We decided to give greater impetus to economy in this budget, says Sitharaman – ThePrint

Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in Lok Sabha during the Budget session | PTI Photo

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of allocations, including revising the capital expenditure by 34.5% to Rs 5.54 lakh crore, as she presented her third budget in Lok Sabha Monday.

In her budget, the Finance Minister announced a 137 per cent hike in the health and wellness budget, while introducing an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess on a host of items, including gold and silver dore bars, alcoholic beverages, palm oil, apples, and petrol and diesel.

The Finance Minister also announced extension of tax breaks for affordable housing, but refrained from making any changes to personal income tax slabs or providing any new exemptions to taxpayers.

Fiscal deficit has been pegged at an estimated 9.5 per cent of GDP in 2020-21.

Here are the live updates:

4:18 pm: Watch: ThePrint’s Remya Nair, Abantika Ghosh and Ruhi Tewari discuss the key takeaways on agriculture and health sector from Union Budget 2021

4:15 pm: Govt has levied an agriculture infrastructure and development cess on a host of items, but this is unlikely to impact the final consumer. Here’s why

3:50 pm: Winners & losers
From state-run banks and textiles to farmers and IT firms: Read who got what in Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2021

3:45 pm: Defence capital budget sees 19% jump, Finance Commission calls for non-lapsable fund

The 15th Finance Commission has recommended a Rs 2.38 lakh crore non-lapsable fund for modernisation in 2021-26. But the overall defence budget in FY22 is up only 1.5%. Read more here

3:35 pm: We reduced the customs duty & levied a disproportionate amount of cess to not put the burden on the consumer, says FM

3:26 pm: The scheme under which the government is paying the EPF of employees that the companies re-hired after layoff during pandemic would continue till June next year, says FM Sitharaman

3:23 pm: Disinvestment to continue, LIC to have IPO, FDI limit raised in insurance sector — these are progressive steps in financial sector, says FM

3:22 pm: We attended to the need of the health sector, says FM

3:20 pm: We decided to spend big on infra in this budget, says FM Sitharaman

3:19 pm: We decided to give greater impetus to economy, says FM

3:18 pm: FM Sitharaman addresses press conference

3:15 pm: Budget has provisions for further strengthening APMC mandis through Agri Infrastructure Fund, says PM Modi

3:14 pm: Budget has special focus on strengthening agriculture sector, boosting farmers’ income; villages and farmers are at its heart, says PM

3:10 pm: Sensex is now up 2,290 points at 48,575.82, while Nifty is trading at 14,267.80, up 633 points

3:03 pm: This Budget focuses on sectors that are related to both wealth and wellness. A special focus has also been applied on infrastructure and MSMEs, says PM

3:02 pm: Today’s budget will enhance India’s self-confidence, says PM Modi

3:01 pm: I am happy that southern states, states of northeast, and UTs of Ladakh and J&K have been given growth impetus, while there is an effort boost coastal areas, says PM Modi

2:59 pm: This budget will bring several positive changes for individuals, investors, industry and infrastructure sector. I congratulate FM Nirmala and her team on this Budget, says PM Narendra Modi

2:55 pm: Forget putting cash in the hands of people, Modi Govt plans to handover India’s assets to his crony capitalist friends, tweets Congress leader Rahul Gandhi


2:49 pm: Key highlights of Union Budget 2021-22

2:35 pm: Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant says budget will “accelerate us in pre-Covid period recovery stage”


2:22 pm: Budget 2021 least povertarian, with big push for post-Covid growth.
Read ThePrint’s 50-word edit here

2:15 pm: Govt allocates Rs 3,726 crore for the first digital census

2:05 pm: Watch: Economist Ila Patnaik and ThePrint’s Managing Editor Y.P. Rajesh decode Budget 2021

2:00 pm: Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill says Budget 2021 is a case of ‘wrong diagnosis & wrong prescription’


1:54 pm: Focus on health in Budget is testimony to India’s commitment to fight Covid, says Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia


1:48 pm: Markets cheer Union Budget, Sensex jumps 2,058.06 points to 48,343.83

1:44 pm: Govt proposes  agri infra cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol, Rs 4 on diesel

1:40 pm: New Agri Infra Development Cess to be applicable from 2 February 2021

1:39 pm: Agri infra cess of 17.5% on crude palm oil, 20% on crude soyabean, sunflower oil imposed

1:36 pm: Agri infra cess of 100% imposed on alcoholic beverages

1:35 pm: Agri infra cess of 2.5% imposed on gold, silver and dore bars; 35% on apples; 5% on specified fertiliser; 1.5% on coal, lignite and peat

1:32 pm: Govt to rationalise customs duty on gold, silver

1:30 pm: Agri infra cess of 30% on kabuli chana, 10% on peas, 50% on bengal gram/chick peas, 20% on lentil (mosur); 5% on cotton imposed

1:26 pm: Trinamool Congress leader and MP calls Budget 2021 ‘visionless’, says it ignored farmers and middle class


1:25 pm: Govt raises import duty on parts of mobile phones, chargers

1:21 pm: This is a budget for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, will strengthen economy, says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

1:14 pm: Railway Budget 2021 sees 57% jump in allocation

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced Rs 1.07 lakh crore in capital expenditure for the Railways for 2021-22. Read more here

1:10 pm: Economist Ila Patnaik and ThePrint’s Managing Editor Y.P. Rajesh will take your questions LIVE at 2 pm on #Ilanomics. Send us your queries

1:04 pm: 137% hike in health & wellness budget, new PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat scheme

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced Rs 2,23,846 crore allocation for health, urban sanitation, water supply & air pollution mitigation in Budget 2021 .

