CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ■ ■ kollam l tuesday l February 02, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION how Ministry-level Allocations compare (in J crore) BE FY21 Housing & Urban Affairs Health & Family Welfare Education (HRD) Railways Road Transport & Highways Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Rural Development Home Affairs Consumer Affairs, Food, & PDS Defence 50,039.9 67,111.8 99,311.52 72,215.63 91,823.22 1,42,762.35 1,22,398.43 1,67,250.33 1,24,535.43 4,71,378 Actual Exp FY21 (Up to Dec 2020) Ministry RE FY21 Major schemes (in J crore) BE FY22 Scheme Per cent 28,104.62 46,791 54,581 9.07% 59,117.11 82,928.3 73,932 10.16% 58,558.1 85,089 93,224 6.13% 42,828.51 1,11,233.63 1,10,055 53.39% 72,380.97 1,01,823.22 1,18,101 28.62% 97,640.6 1,24,520.4 1,31,531.2 7.87% 1,57,298.81 1,98,628.7 1,33,690 8.45% 1,49,388.11 1,06,534.4 1,66,546.94 0.42% 1,51,195.6 4,50,686.63 2,56,948 106.32% 3,38,634.4 4,84,736 4,78,196 1.45% BE FY21 RE FY21 BE FY22 Per cent MGNREGA 61,500 1,11,500 PM Kisan 75,000 65,000 National Education Mission 39,161 28,244 National Health Mission 34,115 35,554 Jal Jeevan Mission AMRUT & Smart Cities 11,500 13,750 11,000 9,850 73,000 18.7% 65,000 13.33% 34,300 12.4% 37,130 8.8% 50,011 335% 13,750 0% Higher allocation to health and rural jobs programme, while universal water supply scheme has seen a five-fold jump. But outlay cut down for Modi’s flagship PM-Kisan scheme Low fuel, full throttle Target A 1.75 lakh cr O n t h e c a r d s Stake sale in public sector companies and financial institutions, including 2 PSU banks and one insurance company Govt wants to divest publicsector companies in nonstrategic sectors U p f o r s a l e IDBI Bank BPCL Shipping Corp Container Corporation Neelachal Ispat Nigam LIC IPO Govt plans legislative amendments for LIC IPO in 2021-22 NITI Aayog to prepare next list of central public sector companies that can be divested S u ni t h a nat t i There are no good finance ministers, only lucky ones. Unarguably Nirmala Sitharaman has been , the unluckiest. After “boring and disappointing” budgets, she has boned up on the task and delivered a sensible, growth-oriented budget prioritising investments over fiscal consolidation, a stable tax regime, and spring-cleaning stressed assets and government’s books. The Covid pandemic toppled the arithmetic alchemy in FY21, where expenses and debt rose and income fell. Fiscal deficit will breach past 9.5% largely due to the food subsidy bill, for which government cut a `1.5 lakh crore cheque. With this, the UPA-era offbudget financing gets a quiet burial, the nation’s balance sheet reflects reality and the government wins investors’ trust for transparency and deficit realism. In FY22, expenditure at `34.83 lakh crore is barely `33,000 crore over FY21 — the lowest ever increase in decades. But what sets this budget apart is the quality of expenditure. As Sitharaman tried balancing between thrift and spendthrift, revenue expenditure is tipped for the chop, while capex will jump 34% at `5.54 lakh crore — just what’s needed for job creation and growth recovery . Fiscal deficit will reduce to 6.8% of GDP from 9.5% in FY21, not because tax revenue will be back to its best behaviour, but be- cause of expenditure rationalisation from 17.7% to 15.6% of GDP. Perhaps, the FM hopes in private, that revenue collections will be better than projections. Among sectors, healthcare will get rolls of crisp currency notes aggregating `2.38 lakh crore, but since this includes water and sanitation allocations, Sitharaman’s sincere efforts couldn’t win either the expert or the ordinary . FY21 fiscal deficit pegged at 9.5% The Centre on Monday pegged the fiscal deficit for FY21 at 9.5%, higher than what analysts have predicted as it increased spending, sidestepping the concerns over the impact on the sovereign rating by taking fiscal expansionary stance | P10 Agriculture credit has been raised to `16.5 lakh crore and so are allocations for defence -- somewhat marginal despite the China threat — education and others. However, there was a marked absence of targeted support for distressed housheolds, who for now must survive largely on love. And as if poking on the ribs, interest earned on annual PF contribution exceeding `2.5 lakh is taxable from April. Once taxation begins, it only goes upwards. Additionally, a farm cess on a few items aims to raise `30,000 crore, or 0.1% of GDP. As for banks, there’s a sniper in the woods (bad loans) so government will set up a bad bank at last. Infrastructure got more than one gold vein to pump the heart of the economy The proposed Devel. opment Financial Institution is a good egg though investing in Indian infra has historically been considered risky The asset mon. etisation drive will see almost everything that’s saleable at PSUs hanging a for-sale sign. They can rake in the dough only if buyers don’t jockey for bargains. Perhaps FY2022 will be a year of privatisation starting with two state-run banks and an insurer. We already have a few jilted brides in LIC, BPCL and Air India and disinvestment proceeds have always been the bridesmaid. So, strategic sale of PSUs will