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Budget 2021 live updates | Nirmala Sitharaman to present Union Budget at 11 a.m.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to deliver her third Budget in Lok Sabha at around 11 a.m. on Monday, February 1.

The ninth budget under Modi government is expected to provide relief to the pandemic-hit common man as well as focus more on driving the economic recovery through higher spending on healthcare, infrastructure and defence amid rising tensions with neighbours.

Likely measures include a hike in infrastructure spending and tax cuts to boost the economy, while deferring debt cut plans. The Finance Minister is expected to increase spending by more than 15% year-on-year in 2021-22 with an emphasis on infrastructure and healthcare, reported Reuters, quoting senior officials and advisers involved in budget preparation.

Here are the latest updates:

9.40 am

Budget in accordance with people’s expectations: Anurag Thakur

Budget will be in accordance with people’s expectations, MoS Finance Anurag Thakur told ANI.

“Govt which functions on mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ gave new direction to India by announcing Aatmanirbhar package, protecting it from pandemic & bringing economy back on track swiftly,” he said.

9.30 am

Paperless Budget

For the first time, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present a paperless Budget. The soft copies of the Budget documents will be distributed electronically to the parliamentarians.

The Finance Ministry has also released an app for the public to download these documents.

Ms. Sitharaman had in her first budget in 2019 replaced leather briefcase that had been for decades used for carrying budget documents with a traditional red cloth ‘bahi-khata’.

9.20 am

Govt. may tweak customs duty on a host of goods in Budget

The government may tweak customs duty in the Budget next week on several goods, including furniture raw materials, copper scrap, certain chemicals, telecom equipment and rubber products, to promote domestic manufacturing and exports, sources said.

The sources said that while import duty could be tweaked on more than 20 products such as cut and polished diamonds, rubber goods, leather garments, telecom equipment and carpet, customs duty could be removed on select raw materials like wood in rough, swan wood and hard board used for furniture manufacturing and copper concentrate. “Expensive raw materials impact India’s price competitiveness in the international market. The country’s exports of furniture is very low [about 1%], while countries like China and Vietnam are major players in the sector,” they added.

 

9.10 am

Budget may set higher agri credit target at ₹19 lakh crore

With the aim of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, the government is likely to raise farm credit target to about ₹19 lakh crore in Budget 2021-22 to be presented on February 1, according to sources. For the current fiscal, the government has set a farm credit target of ₹15 lakh crore.

The government has been raising credit target for the farm sector every year and this time too, the target is likely to be increased to around ₹19 lakh crore for 2021-22, sources said.

“Non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and co-operatives are active in the agriculture credit space. The Nabard refinance scheme will be further expanded. Agriculture credit target for the year 2020-21 has been set up at Rs ₹lakh crore,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said while presenting Budget 2020-21.

 

9.00 am

Govt may announce formulation of policy for toys sector

The government may in the Budget next week announce formulation of a dedicated policy for the toys sector to boost domestic manufacturing, sources said.

They said the policy will help in creating a strong ecosystem for the industry in the country and also attract startups.

The Commerce And Industry Ministry is already taking steps to promote domestic manufacturing of toys. It has came out with a quality control order for the sector and had also increased import duty last year on toys.

 

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