02022019-TTC-01.qxd 02-02-2019 01:31 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.3 no.32 | 44 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | saturday, february 2,2019 ! late city is not just an Interim are telling years of ❝ Thisfor the developmentalBudget, but a ❝ Theythis Budgetliesaand cheating ❝ Dear NoMo, fivearroganceyour destroyed vehicle transformation people... is farce and (election) incompetence and has of the nation. India is poised to become a $5 trillion economy in the next five years. manifesto of the BJP to cheat people… there is little time left to implement the proposals. the lives of our farmers. Giving them ~17 a day is an insult to everything they work for. — PIYUSH GOYAL, FINANCE MINISTER — MAMATA BANERJEE, WB CM — RAHUL GANDHI, CONG CHIEF INTERIM BUDGET 2019-20 ■ No tax on income up to ~5 lakh; tax slabs unchanged ■ ~3,000 pension for 10 cr unorganised sector workers ■ Standard deduction raised to ~50,000; 3cr taxpayers to benefit ■ 2% interest relief for GST-registered MSMEs on ~1cr loan ■ TDS threshold raised to ~40,000 on bank/PO deposits ■ 22nd AIIMS to come up in BJP-ruled Haryana FARMERS DEFENCE EDUCATION INCOME TAX — IMPACT ON SALARIED INDIVIDUALS (IN ~) ~6,000 ~3.05 lakh cr ~93,848 cr Salary yearly direct income support to 12 crore farmers holding cultivable land up to two hectare under PM-KISAN scheme ~20,000 cr FOUNDER’S DAY: We offer our respectful tributes to Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, who founded The Tribune this day 138 years ago. allocated in FY 2018-19, ~75,000 crore for FY 2019-20 The first instalment of ~2,000 will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of farmers before March 2% interest subvention during disasters to farmers for the entire period of rescheduled loan 2% interest subvention to farmers for animal husbandry and fisheries; additional 3% for timely repayment is the outlay for the 2019-20 defence budget effecting a hike of around ~20,000 crore as compared to current fiscal ~35,000 crore already spent on implementing “one rank, one pension” (OROP) that was pending for the past 40 years allocated to the education sector and Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is only 3.3% of the total expenditure for 2019-2020 The current allocation (~56,386.63 crore for schools and ~37,461.01 crore for higher education) is a ~10,000 cr hike from the revised estimate of ~83,626 crore for 2018-2019 Existing Proposed Existing Proposed Existing Proposed 5L 5L 7.5L 7.5L 20L 20L 40,000 50,000 40,000 50,000 40,000 40,000 4.6L 4.5L 7.1L 7L 19.6L 19.5L Tax 10,500 10,000 54,500 52,500 3,00,500 2,97,500 Net Tax 10,500 Nil 54,500 52,500 3,00,500 2,97,500 Edu cess 420 Nil 2,180 2,100 Total tax 10,929 Nil 56,680 54,600 — 19,920 — 2,080 Std deduction Net total income SURCHARGE Tax Savings RAILWAYS ~1.58 lakh cr is the highest-ever capital expenditure allocation, up from last year’s ~1.48 lakh crore; ~7,225 crorewill be spent on laying of new lines 12,020 11,900 3,12,520 3,09,400 — 3,120 Direct tax system simplified; returns to be processed in 24 hours with immediate refunds Gratuity limit increased from ~10 lakh to ~30 lakh TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent to be increased to ~2.40 lakh from ~1.80 lakh Tax exempted on notional rent on a second self-occupied house Modi opens purse before polls Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 1 Weeks ahead of the country entering poll-mode, the Narendra Modi government today unveiled proposals in Interim Budget that bordered on being populist offering measures to please sections—the middle class, farmers, unorganised workforce and small businesses— that were displeased with it. These included exemption from paying income tax to those earning up to Rs 5 lakh per year, tweaking eligible deductions for existing taxpayers, a Rs 6,000 per month cash handout to small farmers, pension scheme for unorganised workers and concessions for small businesses affected during the last five years. Admitting that it was moving away from convention in offering relief, the government justified that “small taxpayers, especially middle class, salary earners, pen- INTERIM BUDGET 2019-20 SPECIAL COVERAGE Big push to Ayushman Bharat PAGE 2 Riding it faster, fancier PAGE 3 Mixed bag for region’s industry PAGE 20 sioners and senior citizens need certainty in their minds at the beginning of the year about their taxes”. True to its tendency of springing surprises, the government, through Budget proposals presented by Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, unveiled a series of incentives it plans to give to the