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Live Budget 2020: Committed To Doubling Farmer Incomes By 2022: Finance Minister In Budget – 10 Points

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has begun presenting her second Union Budget. As she rises to reveal her answer to a frail economy, steps to boost consumer demand and revive growth will be watched closely. Beganning her presentation in parliament with a tribute to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who died last year, Ms Sitharaman termed the GST “historic structural reform”. Today’s Union Budget, the third in a span of one year, will seek to kickstart an economy staring at the worst pace of expansion recorded since the 2008-09 global financial crisis. The government is widely expected to raise spending on infrastructure and cut some personal tax to spur consumer demand and investment. The stock markets, which have been volatile ahead of the Budget day, will remain open for a special trading session.

Here are 10 things to know about Budget 2020 :

1. The Finance Minister began her speech by saying that the Budget 2020-21 is for boosting income and improving the purchasing power of people.

2. “Only through higher growth can we have our youth gainfully and meaningfully employed,” said the Finance Minister.

3. Stating that India is now the fifth largest economy in the world, the finance minister said: “Fundamentals of the economy are strong and that has ensured macroeconomic stability… And inflation well contained.”

4. The central government’s debt has reduced to 48.7 per cent of GDP from 52.2 per cent in March 2014, MS Sitharaman said.

5. Calling Goods and Services Tax (GST) the “most historic reform”, the finance minister said that the turnaround time of trucks has seen a substantial reduction. A simplified return format for GST will be introduced from April 2020, she said.

6. The Finance Minister said 16 lakh individuals have been added to the taxpayers’ base.

7. She also said the government is committed to doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

8. “The Budget is woven around ‘Aspirational India’, economic development and a caring society,” the Finance Minister said.

9. The Union Budget comes at a time when the GDP Growth rate has been spiraling downwards in last five quarters. It slowed to 4.5 per cent in the July-September quarter – the weakest pace since 2013.

10. The Economic Survey has pegged gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 5 per cent in the current financial year, which it said would pick up to 6-6.5 per cent in financial year ending March 2021.

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