-plus population to be encouraged to achieve the objective during the current year itself.
  • · Rs12, 300 crore allocation for Swachh Bharat Mission in 2020-21.
  • · Committment to ODF-Plus in order to sustain ODF behaviour.
  • · Emphasis on liquid and grey water management.
  • · Focus also on solid-waste collection, source segregation, and processing.

Education and Skills

  • · Rs99,300 crore for education sector and Rs3,000 crore for skill development in 2020-21.
  • · New Education Policy to be announced soon.
  • · National Police University and National Forensic Science University proposed for policing science, forensic science, and cyber-forensics.
  • · Degree level full-fledged online education programme by top-100 institutions in the National Institutional Ranking Framework.
  • · Up to 1-year internship to fresh engineers to be provided by urban local bodies.
  • · Budget proposes to attach a medical college to an existing district hospital in PPP mode.
  • · Special bridge courses to be designed by the ministries of health, and skill development:
  • · To fulfill the demand for teachers, nurses, para-medical staff and care-givers abroad.
  • · To bring in equivalence in the skill sets of the workforce and employers' standards.
  • · 150 higher educational institutions to start apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021.
  • · External commercial borrowings and FDI to be enabled for education sector.
  • · Ind-SAT proposed for Asian and African countries as a part of Study in India programmes.
  • Economic Development
    Industry, Commerce and Investment
  • · Rs27,300 crore allocated for 2020-21 for development and promotion of industry and commerce.
  • · Investment clearance cell proposed to be set up.
  • · To provide "end to end" facilitation and support.
  • · To work through a portal.
  • · Five new smart cities proposed to be developed.
  • · Scheme to encourage manufacture of mobile phones, electronic equipment and semi-conductor packaging proposed.

It is proposed to set up a National Technical Textiles Mission with four-year implementation period from 2020-21 to 2023-24; at an estimated outlay of Rs1,480 crore, in order to position India as a global leader in Technical Textiles.

New scheme NIRVIK to be launched to achieve higher export credit disbursement, which provides for:

  • · Higher insurance coverage
  • · Reduction in premium for small exporters
  • · Simplified procedure for claim settlements.
  • · Turnover of Government e-Marketplace (GeM) proposed to be taken to Rs3,00,000 crore.
  • · Scheme for revision of duties and taxes on exported products to be launched.
  • · Exporters to be digitally refunded duties and taxes levied at the central, state and local levels, which are otherwise not exempted or refunded.
  • · All ministries to issue quality standard orders as per PM's vision of "Zero Defect-Zero Effect" manufacturing.

Infrastructure

  • · Rs10,000,000 crore to be invested on infrastructure over the next 5 years in the National Infrastructure Pipeline.
  • · Rs10,300,000 crore worth projects; launched on 31 December 2019.
  • · More than 6,500 projects across sectors, to be classified as per their size and stage of development.
  • A National Logistics Policy to be released soon:
  • · To clarify roles of the Union Government, State Governments and key regulators.
  • · A single window e-logistics market to be created
  • · Focus to be on generation of employment, skills and making MSMEs competitive.
  • · National Skill Development Agency to give special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities.
  • · Project preparation facility for infrastructure projects proposed.
  • · To actively involve young engineers, management graduates and economists from Universities.
  • · Infrastructure agencies of the government to involve youth-power in start-ups.
  • · Rs1,70,000 crore proposed for transport infrastructure in 2020-21.
  • Accelerated development of highways to be undertaken, including:
  • · 2500 Km access control highways.
  • · 9000 Km of economic corridors.
  • · 2000 Km of coastal and land port roads.
  • · 2000 Km of strategic highways.

Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages to be completed by 2023.

Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway to be started.

It is proposed to monetise at least 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6,000 km before 2024.