rest not on government’s willingness but its resolve to amend laws. In all, the Budget’s spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak with Sitharaman playing schwäbische Hausfrau — southern Germany’s pragmatic Swabian housewife — to guard the nation’s finances. The FM should have used the decade’s first budget setting a definitive agenda for the future and not just the next 12 months. India will be the world’s fastest growing economy. At this moment, we’ve only got one chance and Sitharaman could have displayed a seatof-the-pants ability to regain our rightful place in the sun. New agriculture cess could leave states much poorer E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi The FM on Monday imposed agricultural infrastructure cess on a host of commodities from petrol to alcohol to gold and silver. While it won’t raise costs for the consumer as central excise and customs duties will be cut in tandem, the tweaks mean less money for states from the central coffers. States get no share of central cesses such as those on education cess, road and infrastructure. While the exact amount of money which the states will lose out is yet to be worked out, official say some `30,000 crore INSIDE will come from the new cess. This year the total income from central excise and customs duty stood at `4.73 lakh crore. To absorb the new agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess of `2.5 a litre on petroleum, the Centre has cut the basic excise duty on petrol from `2.98 to `1.4 and from `4.83 to `1.8 a litre for diesel. A similar adjustment has been made for alcoholic beverages that currently attract 150% basic customs duty. It has been cut to 50%to soak in 100% AIDC. While the tippler will continue to pay the same price, states will lose out on revenues. Myanmar’s military staged a coup on Monday and detained many politicians, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The military blamed it on the government for not acted on claims of fraud in November’s elections in which Suu Kyi’s party won a majority in Parliament | P9 Senior citizens aged 75 years and above having only pension and interest income exempt from filing ITRs. Their bank will deduct the necessary tax on their income Additional tax deduction of K1.5 lakh on interest paid on loan taken to buy affordable home extended till Mar 31, 2022 Time limit for reopening of income tax assessment cases reduced from six to three years; for serious tax fraud cases, where concealment of income is ‘Faceless’ dispute resolution committee for small tax payers with taxable income of up to This means the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal will also go faceless and all procedures will be carried out electronically K50 lakh or more, it would be 10 years Pre-filling of returns will also cover capital gains from listed securities, dividend income, etc #AatmanirbharBharatKaBudget is a Budget for farmers and agriculture sector economy... Credit availability will improve, APMC apparatus will be strengthened Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Forget putting cash in the hands of people, Modi govt plans to hand over India’s assets to his crony capitalist friends Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader K50 lakh Threshold for tax audit increased from `5 crore to `10 crore for those transacting 95% digitally Dividend payment to Real Estate Investment Trusts / Infra Investment Trusts exempt from TDS @ Kochi Ready to deliver Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with her team before leaving the finance ministry for Parliament to present the Budget, in New Delhi on Monday | Shekhar yadav slash in duty to reduce gold smuggling | p4 K I R A N N A R AYA N A N @ Kochi coup, suu kyi detained While the FM did not change the income tax rates or slabs, a slew of other measures were taken to ease the burden on taxpayers EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE This is a budget to deceive the masses. It’s antifarmer, antipeople and anticountry budget Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM Our demand was to hike price of crops, not agri credit. They didn’t talk about MSP. There is nothing in it for farmers Rakesh Tikait, BKU leader Political hot potato EPF now taxable J ayan ta R o y C h o w d h u ry @ New Delhi Hidden in the fine print of the budget is a shocker for salaried people – interest on employees contribution to provident fund beyond `2.5 lakh a year or a tad more than `20,000 a month will no longer be tax free. Most people prefer to save through contributions to the Employees Provident Fund Organisation as this was EEE or Exempt, Exempt, Exempt, a system where the money one saves is exempt of taxes at all three stages — when saved, when interest is accumulated on it and when withdrawn. “It is proposed to restrict tax exemption for t h e i n t e re s t i n c o m e earned on the employees’ contribution to various provident funds to the annual contribution of `2.5 lakh. This restriction shall be applicable only for the contribution made on or after April 1, 2021,” the budget document said. Some 12% of an employee’s basic salary and performance wages is deducted as provident