Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley presents general Budget 2018-19 in Parliament.
Budget guided by mission to strengthen agriculture, rural development, health, education, employment, MSME and infrastructure sectors.
Government says, a series of structural reforms will propel India among the fastest growing economies of the world. IMF, in its latest Update, has forecast that India will grow at 7.4% next year in the backdrop of services resuming high growth rates of 8% plus, exports expected to grow at 15% in 2017-18 and manufacturing back on good growth path.
Health and Education:
- World’s largest Health Protection Scheme covering over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families launched with a family limit upto 5 lakh rupees for secondary and tertiary treatment.
- Setting up of Ekalavya Model Residential School on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment by 2022 in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons with special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.
- Increase in cess on personal income tax and corporation tax to 4 percent from the present 3 percent. The new cess will be called the “Health and Education Cess”
- 100 percent deduction proposed to companies registered as Farmer Producer Companies with an annual turnover upto Rs. 100 crore on profit derived from such activities, for five years from 2018-19.
- Government will contribute 12% of the wages of the new employees in the EPF for all the sectors for next three years. He proposed to make amendments in the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 to reduce women employees’ contribution to 8% for first three years of their employment against existing rate of 12% or 10% with no change in employers’ contribution.
- The Budget has given a big thrust to Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) to boost employment and economic growth. A sum of Rs. 3794 crore has been provided for giving credit support, capital and interest subsidy and for innovations. MUDRA Yojana launched in April, 2015 has led to sanction of Rs.4.6 lakh crore in credit from 10.38 crore MUDRA loans.
- Proposal to extend reduced rate of 25 percent currently available for companies with turnover of less than 50 crore (in Financial Year 2015-16), to companies reporting turnover up to Rs. 250 crore in Financial Year 2016-17, to benefit micro, small and medium enterprises.
- Government will establish a unified authority for regulating all financial services in International Finance Service Centre (IFSCs) in India.
- The Finance Minister said that NITI Aayog will initiate a national program to direct efforts in artificial intelligence.
New Initiatives for making company incorporation process easier: Govt. of India
Key takeaways from the initiatives taken by the MCA towards ease of doing business in India on the occasion of 69thRepublic Day.
- No incorporation fee: Companies with authorized share capital up to Rs. 10 lakh can be incorporated in India with Zero registration Fee.
- Introduction of ‘RUN’: New web service for reservation of name has been launched for name reservation called “Reserve Unique Name”. It is a one pager e-form into which one name of proposed company can be reserved without obtaining DIN and Digital Signature
- Reduction of time limit for reservation of Name: MCA has reduced the time period from 60 days to 20 days for reservation of name
- No resubmission for reservation of Name: It can be either rejected or approved in one go.
- Simplified process for incorporation of company: by removing the requirement of affidavit with declaration from the proposed directors and promotors.
- New process for obtaining DIN: The process of allotment of DIN has been re-designed by allotting it through the combined SPICe form only at the time of an individual’s appointment as Director.
E-commerce firms may get 6-month tax breather
The provision of tax collected at source (TCS) imposed on suppliers selling products on e-commerce websites like Flipkart and Amazon in the goods and services tax (GST) regime is likely to be deferred by six months. The recommendation by the law review committee may come as a breather for e-commerce players, which have been strongly opposing the additional levy. The TCS of 1 per cent to be charged collectively by the Centre and states was kept in abeyance till April 1, 2018, by the GST Council in October along with the reverse charge mechanism and the e-way bill. However, in light of revenue leakage concerns, the e-way bill to track the movement of inter-state supply of goods will be implemented from February 1, while reverse charge mechanism on composition dealers may be implemented any time now. “The provision pertaining to TDS and TCS can be kept in abeyance for at least six more months, is the view taken by the law committee,” said an official. A final decision on deferring the TCS further will be taken by the GST Council in its next meeting.
Single GST Registration for Airlines, Banks on the Anvil
The government is considering a nationwide single GST registration process for the aviation, banking and insurance sectors, people in the know of the matter said.
A single registration will potentially solve a majority of the compliance problems that services companies have been complaining about. They now have to register themselves and file GST returns in every state or union territory (UT) they operate in.
But the change will require the approval of the GST Council, the top decision-making body under the new tax system, where states are expected to oppose it fearing revenue loss as they have done when the proposal had come up before, tax experts said.
While goods-producing industries were used to making multiple state-wise returns for value-added tax under the previous regime, this is a new requirement for services companies, which complain it as a cumbersome process involving lot of paperwork and manpower.