Two years since Article 370: A major success for the NDA?

  Two years after Indian parliament revoked the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narender Modi’s government seems to have succeeded in bringing the region under its direct control.On 5 August 2019, a proposal to abolish Article 370 and 35A implemented in Kashmir was introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha. After which President Ram Nath Kovind also approved it after the resolution was passed in the Rajya Sabha. After getting approval from the President, Article 370 and 35A were abolished from Jammu and Kashmir. After this big decision of the central government, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were separated and divided into two separate union territories.   After the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said, 'Now our country can move forward on the path of peace and development.' He said that this step will further strengthen the policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. Shah exuded confidence th

Budget 2021 : Sitharaman's Timid Approch

Finance Minister Nirmala  Sitharaman presented The Budget in Parliament, which happens to be the NDA government's first after covid pandemic hit India and the ninth one under Modi government. For Nirmala Sitharaman, this is the third budget as she debuted in 2019, springing a change by replacing a decades old leather briefcase with " Bahi-khata". As this years budget is paperless, Bahi khata  has been replaced by a Made in India tab. 

PM Modi said ahead of the joint session of Parliament on Friday, 2020 was a year of four to five mini budgets as the finance ministry announced several stimulus packages throughout the year to cushion the blow of the pandemic. Union Budget 2021 will be an extension of those, PM Modi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defense minister Rajnath Singh, home minister Amit Shah and other BJP leaders praised the Budget for being holistic in approach. Though it does not have an announcement of tax exemption, there are several announcements which will indirectly help middle-class people through infrastructure development, job creation, ministry officials said. 
 Six Pillars of Budget 2021: 
1. Health and wellbeing

2. Infrastructure

3. Inclusive development

4. Development of human capital

5. Research and development

6. Minimum government, maximum governance

Here are the highlights of this year’s budget: 

Health and Sanitation : A new centrally sponsored scheme PM AtmaNirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana will be launched with an outlay of about 64,180 crores over 6 years to improve primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, said Sitharaman. The total budget outlay for healthcare is Rs 2.24 lakh crore, which is an increase of 137 per cent from last year.  Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sitharaman announced that the Narendra Modi-led government will provide Rs 35,400 crore for COVID-19 vaccination in 2021-22.  Mission POSHAN 2.0 to improve nutritional outcomes across 112 aspirational districts . Operationalisation of 17 new public health units at points of entry . Modernising of existing health units at 32 airports, 15 seaports and land ports  Jal Jeevan Mission Urban aimed at better water supply nationwide Strengthening of Urban Swachh Bharat Mission. 

Education:  100 new Sainik Schools to be set up .750 Eklavya schools to be set up in tribal areas A Central University to come up in Ladakh. 
Infrastructure:  Vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles –  all vehicles to undergo fitness test in automated fitness centres every 20 years (personal vehicles), every 15 years (commercial vehicles) . Highway and road works announced in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam . National Asset Monetising Pipeline launched to monitor asset monetization process . National Rail Plan created to bring a future ready Railway system by 2030 . 100% electrification of Railways to be completed by 2023 

Metro services announced in 27 cities, plus additional allocations for Kochi Metro, Chennai Metro Phase 2, Bengaluru Metro Phase 2A and B, Nashik and Nagpur Metros . National Hydrogen Mission to be launched to generate hydrogen from green power sources. Recycling capacity of ports to be doubled by 2024 

Gas pipeline project to be set up in Jammu and Kashmir  Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (LPG scheme) to be extended to cover 1 crore more beneficiaries.  

Tax:  No IT filing for people above 75 years who get pension and earn interest from deposits . Reopening window for IT assessment cases reduced from 6 to 3 years. However, in case of serious tax evasion cases (Rs. 50 lakh or more), it can go up to 10 years . Affordable housing projects to get a tax holiday for one year .Compliance burden of small trusts whose annual receipts does not exceed Rs. 5 crore to be eased . Duty of copper scrap reduced to 2.5% .Custom duty on gold and silver to be rationalised .Duty on naphtha reduced to 2.5%. Duty on solar inverters raised from 5% to 20%, and on solar lanterns from 5% to 15%  All nylon products charged with 5% customs duty  Tunnel boring machines to attract customs duty of 7% . Customs duty on cotton raised from 0 to 10% . Agriculture infrastructure and development cess proposed on certain items including urea, apples, crude soyabean and sunflower oil, crude palm oil, kabuli chana and peas. 

Economy and Finance: Fiscal deficit stands at 9.5% of the GDP; estimated to be 6.8% in 2021-22 .Proposal to allow States to raise borrowings up to 4% of GSDP this year . A Unified Securities Market Code to be created, consolidating provisions of the Sebi Act, Depositories Act, and two other laws . Proposal to increase FDI limit from 49% to 74% . An asset reconstruction company will be set up to take over stressed loans. Deposit insurance increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for bank depositors . Proposal to decriminalize Limited Liability Partnership Act of 2008. Two PSU bank and one general insurance firm to be disinvested this year .An IPO of LIC to debut this fiscal . Strategic sale of BPCL, IDBI Bank, Air India to be completed. 


Agriculture infrastructure fund  to be made available for APMCs for augmenting their infrastructure . 1,000 more Mandis to be integrated into the E-NAM market place. Five major fishing hubs, including Chennai, Kochi and Paradip, to be developed. 
 A multipurpose seaweed park to be established in Tamil Nadu .


A portal to be launched to maintain information on gig workers and construction workers . Social security to be extended to gig and platform workers . Margin capital required for loans via Stand-up India scheme reduced from 25% to 15% for SCs, STs and women.

 - रचित


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