fund, while the employer contributes another 12%. It means anyone who earns more than `20.83 lakh a year will see his or her interest on EPF contribution being taxed. A63,941 cr is the estimated cost of the semi high-speed rail project man. The letter insists the state to complete ongoing projects worth `43,200 crore before going ahead with Silverline. With `1,10,055 crore set to be allocated for the overall development of the Railways under the POLL-BOUND Kerala received a big boost in the Union budget with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approving a slew of big-ticket projects including `65,000 crore to develop 1,100 kilometres of national highways in the state. The budget also proposed substantial investment in the development of modern fishing harbours and fish landing centres. To start with, five major harbours including Kochi will be developed as hubs of economic activity, she said. The budget also allocated `1,957.05 crore for the second phase of Kochi Metro Rail. The 11.5km line will connect Kaloor stadium with Kakkanad. Sitharaman also announced the plan for the Madurai-Kollam corridor under the 3,500-km NH project in TN which will cost `1.03-lakh crore. With assembly elections set to be held in Kerala in another two months or so, political commentators feel the BJP will make the most of the announcements during its campaign. “Apart from the controversies surrounding the Left government, BJP also needs such major announcements in the budget to seek votes. Whether these announcements translate into votes is a different question but BJP will make it a discussion point during the campaign,” said political commentator P Su● More on P4 jathan. foreign investment IN INSURANCE WON’T LIMIT INDIAN MGT CONTROL | p10 Silverline gets Centre’s green light myanmar Disincentive TAX PROPOSALS `65K CR FOR NH, `1.96K CR FOR METRO, FM PUTS STATE BJP IN POLL POSITION kochi harbour to get L140-cr infra push | p2 THE Centre has given the green light to Silverline, the state’s `64,000-cr semi high-speed rail project. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has sent a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, asking the state government to expedite land acquisition after obtaining necessary clearances for the project. The letter, dated January 5, also directed the project implementing agency (PIA)/state government to engage with Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) to finalise the funding aspect. “In the meanwhile, land acquisition and other clearances may be expedited by the PIA,” said the letter signed by Sithara- 2,314.84 The stockmarkets gave a big thumbs up to the Budget with the BSE Sensex rallying over 2,000 points to close at 48,600.61 on Monday Source: Budget document Mega budget spend on roads infrastructure Poll-bound states get mammoth share but others left out Tweaks in excise and customs duties DOOR WIDE OPEN FOR FOREIGN INSURANCE FIRMS Disinvestment AMIT BANDRE National Rail Plan-2030, Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (K-Rail) officials hope to start executing the Silverline project without delay . “Silverline is already a part of the National Rail Plan-2030. With the budget insisting on implementing the plan in a time-bound manner, we feel the Silverline project too can be carried out without delay The FM’s letter on . land acquisition and direction to initiate discussion with JICA are all positive developments as far as the project is concerned,” a KRail official told TNIE. “We are looking at a co-financing model. JICA has already evinced interest to provide $4.46 billion (`33,000 crore) as loan.” ● More on P4 express read Cinematographer Nivas passes away Kozhikode: National awardwinning cinematographer P S Nivas (P Srinivas), 76, died due to age-related illness here on Monday. Nivas had wielded the camera for several films in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. P4 Nominations can be filed online: Meena T’Puram: Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena, who convened a meeting of parties to discuss preparations for the assembly polls, said arrangements have been made to file nominations online. Delhi roads barricaded, crackdown on Twitter E xpress N ews S ervice @ New Delhi The crackdown following the Republic Day violence here continued on Monday with the police installing spikes on the road at one of the farmer protest sites, erecting cement walls, barricading arterial roads and even temporarily getting Twitter to suspend 250 accounts. The government also extended the ban on internet services at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders till Tuesday night. There will be no internet in adjoining areas either. The suspension, which came into effect on January 29, was to be in place till 11 pm on January 31. The government said this is done for “public safety”. At the Singhu border, workers under police supervision were seen hooking iron rods between rows of cement barriers on a flank of the highway to restrict the movement of farmers. Another portion of the highway at the Delhi-Haryana border was blocked by a newlybuilt cement wall.
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