middle class and farmers, sections whose weariness with the Modi Sarkar is the cause for a setback to the BJP in three Assembly elections last December. That was not all. Aware the fine print read that the new tax relief will not accrue to those who earn more that Rs 5 lakh, Goyal dangled hope that the next government under Prime Minister Modi would look at other tax proposals in the main Budget. Asserting that the NDA government has laid the foundation for India to become a Rs 5-trillion economy in the next five years, Goyal outlined Modi government’s vision for 10 important dimensions by 2030. These include building physical and social infrastructure, digital India, pollution-free nation, expanding rural industry, clean rivers, build blue economy, robust space programme, exporting food, healthy India and achieve maximum governance, minimum government. Goyal said he was constrained of this being an Interim Budget, continued on page 24 Edit: poll-centric budget Govt bid to placate farmers with sops a joke. ❝ It’sbefittingWill in give a reply ❝ Our neo-middle class is rising and so are their dreams... Interim Budget is a trailer for what will take India towards prosperity after Lok Sabha polls. — NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER Biggest-ever defence outlay, way behind China’s Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 1 India, in an attempt to match its growing military profile, allocated Rs 3,18,931 crore ($44.74 billion) to the Ministry of Defence even as salaries and establishment expenses and pensions continue to add a burden on the resources. The allocation will include Rs 1,08,248 crore as capital expenses meant for new equipment, weapons, aircraft, naval warships, Army vehicles. The MoD will spend around 32 per cent of the total Central Government DRAGON SPEND $224BN ■ ~3,18,931 crore ($44.74 bil- lion) have been allocated to the Ministry of Defence ■ The spending is way behind that of China, which spends around $224 bn annually capital expenditure. The spending is way behind China, which spends $224 billion annually, as per estimates by US think-tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSlS). Beijing finalises its budget in March every year. Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal gave 6.87 per cent hike—or Rs 23,420 crore—over the military spending of Rs 2,95,511 crore allocated for the ongoing fiscal. Separately, a sum of Rs 1,12,080 crore has been allocated for defence pensions. The combined budget—for operations, salaries, pensions and capital—stands at Rs 4,31,011 crore, which con- stitutes 15.5 per cent of the government’s spending. The services are literally weighed down by bulging “establishment” costs— euphuism for salaries and pensions. The salaries of the three services and the civilians work out to be Rs 1,19,559 crore and now form 37 per cent of the Budget. In other words, salaries and pensions take up more money than what is allocated for modernisation. The MoD is looking at “right-sizing” the forces and also look at cutting costs from within. The Army has started its restructuring process. New Delhi, February 1 Hoping to placate the agitated farming community, the Modi government allocated Rs 75,000 crore for a direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to 12 crore farmers with cultivable land up to two hectares. The scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), will come into force from the current fiscal and the first installment of Rs 2,000 will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of farmers before March, ahead of the General Election. PM-KISAN was needed for procuring inputs — seed, fertilisers, equipment and labou — the Finance Minister said, claiming it would help prevent indebtedness and pave the way for a respectable liv- Lok Sabha elections. —RAKESH TIKAIT, BKU BACK PAGE ing. “It will not only provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families, but also meet emergency needs, especially before the harvest season, he said. Goyal also announced extended interest subsidy on loans availed for animal husbandry and fisheries as well as for farmers affected by natural calamities. The total budget allocation for agriculture and allied activities is projected at Rs 1,49,981 crore for the 2019-20 fiscal when continued on page 24 Banking on new & tested P24 Cong calls it ‘jumla Budget’ Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 1 Moments after Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal commended the sixth and the last Budget of the NDA government to the Lok Sabha, Congress leaders denounced it as an election