No tax for annual income upto Rs 5 lakh, says Piyush Goyal

Budget 2019: 11 Highlights From Govt’s Last Budget Before Polls

Interim Budget 2019: Finance Minister Piyush Goyal may announce tax cuts ahead of Lok Sabha elections

The scheme will help vulnerable farmers get direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year.

For a while into his speech, it seemed that sops would be limited to farmers and the poor.

With the government taking a hit of almost Rs.1.15 lakh crore through these measures targeting farmers and middle class, it has slightly revised the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 to 3.4% of GDP from the budget target of 3.3% previous year. Goyal expects that benefits to the tune of Rs.18,000 crore will have been passed on to 3 crore taxpayers through these measures. "Keeping this in view I propose to further reduce the tax burden on such taxpayers". Piyush Goyal may announce a piece of good news for the stressed farmers in name of relief packages and tax exemptions for the stressed small scale businessmen.

He also announced that the TDS threshold on interest from bank and post office deposits will be raised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000. This was introduced previous year after being abolished in the Finance Act 2005. "This will provide additional tax benefit of Rs 4,700 crore to more than 3 crore salary earners and pensioners", said Goyal.

The Budget also proposed to exempt tax on notional rent for unsold housing units for two years.

The government also exempted tax on notional rent on a second self-occupied house.

Addressing the issue about farmers, Modi said that there have been several schemes by different governments from time to time but only 2-3 crore farmers were included in those schemes.

Defence budget at Rs 3 lakh crore, an increase of Rs 5,000 crore over a year ago. The government on Wednesday made it clear that the budget will be called an Interim Budget 2019-20 after media reports described the coming exercise as a General Budget.

Chances are that Goyal also left a candy dangling to the public when he said that "for the present the existing rates of income will continue for FY19"?

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