Union Budget 2020 highlights – Reduced tax rates and others

budget 2020


Union Budget 2020 was presented today by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. The Budget 2020 is focussed on 3 major themes – Aspirational India; Economic Development for all & A Caring Society.

Here is a summary of the major highlights of the Budget 2020:

Income Tax

  • Concessional corporate tax rate of 15 percent to new domestic companies in the manufacturing and power sector.
  • To end tax harassment, new taxpayer charter to be instituted
  • Proposes to amend the Companies Act to bring criminal liability in certain areas
  • Tax concession for sovereign wealth fund of foreign governments and other foreign investments.
  • Tax benefits to Start-ups by way of deduction of 100 percent of their profits are enhanced by increasing turnover limit and period of eligibility.
  • The concessional tax rate for cooperatives proposed. They can now opt for a 22% tax rate plus surcharge instead of the existing 30%. No exemptions.
  • The turnover threshold for the audit of MSMEs increased from Rs. 1 crore to 5 crores for those businesses with cash transactions less than 5%.
  • Extension of time limits pertaining to the tax benefits for affordable housing.
  • Issuance of Unique Registration Number to all charity institutions for easy tax compliance.
  • Health cess to be imposed on imports of medical equipment given these are made significantly in India.
  • Dividend Distribution Tax removed and the classical system of dividend taxation adopted.
  • Simplified and New Income Tax Regime as an option to the old regime:


<5 lakhs

5-7.5 lakhs

7.5-10 lakhs

10-12.5 lakhs

12.5-15 lakhs

Above 15 lakhs

Tax Rates








    -70 out of 100 tax exemptions and deductions removed for this purpose

    – New Tax Regime is optional

  • To amend I-T Act to allow faceless appeals.
  • To launch new direct tax dispute settlement scheme — Vivaad se Vishwaas scheme. Interest and penalty will be waived for those who wish to pay the disputed amount till March 31.
  • Government to look at ensuring that contracts are honoured.
  • Proposes new National Policy on Official Statistics to improve data collection and dissemination with the help of technology.
  • Rules of origin requirements in Customs Act to be reviewed, to ensure FTAs are aligned with the conscious direction of the policy
  • Aadhaar-based verification of taxpayers is being introduced; instant online allotment of PAN on the basis of Aadhaar. 

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MSME & Corporate Sector

  •  Tax burden on employees due to tax on ESOPs to be deferred by five years or till they leave the company or when they sell, whichever is earliest.
  • Turnover threshold for audit of MSMEs increased from Rs. 1 crore to 5 crore for those businesses with cash transaction less than 5%.
  • App-based invoice financing loans product to be launched, to obviate problem of delayed payments and cash flow mismatches for MSMEs
  • Amendments to be made to enable NBFCs to extend invoice financing to MSMEs
  • The budget proposes a new scheme for MSMEs in the context of subordinate debt. 
  • The debt recast window of MSME is extended by one year to March 31, 2021.
  • Certain categories of government securities will now be opened for Non-Resident Investors. 
  • The FPI Limit in Corporate bond has increased to 15%.

Industry, Commerce and Investment

  • Union Budget 2020 proposes to set up an “Investment Clearance Cell” to offer services such as to be set free investment advisory, land banks and others. An online portal will be launched in this regard.
  • A new scheme proposed in electronics manufacturing to spur investments. 
  • National Technical Textiles Mission proposed.
  • A New scheme “NIRVIK” announced for fewer duties and taxes on exported products. The scheme will be launched in 2020-21.
  • Budget proposes to make each district an export hub. 
  • Budget allocates Rs 27,300 crore for development of industry and commerce in 2020-21
  • Scheme anchored by EXIM Bank and SIDBI to handhold MSMEs in exports markets


  • National Infrastructure Pipeline to offer employment opportunity

  •  Government to form a National Logistics Policy soon

  • It proposes to build the Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway

Agriculture Sector

  • Budget is aimed at doubling farmer income by 2022 by: State governments to implement national laws such as Contract Farming, 2018, APMC, 2017 and Model Agriculture Land Leasing Act, 2016; Comprehensive measures to be undertaken for 100 water-stressed districts; Provide stand-alone solar pumps to around 20 lakh farmers; Over 15 lakh farmers with barren lands will be allowed to solarise their farms and Balanced use of fertilisers to transform current incentive regime
  • Village Storage Scheme run by self-help groups: Women self-help groups can now get help from NABARD or Mudra.
  • The horticulture sector has exceeded the production of foodgrains by around 311 million metric tons of production. The government will help those states that work for ‘one product, one district’.
  • Integrated Farming Systems to be developed in rain-fed areas
  • Negotiable Warehousing Receipts Financing has crossed Rs 6,000 crore.
  • Budget fixes the target of Agricultural Credit at Rs 15 lakh crore
  • All beneficiaries of PM Kisan scheme will now be covered under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme.
  • MNREGA will be merged for creating fodder farms
  • Fish production to be raised to 200 lakh tones by 2022-23
  • Indian Railways to set up “Kisan Rail” so that farm goods can be quickly transported. It will also be used for cold storage of goods through PPP model
  • Ministry of Civil Aviation will launch Krishi UDAN on international and national routes.
  • PM KUSUM to cover 20 lakh farmers for standalone solar pumps and further 15 lakh for grid connected pumps
  • Viability gap funding for creation of efficient warehouses on PPP mode
  • Integration of e-NWR with e-NAM

Wellness, Water and Sanitation

  • Budget allocates Rs 12,300 crore for Swachch Bharat Mission 

  • Budget talks about the “Fit India Movement” in the context of India’s fight against the NCDs – non-communicable diseases.