12:59 pm: Sensex rises 1420.03 points, currently at 47,705.80. Nifty up by 362.70 points, currently at 13,997.30

12:55 pm: Privatisation gets mega push in Budget 2021 — the most ambitious plan since Vajpayee era

Only four sectors will be classified as strategic, CPSEs in other sectors will be privatised. Two banks and one general insurance firm will also be privatised in FY22. Read more here

12:50pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman concludes her speech, no change in tax slabs

12:49pm: Customs duty on certain auto parts, solar equipment to be raised

12:48 pm: Customs duty on cotton increased to 10% from nil

12:46 pm: Exemption from tax audit limit doubled to Rs 10 cr turnover for companies doing most of their business through digital modes

12:44 pm: Will take every possible measure to smoothen GST further, says FM

12:42 pm: Tax holidays for startups extended by one year, till 31 March 2022

12:40 pm: Affordable housing tax breaks extended by another year. Applicable till 31 March 2022

12:35 pm: Anyone with taxable income of up to Rs 50 lakh, disputed income of up to Rs 10 lakh eligible to approach dispute resolution committee

12:30 pm: Exemption from filing income tax return for senior citizens above 75 years having only pension and interest as income, says FM

12:28 pm: Govt to introduce amendments to FRBM Act

12:27 pm: Fiscal deficit will reach below 4.5% by FY26, says Sitharaman

12:24 pm: Fiscal deficit will reach below 4.5% by FY26, says Sitharaman

12:23 pm: FY22 fiscal deficit pegged at 6.8% of GDP

12:22 pm: The contingency fund of India is being proposed to be augmented from Rs 500 cr to Rs 30000 cr, says FM

12:20 pm: Fiscal deficit estimated at a record 9.5% of GDP in 2020-21

12:18 pm: Govt to provide Rs 1000 cr for welfare of tea workers in Assam & West Bengal

12:14 pm: To give a further boost to digital transactions, govt earmarks Rs 1500 crore

12:12 pm: Govt to allocate Rs 35,219 crore for 6 years to benefit 4 cr Scheduled Caste students

12:11 pm: Govt to set up central university in Leh, says FM

12:10 pm: Micro-irrigation corpus fund has been doubled to Rs 10,000 crore. Agriculture infrastructure fund will also be made available to APMCs to further augment their structure, Says Sitharaman

12:08 pm: Social security benefits to be extended to gig & platform workers. Minimum wages will apply to all categories of workers and they will be covered under ESIC

12:07 pm: One Nation, One Ration card plan under implementation by 32 states & UTs, says FM

12:05 pm: To promote seaweed farming a multipurpose seaweed park to be established in Tamil Nadu, says Sitharman

12:04 pm: 1000 more mandis to be integrated to E-NAM, says Sitharaman

12:03 pm: Govt enhances agriculture credit target to Rs 16.5 lakh crore this year

12:01 pm: Rs 75,060 cr paid to farmers for wheat procurement in 2020-21, says Sitharaman

11:59 am: Govt has approved the policy for stake sale in Central Public sector enterprises. It provides a clear roadmap for disinvestment in strategic and non-strategic sectors, says FM Sitharaman

11:58 am: Sloganeering in Parliament after FM says the government is committed to welfare of farmers

11:57 am: To streamline ease of doing business for cooperatives, govt proposes to set up a separate administrative sector

11:55 am: Sensex surges 899.98 points s FM presents budget

11:52 am: Other than IDBI Bank, govt proposes to take up two PSBs and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22

11:48 am: The government proposes to move amendments to ensure even depositors of stressed financial institutions can benefit from deposit insurance

11:47 am: Two decades after the private sector was first allowed in the insurance space, the Insurance Act will be amended to allow upto 74% FDI, as against the current limit of 49%. Foreign ownership and management to be allowed

11:46 am: Govt to introduce an investor charter

11:43 am: A gas pipeline project will be taken up in J&K

11:42 am: Modi govt’s flagship Ujjwala scheme to be extended to 1 crore additional beneficiaries. Ujjwala has been a key scheme for this govt, giving it a boost electorally as well.