Indian Railways:

  • · Large solar power capacity to be set up alongside rail tracks, on land owned by Railways.
  • · Four station re-development projects and operation of 150 passenger trains through PPP.
  • · More Tejas type trains to connect iconic tourist destinations.
  • · High speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to be actively pursued.
  • · 148 km long Bengaluru Suburban transport project at a cost of Rs18,600 crore, to have fares on metro model. Central government to provide 20 per cent of equity and facilitate external assistance up to 60 per cent of the project cost.

Corporatizing at least one major port and its listing on stock exchanges to be considered. Governance framework of the ports to be in keeping with global benchmarks needed for more efficient operations. Economic activity along river banks will also be energised as per Prime Minister's Arth Ganga concept.

It is proposed to develop 100 more airports to by 2024 to support Udaan scheme.

Air fleet number expected to go up from present 600 to 1,200 during this time.

Electricity:

  • · "Smart" metering to be promoted while more measures to reform DISCOMs are to be taken up.
  • · Rs22, 000 crore proposed for power and renewable energy sector in 2020-21.
  • · Expansion of national gas grid from the present 16200 km to 27000 km proposed.
  • · Further reforms to facilitate transparent price discovery and ease of transactions.
  • New Economy to take advantage of new technologies:
  • · Policy to enable private sector to build Data Centre parks throughout the country to be brought out soon.
  • · Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connections through Bharatnet to link 100,000 gram panchayats this year.
  • · Rs6,000 crore proposed for Bharatnet programme in 2020-21.

Measures proposed to benefit start-ups:

  • · A digital platform to be promoted to facilitate seamless application and capture of IPRs.
  • · Knowledge Translation Clusters to be set up across different technology sectors including new and emerging areas.
  • · For designing, fabrication and validation of proof of concept, and further scaling up Technology Clusters, harbouring test beds and small scale manufacturing facilities to be established.
  • · Mapping of India's genetic landscape- Two new national level Science Schemes to be initiated to create a comprehensive database.
  • · Early life funding proposed, including a seed fund to support ideation and development of early stage Start-ups.
  • · Rs8,000 crore proposed over five years for National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications.
  • Caring Society
  • · Allocation of Rs35,600 crore for nutrition-related programmes proposed for the FY2020-21.
  • · Rs28,600 crore proposed for women specific programmes.
  • · Issue about age of a girl entering motherhood - proposed to appoint a task force to present its recommendations in six months' time.
  • · Financial support for wider acceptance of technologies, identified by ministry of housing and urban affairs to ensure no manual cleaning of sewer systems or septic tanks, to be provided.
  • · Rs85, 000 crore proposed for 2020-21 for welfare of Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes.
  • · Rs53,700 crore provided to further development and welfare of Scheduled Tribes.
  • · Enhanced allocation of Rs9,500 crore provided for 2020-21 for senior citizens and Divyang.

Culture & Tourism

  • · Allocation of Rs2,500 crore for 2020-21 for tourism promotion.
  • · Rs3,150 crore proposed for ministry of culture for 2020-21.
  • · An Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation under ministry of culture proposed; with the status of a deemed university.
  • · 5 archaeological sites to be developed as iconic sites with on-site museums: at Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu).
  • · Re-curation of the Indian Museum in Kolkata, announced by Prime Minister in January 2020.
  • · Museum on Numismatics and Trade to be located in the historic Old Mint building in Kolkata.
  • · 4 more museums from across the country to be taken up for renovation and re-curation.
  • · Support for setting up of a Tribal Museum in Ranchi (Jharkhand).
  • · Maritime museum to be set up at Lothal- the Harrapan age maritime site near Ahmedabad, by Ministry of Shipping.
  • · State governments expected to develop a roadmap for certain identified destinations and formulate financial plans during 2021 against which specified grants to be made available to the States in 2020-21.
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • · Allocation of Rs4,400 crore proposed for these projects in 2020-21.
  • · Proposed to advise the utilities to close the running old thermal power plants with carbon emission above the pre-set norms.
  • · States that are formulating and implementing plans for ensuring cleaner air in cities above one million to be encouraged.
  • · PM launched Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) with Secretariat in Delhi. Second such international initiative after International Solar Alliance.

