Everybody wins in this one, says FM
Focus spending on identified success stories, widen the tax net and carry on the government’s campaign against illegal cash holdings. These were at the core of the philosophy driving finance minister Arun Jaitley’s fourth Union budget that stressed on cleaning up political funding and unveiled tax breaks for lower-income groups.
In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, the finance minister said the groundwork laid by the scrapping of `500 and `1,000 banknotes last November boosted the lending capacity of banks.
“The peculiarity of this budget is that after demonetisation, nobody pays more and everyone gets tax advantage, except those with incomes in the range of `50 lakh-`1 crore range,” Jaitley said.
The finance minister indicated he would further increase the allocation for the national rural jobs scheme and stressed that political parties would love the new donation regime. He said the assembly elections had little impact on drafting the budget but added that farmers and traders in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and Punjab would benefit from reinforced rural credit and a lack of “regressive taxes”.
Jaitley said the government’s aim was to make cash generation difficult by more scrutiny and tax incentives. “All the measures we are taking, we have to make sure that we provide a great incentive for the people to enter the tax net.”