Health Care & Tax Exemption: Major Expectations From 2019 Budget

New Delhi: According to reports, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Interim Budget for 2019 in the Parliament. Last year, the Finance Minister had announced two new initiatives under the Ayushman Bharat Programme – new flagship National Health Protection Scheme and the creation of health and wellness centres.

A few days back, Jaitley had said that the 2019 budget will be driven by economic issues that need quick resolution and the process may “go beyond” a vote on account. This has triggered speculations that the government may announce some major reforms this year.

Here is a quick look at what citizens can expect from this year’s Interim Budget-

  1. Income Tax Exemption Limit To Be Doubled:
Pic Credit- NDTV

The biggest expectation is that the government is expected to double the income tax exemption threshold from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. It is also expected to reinstate tax-free status for medical expenses and travel allowances in a bid to offer better tax reliefs to people.

Furthermore, a decision may also be taken to lower the highest personal income tax rate from existing 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

  • Farmer Welfare Schemes:
Pic Credit- Livemint

Agrarian crisis has become the crux of the political game ever since the newly-elected Congress Government announced a series of loan waiver in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Economists have opined that the 2019 interim budget will be a ‘farmer-oriented’ budget. Besides the loan waiver, the government is expected to announce a direct transfer benefit scheme for farmers. Moreover, an announcement is also likely on quick loans at lower interest rates for farmers.

The government may also announce monetary benefits and concessions for small and marginal farmers.

  • Healthcare:
Pic Credit- Techworld

While the focus of last year’s budget was on Modicare, this year the government may offer increased tax exemptions towards healthcare and preventive checkups under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

Taking into account the government’s focus on introducing new healthcare projects for the poor, the government may increases tax benefit on healthcare.

  • Universal Basic Income (UBI) For Poor:
Pic Credit- Hacker Noon

In the pipeline for a long time, the Universal Basic Income (UBI) model will enable the government to provide a fixed income to individuals belonging from economically weaker sections. However, experts believe that the scheme’s implementation is impossible before 2022.

  • Increased Deduction Limit (Under RTI Act):
Pic Credit- Paisabazaar

As the government is reportedly planning to increase the income tax exemption limit, it could also raise the limit of income tax deduction under various sections of the act.

Industry bodies have already demanded an increase in deduction limit under Section 80-C from Rs 1,50,000 to Rs 2,50,000. This is expected to benefit citizens who earn from investments as they will be able to increase the amount of refund they can claim.

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