Friday went according to script as Finance Minister Piyush Goyal rolled out a please-all 'interim' budget for the year 2019-20 .
It included big tax sops, including an announcement that there will be no taxes for those earning upto Rs 5 lakh a year (up from Rs 250000), direct income support - Rs 6000 per year - for farmers who have under 2 hectares of land, monthly pension - Rs 3000 - for workers in the informal sector, a hike in gratuity limit to Rs 30 lakh from Rs 10 lakh and many more sops.
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Minister without portfolio Arun Jaitley had indicated that the interim budget may go "beyond the traditional " vote-on-account as tackling agricultural challenges "can't afford to wait". This 'interim' budget did stretch even his expectations and was in many ways, like Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, an "election manifesto", and beyond laying out a vision plan that attempted to stretch to 2030.
Quick expert take on the budget from our columnist Shankkar Aiyar:
Budget 2019 is well written and well presented. Cogent about economic cause and political consequence
It ticks all the boxes - farmers, middle class, organised and unorganised workers, pensioners and women
The sops promise stimulus to demand and therefore are positive for the economy
1: Leaves out landless and tenant farmers
2: The math of fiscal management is fuzzy given the shortfall in disinvestment and GST
Budget math: As done by Shankkar Aiyar it showed that the government will have to borrow Rs 80.36 crore per hour to fund its plans.
More highlights below: