SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 FEBRUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘NEW MENTAL HEALTH LAW A GAME CHANGER’ P9 SENSEX 36,469.43 +212.74 WEATHER Dense to very dense fog in the morning. Mainly clear sky and haze/smoke thereafter. Tomorrow’s maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 22 and 9 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Trace MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.97% Min. 66% TEMPERATURE Max: 22.5°C (0) SUN RISES 07:09 hrs MOON RISES 06.01 hrs Min: 11.0 °C (+3) SUN SETS 18:01 hrs MOON SETS 15:54 hrs THUMBNAILS Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu donning a black shirt to protest against the Centre's ‘apathy’ towards the state. Black shirt protest: Shedding his trademark light yellow shirt Andhra Pradesh chief minister, N Chandrababu Naidu wore black on Friday, for the first time in his political career to protest against the Central government’s ‘apathy’ towards the state. Life was thrown out of gear across the state due to a governP6 ment backed call for a total shutdown. SBI says customers’ data safe: The SBI on Friday denied reports that its servers have been compromised last week and assured that all its customer data continue to remain safe and secure. According to a news item published by US-based TechCrunch, SBI has some unprotected servers which gave access to the financial information of its customers. ‘RELATIONS WITH USA AT CRITICALLY IMPORTANT STAGE’ MARKETS CHEER PIYUSH GOYAL’S INTERIM BUDGET P11 NIFTY 10,893.65 +62.70 P12 ` vs $ 71.25 -17 PAISE GOLD 32,085.00 00.00 NEW DELHI, 1 FEBRUARY The interim Union Budget for 2019-20, which was presented in the Lok Sabha by interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today, generated intense political heat, with the ruling BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led Opposition exchanging fireworks over this final Budget ahead of the general elections. The BJP/NDA leaders showered praises on the Budget with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying it would benefit every section of the country's people and would boost growth. The Congress and other Opposition parties, however, dismissed the interim Budget as "just a populist election jumla (rhetoric)" and the BJP's "manifesto for votes". Some Union ministers hailed the Tax rebate for `5 lakh income SILVER 40,500.00 00.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 60.87 +0.03 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 FEBRUARY W ith the Lok Sabha elections being just round the corner, the Narendra Modi government today mounted a massive populist exercise in its sixth and final Budget, declaring an annual cash dole of Rs 6,000 for small farmers, proposing a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 for unorganised sector workers on a contributory basis, and giving "full tax rebate" to people with annual taxable income up to Rs 5 lakh. Eyeing on the April-May general elections, the BJPled government turned what was supposed to be an interim Budget or a Vote on Account into a virtual Budget for the year 2019-20. Presenting the interim Budget in the Lok Sabha, Piyush Goyal, the interim Finance Minister, unveiled an array of sops and incentives for various sections of people, especially farmers and middle class people. As expected, Goyal announced an income support programme for about 12 crore small and marginal farmer families by directly providing Rs 6,000 each in their bank accounts in three equal instalments in a year, which will cost Rs 75,000 crore per annum to the government. The vulnerable landholding farmer families having cultivable land up to 2 hectares will be eligible under this programme called Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). Although Goyal said this programme will be imple- mented retrospectively from 1 December 2018 and the first instalment for the period up to 31 March 2019 will be paid in the current fiscal itself ~ which is estimated to cost Rs 20,000 crore ~ it wasn't clear how the beneficiaries would be identified. The FM announced a mega pension scheme to provide a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 with a contribution of Rs 100 per month for workers in the unorganised sector after 60 years of age. An interest subvention of 2 per cent to those pursuing animal husbandry and fisheries and to farmers hit by natural calamities will be given. Goyal also announced an additional 3 per cent interest subvention for farmers for timely repayment of loans. Goyal conceded that the assured farmers income scheme will result in the Modi government breaching its 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal and slipping on 3.1 per cent target for 2019-20 for which he pegged the fiscal deficit target at 3.4 per cent of the GDP. Over 3 crore salaried class people, pensioners, self-employed and small businesses with an individual's total annual income up to Rs 5 lakh will not be required to pay any income tax now as the FM announced a "full tax rebate" for them. Individuals with gross income up to Rs 6.5 lakh will not need to pay any tax if they make tax saving investments of Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, he said. This `6,000 cash to small farmers `3,000 pension to unorganised workers BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS Income up to Rs 5 lakh exempted from income-tax Standard Deduction raised to Rs 50,000 from Rs 40,000 Direct tax proposals to provide Rs 23,000 cr relief to 3 cr taxpayers Persons with gross income up to Rs 6.50 lakh not required to pay any income tax if they make investments in provident funds, specified savings and insurance. 12 crore small, marginal farmers to be provided assured yearly income of Rs 6,000 under PM-KISAN scheme TDS threshold raised to Rs 40,000 from Rs 10,000 on interest earned on bank/post office deposits Tax exempted on notional rent on a second self-occupied house TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent to be increased to Rs 2.40 lakh from Rs 1.80 lakh Tax benefits for affordable housing extended till 31 March, 2020 Tax exemption period on notional rent on unsold inventories extended to two years from one year tax rebate will cost the State exchequer Rs 18,500 crore. The BJP members intensified their thumping of desks, vociferously chanting slogans "Modi, Modi" in the House, when Goyal announced this rebate for middle class taxpayers. Goyal also raised standard deduction for salaried people from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. His other proposals include Congress leader and former Union finance minister Chidambaram called the interim Budget an account for votes and not a vote on account Budget as a “surgical strike” on the Opposition. Congress president Rahul Gandhi sought to rubbish their claims, making a counter-claim that a surgical strike would happen against PM Modi and his government in the April-May Lok Sabha elections on issues such as the Rafale jet deal, unemployment and demonetisation. Senior Congress leader and ex-FM P Chidambram rejected the interim Budget, telling reporters, "My one-line comment on the interim Budget is that it was not aVote on Account but an Account forVotes. It was a full-fledged Budget accompanied by an election campaign speech.” Attacking the Modi government for “trampling” on time-honoured conventions by presenting a “full-fledged Budget” and not an interim one, Chidambaram accused it of violating the Constitution. The leaders and ministers of the ruling camp, however, expressed hope that the Budget's sops for farmers, unorganised workers, middle class, and small industries would boost their electoral prospects and return the Modi government back to power in the upcoming polls. BJP president Amit Shah said the Budget “benefits” all sections of the society, asserting that it has underlined the Modi government's commitment to the aspirations of the country's youths, farmers and the poor. He highlighted the increase in income tax rebate up to Rs 5 lakh for salaried middle class and annual cash dole of Rs 6,000 for farmers in this regard. PM Modi said over 12 crore farmers, 3 crore middle class families and 30-40 crore unorganised sctor workers will benefit from the Budget which, he claimed, was merely a “trailer” of what will guide India towards prosperity after the general elections.The Budget will boost 130 crore citizens' efforts in realising the goals of a new India, the PM said. Referring to the Immediately appoint CBI chief: SC to govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 FEBRUARY The Supreme Court on Friday said it was “averse” to the arrangement of an interim CBI director and the Centre should “immediately” appoint a regular chief of the probe agency. The post of CBI director is “sensitive” and “important”, and it is not good to keep an interim director of the agency for longer period, the top court observed, seeking to know as to why the government has not made the appointment yet. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha was told by Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, that a high-powered Selection Committee headed by the Prime Minister would meet Friday to select a new CBI director. P15 Pre-poll Budget offers populist sops p “We are only saying that you should appoint CBI director immediately. No more of this in-charge business,” the bench told the Venugopal, who said the committee is doing it as soon as possible. The top court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause challenging the Centre's decision to appoint IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI director. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, told the top court that 40 officers have been transferred from CBI in last two-three weeks.The bench toldVenugopal that the officer who would be appointed as the new CBI Director should examine not only the decisions taken by Rao after taking charge of interim CBI chief but also“trace the movement of files” during the period when IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma took charge of the post for two days on being reinstated. During the hearing, Venugopal placed before the bench in a sealed cover the minutes of the meeting of the high-powered Selection Committee which was held last month for appointing the new CBI chief. The last meeting of the committee took place on January 24 but it remained “inconclusive”.Venugopal informed the bench that the Centre had taken the permission of the committee to appoint Rao as an interim CBI chief. Govt to ignore Cong objection Total expenditure to rise by 13 pc to Rs 27.84 lakh cr in FY20 National Education Mission allocation increased by about 20 pc to Rs 38,572 cr Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme increased by over 18 pc to Rs 27,584 cr Disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 cr in 2018-19 likely to be met; Target for FY20 set at Rs 90,000 cr 25 pc additional seats in educational institutions to meet the 10 per cent reservation for the poor Allocation for North East increased by 21 pc to Rs 58,166 cr in FY20 Railways to get capital support of Rs 64,587 cr in FY20 Indian filmmakers to get access to single window clear- Allocated Rs 20,000 crore in 2018-19, Rs 75,000 crore for FY2019-20 for PM-KISAN scheme Interest subvention of 2 pc during disaster to be provided to farmers for the entire period of reschedulement of loan 2 pc interest subvention to farmers for animal husbandry and fisheries activities; additional 3 pc in case of timely repayment Rs 3,000/month pension for 10 cr unorganised sector workers with contribution of Rs 100/55 per month under PM Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4 pc of GDP for 2019-20; target of 3 pc of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21 Current Account Deficit pegged at 2.5 pc of GDP for FY20 increase in the TDS exemption limit from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 for interest income from deposits in banks/post offices and