Governance

  • · Clean, corruption-free, policy driven, good in intent and most importantly trusting in faith.
  • · Taxpayer Charter to be enshrined in the Statute will bring fairness and efficiency in tax administration.
  • · Companies Act to be amended to build into statues, criminal liability for certain acts that are civil in nature.
  • · Other laws with such provisions are to be corrected after examination.
  • · Major reforms in recruitment to Non-Gazetted posts in Government and Public sector banks:
  • · An independent, professional and specialist National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting a computer-based online Common Eligibility Test for recruitment.
  • · A test-centre in every district, particularly in the Aspirational Districts.
  • · A robust mechanism to be evolved for appointment including direct recruitment to various Tribunals and specialised bodies to attract best talents and professional experts.
  • · Contract Act to be strengthened.
  • · New National Policy on Official Statistics to:
  • · Promote use of latest technologies including AI.
  • · Lay down a road-map towards modernised data collection, integrated information portal and timely dissemination of information.
  • · A sum of Rs100 crore allocated to begin the preparations for G20 presidency to be hosted in India in the year 2022.
  • · Development of North East region:
  • · Improved flow of funds using online portal by the Government.
  • · Greater access to financial assistance of multilateral and bilateral funding agencies.
  • · Development of union territories of J&K and Ladakh:
  • · An amount of Rs30,757 crore provided for the financial year 2020-21.
  • · The union territory of Ladakh has been provided with Rs5,958.
  • Financial Sector
  • · 10 banks consolidated into 4.
  • · Rs3,50,000 crore capital infused.
  • · Governance reforms to be carried out to bring in transparency and greater professionalism in PSBs.
  • · Some PSBs to be encouraged to approach the capital market to raise additional capital
  • · Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) permitted to increase Deposit Insurance Coverage to Rs. 5 lakh from Rs.1 lakh per depositor.
  • · Scheduled Commercial Bank's health under monitoring through a robust mechanism, keeping depositors' money safe.
  • · Cooperative Banks to be strengthen by amending Banking Regulation Act for:
  • · Increasing professionalism.
  • · Enabling access to capital.
  • · Improving governance and oversight for sound banking through the RBI.
  • · NBFCs eligibility limit for debt recovery reduced from Rs500 crore to Rs100 crore asset size.
  • Private capital in Banking system:
  • · Government to sell its balance holding in IDBI Bank to private, retail and institutional investors through the stock exchange.
  • Easier mobility in jobs:
  • · Auto-enrolment in Universal Pension coverage.
  • · Inter-operability mechanism to safeguard the accumulated corpus.
  • · Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority of India Act to be amended to strengthen regulating role of PFRDAI, facilitate separation of NPS trust for government employees from PFRDAI, enable establishment of a Pension Trust by the employees other than Government.

Infrastructure Financing

  • · Rs103 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline projects earlier announced.
  • · Rs22,000 crore to cater to the equity support to Infrastructure Finance Companies such as IIFCL and a subsidiary of NIIF.
  • · IFSC, GIFT city: full of potential to become a centre of international finance as well as a centre for high end data processing:
  • · An International Bullion exchange(s) to be set up as an additional option for trade by global market participants with the approval of regulator.

Disinvestment

  • · Government to sell a part of its holding in LIC by way of Initial Public Offer (IPO).
  • Fiscal Management
  • · Finance Commission has given its first report for FY2020-21; reccommendations accepted in substantial measure; final report for five years beginning 2021-22 to be submitted during the latter part of the year.
  • GST Compensation Fund:
  • · Balances due out of collection of the years 2016-17 and 2017-18 to be transferred to the Fund, in two instalments.

· Hereinafter, transfers to the fund to be limited only to collection by way of GST compensation cess.