11:39 am: Consumers will soon get a choice to choose their own power distribution company, says Sitharaman while announcing measures to improve financial performance of Discoms. This will be Modi government’s second attempt to revive these firms after the previously announced ‘Uday’ scheme

11:35 am: Govt to provide Rs 1,10,055 crore for railways

11:33 am: Metro Lite and Metro Neo will be deployed in Tier-2 cities and Tier-1 cities peripheral areas to provide cheap and safe Metro railways services

11:32 am: 100% electrification of broad gauge route to be completed by Dec 2023

11:31 am: Big boost to road networks in Kerala, West Bengal and Assam — all going to polls this year

11:28 am: The capital expenditure allocation for 2021-22 is Rs 5.54 lakh crore, as against a revised estimate of Rs 4.39 lakh for 2020-21. Govt to provide more than Rs 2 lakh crore for states & autonomous bodies for capital expenditure, says FM

11:26am: A national monetisation pipeline for brownfield projects will be launched soon, says Sitharaman

11:25am: For infra financing, govt to set up a development financial institution

11:23am: To enable textile industry to become globally competitive, a scheme of mega investment textile park to be launched in addition to the PLI scheme, says FM

11:21am: Budget outlay for health and well being is Rs 2,23,846 crore

11:20am: Govt to provide Rs 35,000 crore for Covid vaccines for 2021-22. Pneumococcal vaccine to be rolled out across country. It will avert over 50000 child deaths annually, says FM

11:18am: Govt to launch Mission Poshan 2.0 to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts

11:16am: A new centrally sponsored scheme termed Atma Nirbhar Swasthya Yojana with an allocation of Rs 64,180 crore over 6 years announced. Aims to strengthen primary and secondary health infrastructure

11:15am: The budget proposals for 2021-22 rest on 6 pillars – health & well being, Physical & Financial capital and Infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D, minimum govt & maximum governance

11:12am: Atmanirbhar Bharat is an expression of 130 cr Indians who have full confidence in their capabilities & skills, says FM

11:11am: All eyes on Part A of the budget as FM Sitharaman raises hopes that Budget 2021 will have necessary measures to revive the country’s growth

11:09am: The contraction in our economy is due to a global pandemic. Government is fully prepared to support the economy’s ‘reset’, says Sitharaman

11:08am: Our fight against Covid continues into 2021, says FM

11:07am: Sitharaman says the announcements made as part of the Atma Nirbhar package are 5 mini budgets in itself, recounts the work done by the government for different vulnerable sections

11:05am: Preparation of budget was undertaken in an environment like ‘never before’. Global economy, which was slowing down, was pushed into uncertainty due to Covid-19. The risk of not having a lockdown was far more, far too high, says FM Sitharaman

11:01am: Nirmala Sitharaman presents Budget 2021

10:47am: Union Cabinet approves the #UnionBudget 2021-22 that will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament

10:35am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says ‘Budget 2021 must support MSMEs, farmers and workers to generate employment; and increase healthcare & defence expenditure’


10:25am: Finance Minister arrives at the Parliament

10:22am: PM Narendra Modi chairs Union Cabinet meeting ahead of Budget presentation

10:20am: The infrastructure sector is expected to get a big push in today’s Budget. In last year’s Budget, the allocation for the infrastructure sector was Rs 1.7 lakh crore, an 8.3 per cent jump over the previous fiscal. Industry experts now expect the allocation to go up further.

10:11am: Sitharaman’s focus will likely be on making a big push for infrastructure spending, creation of employment in key sectors affected by the pandemic, such as textiles, affordable housing, tourism, MSME and infrastructure, as well as healthcare spending, besides easing the pandemic blow for the middle-income group.

10:00am: Experts say that a lot of work has been done for the agriculture sector, even though farmers’ income has not been doubled nationwide, and also suggest some steps that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman can take in Budget 2021-22. Here’s what the Narendra Modi government can do for farm sector in Budget

9:55am: Finance Minister Sitharaman, MoS Finance Anurag Thakur and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, called on President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan


9:30am: This year, the finance minister will present the Union Budget at the Parliament through a tab, instead of the traditional ‘bahi khata’

9:21am:Sensex surges 443 points to 46,728.83 in opening trade ahead of Budget presentation; Nifty up 114.85 points at 13,749.45

9:16am: What to expect from Budget 2021? Support people who lost income in pandemic, boost demand, economist Ila Patnaik writes. Read here

9:00am: This year, the budget speech is likely to devote time to recap the government’s handling of the pandemic and the subsequent Atmanirbhar package that was announced to counter the economic effects of the pandemic. Read more here

8:50am: Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at the Ministry of Finance ahead of the Union Budget


8:40am: Anurag Thakur, MoS Finance and Corporate Affairs, arrives at the Ministry of Finance


8:15am: The Union Budget 2021-22 will kick off at around 11 am with the FM delivering her budget speech in the Parliament. The rest of the budget documents will be uploaded on the official website after the speech is made.

8:05am: Among the key things to watch out for in the budget will be whether the government walks the talk on an aggressive privatisation plan and recapitalization roadmap for state run banks and the budget it allocates for infrastructure spending.

8:00am: The budget numbers to keep an eye would be the extent of the increase in fiscal deficit for the current and next fiscal, the money estimated from disinvestment in state owned firms, and the budget allocations for health, defence and the key infrastructure ministries.


Also read: Tax slab changes, govt spending, reform agenda — your guide to read Budget 2021


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