- Date : 21/02/2020
- Read: 5 mins
In Budget 2020, Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled a series of reforms and schemes that aimed at uplifting the Indian economy.
The recent Union Budget has taken significant steps to uplift the economy and give a boost to rural sectors. Several new schemes have been launched and some old schemes have been extended in scope.
Let’s first take a look at the new schemes:
- A village warehousing scheme has been launched to provide farmers with storage and holding capacity and reduce their expenses on logistics.
- Under the ‘Dhaanya Lakshmi’ scheme, women farmers will be given a bigger role and educated on the qualities of seeds and modern farming methods.
- Under PPP (public and private partnership), Kisan Rail Yojana from Indian Railways will set up a cold chain transport facility for perishable goods; this will reduce losses due to spoilage. These perishables include milk, meat, fish etc. and refrigerated coaches will be included in freight trains so that the goods can reach distant markets safely.
- Krishi Udaan Yojana will be handled by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and be involved in transporting perishable goods by air, both nationally and internationally.
- For higher credit, a scheme called ‘Nirwik’ will be launched; this will give higher coverage with lower premiums to small exporters and also simplify the claim procedure.
- A scheme will be launched that will revise the duties and taxes on exported products.
- A digital refund scheme is proposed for duties and taxes levied on exporters at the central, state, and local levels, including those that are not otherwise refunded.
- A scheme to be handled jointly by EXIM Bank and SIDBI to handhold micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in export markets.
- A scheme called ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ has been launched with the direct aim of reducing litigation in the field of direct tax. This scheme has a deadline of 30th June 2020.
- Additionally, there will be a waiver of interest and penalty levied, and taxpayers need to pay only the disputed taxes for payments till 31st March 2020.
- There will also be benefits for taxpayers whose cases are pending appeals at any level.
- A National Technical Textile Mission will be set up with the aim of making India a global textile leader. This comes with an estimated budget of Rs 1480 crore and a time frame of four years for implementation (2020-21 to 2023-24).
- A scheme has been launched to provide subordinated debt for MSME businessmen and entrepreneurs.
- Two national-level science schemes have been sanctioned to map India’s genetic landscape and create a full and comprehensive database for the same.
- A proposed scheme intends to encourage manufacturers of mobile phones, electronic equipment, and semiconductor packaging.
Government schemes that have been extended include the following flagship schemes:
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY): This scheme has been allocated approximately Rs 6400 crore and targets aspirational districts with no Ayushman empanelled hospitals that are to be covered in addition to the 20,000 hospitals already empanelled. It also intends to prevent diseases by employing Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Whereas Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras target the provision of 2000 medicines and 300 surgical in all districts by 2024.
- Ayushman Bharat scheme – TB Harega Desh Jeetega campaign launched to eradicate tuberculosis in India by 2025.
- MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act) has been extended which generates employment in rural areas.
- PM Kisan scheme allows direct cash transfer to the accounts of farmers. Once it recovers from its initial teething troubles, the expected disbursement will be done to over 14 crore farmers who are covered.
- PM Kusum scheme is to be expanded, with over 20 lakh farmers given solar pumps; solar power generation will allow farmers to utilise their fallow land and sell the power generated to the grid.
- Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna provides connectivity to unconnected villages by constructing roads and is intended to reduce poverty in these regions. The third phase of this scheme is ongoing and has been extended.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana provides affordable housing to the poor in both urban and rural areas. This benefit is available to those in the economically weaker section (EWS) with income less than Rs 3 lakh, low-income groups (LIGs) with an income cap of Rs 3–6 lakh, and middle-income groups (MIGs) of Rs 6–18 lakh.
- Integrated Child Development Services was launched in 1975 and has been extended. It has four sub-schemes: Anganwadi services, Sabla (a program for adolescent girls), child protection services, and the National Crèche Scheme.
- Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) provides affordable healthcare facilities in different parts of the country and improved medical education. The first phase involves two projects: setting up six AIIMS outlets and upgrading existing government medical colleges.
- The NABARD refinance scheme is to be further expanded.
- The Udaan Scheme is extended and will develop 100 more airports by 2024.