campaign speech, accusing the government of trying to buy votes of farmers in poll season. Congress president Rahul Gandhi led the criticism by floating a Twitter hash tag “AakhriJumlaBudget”. He questioned the newly PC TAKES A DIG ■ They are giving ~6,000 per farmer, which is ~17 a day for a family. Is that a relief? ■ The fishermen have got a department, they have not got money. So, let’s not celebrate announced PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna for the Rs 17 a day it promises to small farmers’ families. “Dear NoMo, 5 years of your incompetence and arrogance have destroyed the lives of our farmers. Giving them Rs 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for,” Gandhi tweeted about the same time as his colleague and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram called NDA’s farm income scheme a “half a cup of tea” scheme. “The scheme translates into Rs 3 per member continued on page 24 Waivers of no help, Jaitley backs income support New Delhi, February 1 Union Minister Arun Jaitley rejected criticism for deviating from the past by including direct tax proposal in an interim Budget, saying the rebate in income tax was a logical extension of steps taken by the government since 2014. During an interaction through video-conferencing from New York, he said: “I completely reject this artificial distinction between direct and indirect taxes. On the one hand, the so-called critics, ‘Nawabs of Negativity’, are saying the world’s fastest growing economy is growing slow. If that’s the criticism, then let us be allowed to give a boost to the economy,” he said. On income support for farmers, he said the farm sector required resources and if the current scheme was inadequate, the Centre would increase the allocation. Pointing out that the sector was in distress, he said the Centre had taken the first step and “let the state governments of so-called critics top it up. Income support and subsidy can go hand in hand.” Taking a dig at critics, he said the Congress had announced a Rs 72,000-crore farm loan waiver but had actually disbursed about Rs 52,000 crore. “Loan waivers are never a solution but farmers do need income support,” he stressed. — TNS Mirage-2000 aircraft crashes in Bengaluru, two pilots dead Ahead of Bihar rally, Rahul Punjab ex-MLA’s kin among booked for ‘hurting sentiments’ loan waiver beneficiaries Bengaluru, February 1 A Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force today crashed at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Airport here, killing both pilots, a defence official said. Though the pilots tried to eject, they were caught in the flames as the plane crashed with a huge explosion, the official added. The pilots were identified as Squadron Leader Samir Abrol and Squadron Leader Siddhartha Negi, both from Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment. “This morning, a Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft on a sortie after upgrade crashed at the HAL Airport, Bengaluru,” a defence An IAF Mirage-2000 trainer jet that crashed at HAL Airport in Bengaluru. REUTERS PRO said. A probe was being ordered, he added. — PTI Patna, February 1 Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Bihar party chief Madan Mohan Jha and four other leaders were today booked for “hurting Hindu sentiments”, two days ahead of a mega Congress rally in Patna. The posters for the rally, scheduled for February 3 at Gandhi Maidan, show party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as Goddess Durga and Rahul as Lord Shiva. The posters allegedly show PM Narendra Modi in poor light. Rakesh Datta Mishra, the complainant, said: “The Congress has played with Hindus’ sentiments by depicting their top leaders as god and goddess. It’s a move to ridicule those we worship.” — OC Today’s issue consists of 44 pages, including four-page The Tribune Trends, four-page Bathinda Tribune and 12-page additional pullout. Faridkot, February 1 Political leaders and their kin are on the list of beneficiaries to be given loan waiver certificate by Congress MLA Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon here on Saturday. Besides the mother of former Kotkapura MLA Mantar Singh Brar, former SGPC member Makhan Singh Nangal, wife of former SGPC member Sher Singh Mandwala and Jaswinder Singh, brother of SGPC member Sukhdev Singh, are among the 5,059 beneficiaries from Faridkot. Brar’s mother Manjit Kaur is to get a waiver of Rs 89,137. The SAD leader said: “She lives with my younger brother. I don’t have any information in this regard.” — TNS
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).