Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her third Budget on February 1.
Following are a few takeaways:
New impetus for the manufacturing sector
Production-linked incentive schemes to create manufacturing global champions have been announced for 13 sectors.
Rs 1.97 trillion over a five-year period starting FY22 has been allocated for these sectors, to enable manufacturers to develop scale and become an integral part of global supply chains.
A voluntary vehicle scrapping policy soon
A new voluntary vehicle scrapping policy, to phase out old and unfit vehicles, is to be announced, to encourage fuel-efficient, environment-friendly vehicles.
Vehicles will undergo fitness tests in automated fitness centres after 20 years in the case of personal vehicles, and after 15 years in the case of commercial vehicles.
New development finance institution to be created
A new development finance institution (DFI) is to be created to provide long-term debt finance for infrastructure.
Rs 20,000 crore has been provided to capitalise this institution, and the goal is to build a lending portfolio of at least Rs 5 trillion for it in three years’ time.
Infra assets to be monetised for funding
Public infrastructure assets are to be monetised as a means of financing the construction of new infrastructure.
Assets to be rolled out under the scheme include operational toll roads, railway assets, transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, and airports in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
Boost for metro rail, city bus services
The share of public transport in urban areas is to be raised by expanding the metro rail network and augmenting city bus services.
A new scheme will facilitate deployment of innovative PPP models to enable private sector players to finance, acquire, operate and maintain over 20,000 buses.
The aim is to boost the automobile sector and provide ease of mobility for urban residents.
Discoms to get funds for upgrading systems
Power distribution companies (discoms), whose financial condition is a concern, are to be provided assistance for infrastructure creation, including pre-paid smart metering and feeder separation, as well as upgrade of systems, tied to financial improvements.
An agency on the cards to develop bond market
To instil confidence among participants in the corporate bond market during times of stress, and to enhance secondary market liquidity, the government proposes to create a new body that will purchase investment grade debt securities in both stressed and normal times.
This is expected to help in developing the bond market.
Sebi to be regulator of gold exchanges
In the Budget of 2018-19, the government announced it would establish a system of regulated gold exchanges.
For this purpose, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will be notified as the regulator, while the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority will be strengthened to set up a commodity market ecosystem.
'Bad bank’ gets the nod, to take over NPAs
In a bid to clean up bank books, an asset reconstruction company and an asset management company will be set up, to take over existing stressed debts and dispose of these assets to alternate investment funds and other potential investors for eventual value realisation.
Bank depositors to get further protection
The DICGC Act, 1961, is to be amended, to ensure that if a bank is temporarily unable to fulfil its obligations, depositors can get easy and time-bound access to their deposits to the extent of the deposit insurance cover.
7 large textile investment parks to be created
To enable the textile industry to become globally competitive, attract large investments and boost job creation, a scheme of Mega Investment Textiles Parks is to be launched in addition to the PLI scheme.
The aim is to create world-class infrastructure with plug and play facilities.