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Interim Budget 2019: A common man's budget
An interim budget has tried to give maximum benefit to the farmers, announcing to allocate Rs 60,000 crore for the financial year (FY) 2019-20, for MANREGA.

MANREGA has made significant contribution in generating employment and ensuring the inclusive development of the country from the very beginning. For the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, an allocation of Rs 19,000 crore has been allocated in the budget for the FY 2019-20, which will help in connecting the villages with nearby cities. By joining the nearest market, villagers will be able to sell their crops in the market and get better facilities in the education and health sectors.

An amount of Rs Eleven lakh sixty eight thousand crore has been provided to farmers under crop loan in the FY 2018-19. Rupees 75,000 crore have been allocated for the prime minister's farming scheme. There is also a proposal to provide two per cent interest subsidy to farmers for animal husbandry. In the budget, it has been said that all farmers have been provided Kisan Credit Card. Under the Prime Minister Kisan Yojana, small farmers having land up to two hectares will be given Rs 6,000 per year in 3 instalments, but no disclosure has been made regarding how this facility will be provided to landless farmers.

In five years, a target of creating one lakh digital villages has been set up, in which villages will be equipped with updated techniques. In the last 5 years, 34 crore savings accounts were opened under Pradhan Mantri Jandhan Yojna. Associating villagers to banks is also a part of making villages digitally equipped. There is a proposal to set up Kalyan Kisan Board to run welfare programs. Rs 500 crore has been allocated for the Prime Minister Shram Yogi Mann Yojana, which will benefit the workers directly. Anganwadi Asha workers have been proposed to increase honorarium of 50 per cent in the budget. The minimum monthly pension for workers will be Rs 1,000. Under the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) rules, the monthly salary will be increased from Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000, by which, more people will be able to take advantage of this scheme. It will be ensured to provide a pension of Rs 3,000 per month after 60 years to those earning Rs 15,000 per month in the organized sector. Rs 27,584 crore has been allocated for Integrated Child Development Scheme, which will strengthen the better development of the children.

Rs 3,27,679 crore has been allocated for the schemes funded by the Center, which is indicative of the fact that the government is sensitive for the success of welfare schemes. This amount will be used for the welfare of common people. In order to strengthen the education sector, it has been said in budget that 25 per cent additional seats will be arranged in educational institutions. Due to lesser seats in the educational institutions in the present time, the intelligent students are deprived of getting good education in the premier institute.

The allocation for the National Education Scheme has been increased from Rs 32,334 crore to Rs 38,570 crore, which will help in educating the illiterate people. In order to empower the health sector, the government has announced to open 22nd AIIMS in Haryana. Increasing the number of AIIMS has given great relief to the patients of states, because the quality of treatment in AIIMS is much better than private hospitals.

Under Prime Minister's Mudra Scheme, a loan of Rs 7.23 lakh crore will be given to 15.56 crore beneficiaries. Presently, under the Mudra Loan scheme, millions of people are getting employment in the unorganized sector. The success of this scheme can be estimated from the fact that the number of beneficiaries is increasing every year. It has been said in the budget that the personal income up to Rs 5 lakh will not come under purview of income tax. No income tax will be allowed on personal income up to Rs.6.50 lakh through various investment measures. This measure will benefit small taxpayers and more and more people will be motivated to file income tax returns.

The revised expenditure during the current financial year has been increased by 13.3 per cent to Rs 24,57,235 crore, while for the FY 2019-20, it has been estimated that Rs 27,84,200 crore will be spent. Clearly, due to the increase in the expenditure, the strengthening of the infrastructure and the demand for various products will increase. In total procurement of government enterprises, the supply from small enterprises has been increased to 25 per cent, in which a 3 per cent supply of women entrepreneurs will be made. This step of the government will help small businessmen to increase their business and women will also be empowered.

Announcing the elimination of unmanned crossings on the Broadway network of Railways has been announced in the budget. It can be considered as a major step taken by the government because due to unmanned crossings, thousands of common men die every year. For the various railway schemes, Rs 64,587 crore has been allocated in the financial year 2019-20, which will further strengthen the Railways.

Taxpayers will benefit from income tax department becoming online. This will weaken the concept of red tape and improve transparency in the whole process.  Under GST, traders having less than Rs 5 crore turnovers will have to file the returns once in three months. With this, they will avoid wasteful paperwork and focus their attention on their businesses. During the current financial year, the average monthly GST collection was Rs 97,100 crore while in 2017-18, it was Rs 89,700 crore. In January 2019, the GST collection is estimated to be around one lakh three thousand crore rupees.

In order to strengthen the North-eastern region financially and socially, the budget allocation for the FY2019-20 has been increased from 21 per cent to Rs 58,166 crore. For the first time, the defence budget has been increased to more than Rs 3 lakh crore to empower the country's defence system.

It can be said that the government has tried to give something to all the people in the interim budget. The government has taken most measures to solve the problems of the farmers. Through the MANREGA and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, the government has provided employment to the youth. The government has also given relief to education, railways, healthcare etc. sectors, so that the development of these areas can be ensured.

About the author: Satish Singh is currently working as Chief Manager in State Bank of India's Economic Research Department, Corporate Centre, Mumbai, and has been writing mainly on financial and banking topics for the last 10 years.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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