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Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India, has presented the Union Budget for 2017-18 in Parliament today. The agenda was: “Transform, Energise and Clean India”.

Here are the highlights from business and finance sector, which every Entrepreneur should be aware of; besides highlights from tax changes, which will impact every tax-paying Indian citizen:

Financial Sector

  • FDI policy reforms – more than 90% of FDI inflows are now automated.
  • Shares of Railway PSE like IRCTC will be listed on stock exchanges.
  • Bill on resolution of financial firms will be introduced in this session of Parliament.
  • Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be abolished.
  • Revised mechanism to ensure time-bound listing of CPSEs.
  • Computer emergency response team for financial sector will be formed.
  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target fixed at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18.
  • Digital India – BHIM app will unleash mobile phone revolution. The government will introduce two schemes to promote BHIM App – referral bonus for the users and cash back for the traders.
  • Negotiable Instruments Act might be amended.
  • DBT to LPG consumers , Chandigarh is kerosene-free, 84 government schemes are on the DBT platform.
  • Head post office as the central office for rendering passport service.
  • Easy online booking system for Army and other defence personnel.
  • For big-time offences – including economic offenders fleeing India, the government will introduce legislative change or introduce law to confiscate the assets of these people within the country.

Business & Tax Sector

  • India’s tax to GDP ratio is not favourable
  • Out of 13.14 lakh registered companies, only 5.97 lakh firms have filed returns for 2016-17
  • Proportion of direct tax to indirect tax is not optimal
  • Individuals numbering 1.95 crore showed an income between Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh
  • Out of 76 lakh individual assessees declaring income more than Rs. 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried
  • Only 1.72 lakh people showed income of more than Rs. 50 lakh a year
  • Between November 8 to December 30, deposits ranging from Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 80 lakh were made in 1.09 crore accounts
  • Net tax revenue of 2013-14 was Rs. 11.38 lakh crore
  • Out of 76 lakh individual assessees declaring income more than Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried
  • 1.95 crore individuals showed income between Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh
  • Rate of growth of advance tax in Personal I-T is 34.8% in the last three quarters of this financial year
  • Holding period for long term capital gain lowered to two years
  • Proposal to have a carry-forward of MAT for 15 years
  • Capital gains tax to be exempted for persons holding land from which land was pooled for creation of the state capital of Andhra Pradesh
  • Under the corporate tax, in order to make MSME companies more viable, there is a proposal to reduce tax for small companies with a turnover of up to Rs 50 crore to 25%. About 67 lakh companies fall in this category. Ninety-six % of companies to get this benefit
  • The government proposes to reduce basic customs duty for LNG to 2.5% from 5%
  • The Income Tax Act to be amended  to ensure that no transaction above Rs 3 lakh is permitted in cash
  • The limit of cash donation by charitable trusts is reduced to Rs 2,000 from Rs 10,000
  • Net revenue loss in direct tax could be Rs. 20,000 crore

Click here to read the entire budget.

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