  • Budget seeks to set up hospitals in Indian Tier-II and Tier-III cities under the PPP model.

  • Jan Aushadhi Kendra will be expanded.

  • Budget allocates Rs 69,000 crore for the Health sector

  • “TB Harega Desh Jeetega” campaign launched to end TB by 2025

  • ODF Plus to sustain ODF behavior

  • Focus on liquid and grey water management along with waste management

Education Sector

  • Union Budget 2020 proposes foreign direct investment, FDI and External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) in education.

  • As per the budget, 150 higher education institutions will start apprenticeships in 2020-21.

  • Urban Local Bodies have been asked to provide internship opportunities for freshers and engineers for a period of one year

  • A degree level online education programme will be launched to provide quality education to deprived sections students.

  • INDSAT exam will be conducted in Asian and African countries under the Study in India programme. 

  • Budget proposes to set up “National Police University” and “National Forensic Science University”.

  • Budget proposes to attach a Medical College to every existing district hospitals under the PPP model.

  • The Budget allocates Rs 99,300 crore for the Education sector and Rs 3000 crore for Skill development.

  • Knowledge Translation Clusters for emerging technology sectors

  • National Mission on Quantum Technologies and applications with an outlay of Rs.8000 crore proposed.

Indian Railways

  • Electrification of around 27000 km of railway lines achieved within 100 days of Modi Government formation in 2019.

  • A large solar power capacity proposed for the Indian Railways. It will be built along the rail track on the Railways owned lands.

  • Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project proposed; budget allocates Rs 18,600 crore for this project

  • By 2024, the Government would monetize 12 lots of national highways

  • With the help of UDAN scheme, 100 airports will be built by 2024

  • The fleet of Aircraft will be increased to 1200 planes by 2024

  • Rs 1.7 lakh crore allocated for transport infrastructure

Energy Sector

  • Prepaid Smart Meters: States will have to replace existing energy meters with the prepaid smart meters.

  • Budget allocates Rs 22,000 crore for the Power and Renewable Energy Sector.

  • The national gas grid will be expanded from 16200 km to 27000 km.

  • A new policy will be launched for the construction of data centre parks by the private sector.

  • Bharat Net to link 1 lakh gram panchayats through Fibre to Home connections

  • Budget allocates Rs 6000 crore for the Bharat Net programme

  • It provides Rs.8,000 crore in the next 5 years for “National Mission on Quantum Technology and Applications”.

Development of Certain Sections

  • ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’: Enrollment of girls in schools is higher than the boys.

  • Rs 35,600 crore will be provided for nutrition-related programmes

  • Task Force will be constituted to look into the issue of girls of low age entering motherhood

  • It allocates Rs 85,000 crore for development of SCs and OBCs

  • It allocates Rs 53,700 crore for STs development

  • It allocates Rs 9,000 crore for Senior citizens and persons with disabilities

Art & Culture

  • The government will constitute “Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation” as a deemed university

  • 5 archaeological sites to be developed as top-notch sites; these sites are
    Rakhigarhi, Haryana,Hastinapur, Uttar Pradesh,Sivasagar, Assam,Dholavira, Gujarat,Adichanallur, Tamil Nadu

  • The government will build a Tribal Museum in Ranchi.

  • The budget allocates Rs 3150 crore for the Ministry of Culture

Tourism Sector

The Tourism Sector will grow at 7.8% to Rs 1.88 lakh crore.


  • The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure will be implemented from January 2021.

  • It allocates Rs 4,400 crore to promote clean air in cities with a population of over 1 million people.

Banking Sector

  • To avoid the case of citizen harassment, a taxpayer charter will be enshrined in the statutes.

  • For recruitment in non-gazetted posts in banks, National Recruitment Agency will be constituted for both government and public sector banks.

  • It proposes the creation of the New National Policy on Official Statistics

  • Deposit insurance cover has increased tremendously from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

  • Disinvestment in Banks: Government’s share in IDBI Bank will be sold to the private sector.

Strategic Disinvestment & Privatization

  • Govt plans to sell part of its holding in Life Insurance Corporation ( LIC) by way of Initial Public Offering.
  • Certain specified categories of government securities will be open fully for NRIs, apart from being open to domestic investors
  • FPI limit in corporate bonds raised to 15% from 9%.
  • Government doubles divestment target for the next fiscal at Rs 2.1 lakh crore
  • Expand Exchange Traded Fund by floating a Debt ETF, consisting primarily of govt. securities




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