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Women Employment, Pandemic – Budget 2021

The Budget 2021-22 has covered welfare scheme for women plantation workers in Assam and West Bengal, the reduced margin money requirements from 25% to 15% under the scheme of Stand Up India and permission to work in all sectors and also in night shifts with more security. However, these measures will have limited contribution for women who are worst hit by the pandemic. Practically, the women entrepreneurs, domestic helps in cities, at construction sites, and in handicraft and retail units needed a boost and some incentives. Data show that more than eight months after the pandemic, 13% fewer women than a year ago were employed or looking for jobs, compared to 2% fewer men!

Quote by Rupinder Malik on Women Employment, Pandemic – Budget 2021 published in Mondaq.

Fintech – Budget 2021

Roadmap for revival of the economy from the pandemic laden year of 2020-21 has been dealt holistically by Budget 2021-22. The 2-step, short-term – long-term revival approach, countering the healthcare concerns and simultaneously concretizing the self-reliant India goal is a welcomed note in the 3rd Sitharaman budget. The Sunrise ‘Fintech’ Sector has garnered heightened reliance by the industries and consumers alike. While the ‘FinTech’ tab on the main page of RBI was a move towards recognizing the importance of the new-age sector – the announcement of developing a Fin-Tech hub will give the fintech players an added participating impetus. Adding to the impetus is the INR 1,500 crore allocation to give a push to the developing digital payments infrastructure. The regulatory sandbox incentives coupled with the promising tone of the budget towards the sunrise sector shows a lot of scope for India to become a major player in the fintech industry over the globe.

Quote by Sidharrth Shankar on Fintech – Budget 2021 published in Mondaq.

Healthcare Sector – Budget 2021

The experiences of Covid-19 have delineated the importance for emerging economies to invest in healthcare infrastructure at all levels – primary, secondary and tertiary. The budgetary announcements of the outlay of INR 64,180 crore under the Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana have hit the bulls eye in this area. The approach followed by the Indian government is a marked departure from existing practices of reduction of out-of-pocket expenditure of the citizens.

Quote by Sidharrth Shankar on Healthcare Sector  – Budget 2021 published in Mondaq.

Union Budget Proposals, 2021

When Hon’ble Finance Minister rose to present the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 (“Budget”), she had a humungous task at hand. An economy which was already crippled by a global slowdown, got further pushed into an unprecedented crisis due to COVID-19 and the lockdowns.

The Budget rests on six pillars, namely, health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D and minimum government and maximum governance. Tax proposals contained in the Budget are in line with these objectives and give fillip to domestic manufacturing to meet the vision of ‘Aaatmnirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’.  

For a snapshot of the key tax proposals under the Budget, please click here.

This Budget Update has been prepared by the JSA Tax Team (Direct and Indirect Tax). For further details, please contact [email protected]

Direct Tax Proposals – Budget, 2021

While the Finance Minister briefly touched upon the direct tax proposals, fine print reveals many proposals that may have far reaching impact. Taxation of gains on ULIPs has been brought at par with Mutual Funds, Interest on PF contributions beyond 2.5 lacs has been made taxable, Slump Sale provisions shall cover other modes of transfer of business as well and anomaly leading to double taxation of income that was subjected to Equalisation Levy in FY 2020-21 has been rectified. Further, Budget proposals that seek to promote reduction in time limit for reopening assessment, increasing turnover threshold for tax audits, and providing pre-filled tax returns are aimed at bringing in certainty and making tax compliances easier. These measures coupled with use of Artificial Intelligence and Analytics shall boost the Direct Tax to GDP ratio in ensuing years.

Quote by Kumarmanglam Vijay published in India Tech Online.

Education Sector – Budget 2021

An allocation of 3,002.21 crores to skill development ministry and its various programmes is a welcome step but not sure whether that’s enough given the current pandemic and need to create a digital infrastructure for education.

Higher Education Commission, an Umbrella body to regulate education, is a welcome step and hopefully would provide clarity and ease for educational institutions to introduce multiple academic programs.  However, there is a disappointment due to no relief from the burdensome 18% GST on Edtech industry which is doing a massive job of educating our next generation.

Quote by Nitin Potdar published in Business World, Education Times, Skill Outlook, Online and You, Medianews4u, CEO Insights India and Data Quest.