Finance Minister Piyush Goyal’s announcement during Budget 2019 speech that there would be no tax for annual incomes of up to Rs 5 Lakh prompted chants of ‘Modi…Modi’ in the Lok Sabha. Even temporarily drowning the voice of the union finance minister, whose speech could not be heard for several seconds above the chants of BJP MPs hailing the Prime Minister of India.
— Pankaj Happy Sharma (@pankajhappyhp) February 2, 2019
Further, in Budget 2019 session, Goyal also announced the PM Kisan programme (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi) under which small farmers with less than two acres would receive Rs 6,000; a pension scheme for unorganized sector workers; and doubling of food subsidy. It is named as the Bumper Bonus for farmers.
Budget for farmers-poor
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi is expected to benefit some 12 crore small and marginal farmers and comes with a price tag of Rs 75,000 crore.
FM Goyal also announced that individuals with a gross income of up to Rs 6.5 lakh would not need to pay any tax if they invest in provident funds or prescribed equities.
However, it was the full tax rebate for the salaried class – the core middle-class constituency of the ruling BJP – that caused the sustained applause among the treasury benches in the House. Goyal had to even temporarily stop his speech in wake of the chanting and clapping.
Besides rural and farmer distress, jobs remain a major challenge for the government and will be a key poll plank of the Opposition.