from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 2.4 lakh on rental income, extending housing income exemption from one to two selfoccupied houses, and capital gains from sale of house property being allowed to be invested in two properties instead of one. PM hails Budget, Opposition dubs it poll ‘jumla’ SNS & PTI INDIA STARING AT RELEGATION AFTER ITALY TAKE 2-0 LEAD Budget's Rs 6000 cash dole for small and marginal farmers, Rahul Gandhi said this announcement amounting to “Rs 17 a day” for farmers was an "insult to everything they stand and work for" after the Modi government, he alleged, "destroyed" the lives of farmers over the last five years. The BJP's ally and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan hailed the Budget as “second surgical strike”, saying the first ~ a reference to the Army's attack on terror launch pads across the India-Pakistan border ~ used bullets against the country's external enemies while this Budget would enable ballots to decimate the NDA's rivals in the upcoming general elections. TURN TO PAGE 6 EDITORIAL: JUST GOOD POLITICS, Page 8 TURN TO PAGE 6 The interim budget is merely a “trailer” of what will guide India towards prosperity after the Lok Sabha polls. ance for ease of shooting films; regulatory norms to rely more on self-declaration 2 pc interest subsidy for MSMEs on an incremental loan of Rs 1 crore for GST-registered entities At least 3 pc of the 25 pc sourcing for the government undertakings to be from women-owned SMEs One lakh villages to be transformed into digital ones in 5 years New portal to support national programme on Artificial Intelligence Reforms in stamp duty; amendments to ensure streamlined system for levy of stamp duties to be imposed and collected at one place A separate Department of Fisheries to be created for welfare of 1.5 crore fishermen 22nd AIIMS to be set up in Haryana Rs 60,000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in 2019-20 India poised to become USD 5 trillion economy in next 5 years; aspires to take this to USD 10 trillion in the subsequent 8 years. Interim budget has no value. Declaring a number of populist proposals is a sign of desperation of the Modi government NARENDRA MODI MAMATA BANERJEE RAHUL GANDHI PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA WEST BENGAL CHIEF MINISTER CONGRESS PRESIDENT Govt projects 10 focus areas PTI NEW DELHI, 1 FEBRUARY Unveiling the development vision for the next decade, the government on Friday said it would focus on 10 key areas including job creation, physical and social infrastructure building, pollution-free nation and clean rivers. Presenting the Budget 201920, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal laid out vision for 10 most important dimensions in 2030. “The first dimension of this vision will be to build physical as well as social infrastructure for a USD 10-trillion economy and to provide ease of living,” he said. It will comprise, he said, nextgeneration infrastructure of roads, railways, seaports, airports, urban transport, gas and electric transmission and inland waterways.On the social infrastructure side, Goyal said every family will have a roof over its head and will live in a healthy, clean and wholesome environment. “We will also build a quality, science-oriented educational system with institutes of excellence providing leadership at the top,” he said. The other dimensions of the visions include creating a Digital India reaching every sector of the economy; making India a pollution-free nation; expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment; space; and clean rivers. Elaborating on rural industrialisation, he said this would be built upon the Make in India approach to develop grassroot-level clusters, structures and mechanisms encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups spread in the country. The fifth dimension of the Vision for India 2030 is clean rivers, with safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water in irrigation using micro-irrigation techniques. “Our coastline and our ocean waters powering India's development and growth is the sixth dimension of our vision,” he said, adding that making India self-sufficient in food, exporting to the world to meet their food needs and producing food in the most organic way is the eighth dimension. “High farm production and productivity will be achieved through modern agricultural practices and value addition. An integrated approach towards agro and food processing, preservation, packaging and maintenance of the cold chain will be our focus of attention,” he added. Oppn parties to approach EC on EVMs PTI NEW DELHI, 1 FEBRUARY NEW DELHI, 1 FEBRUARY The Centre is likely to announce the name of the new CBI director soon, ignoring the objections raised by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Selection Committee, on the names of probable contenders proposed by the government, officials said. During the panel's second meeting today, the government proposed names of some officers as probable candidates for the CBI chief's post. However, Kharge raised objecAGENCIES tions to them. The interim Budget announcement of “Rs 17 a day” for farmers is an insult to everything they stand and work for. Opposition parties met here and decided to approach the Election Commission on Monday for redressal of their concerns over the use of EVMs in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, addressing the media after the meeting on Friday, said the issue of EVMs was discussed at length by the Opposition leaders. “We have had a good meeting. All parties have agreed to discuss in detail three issues ~ two central and one structural ~ jobs, agriculture and attack on institutions. We are going to meet and find solutions to these problems,” he said. “The election will be about jobs, agriculture, attack on institutions, and corruption by the Prime Minister in the Rafale deal,” the Congress chief said. Asked about the Budget being hailed as a “surgical strike”, Gandhi said “surgical strike” will happen on the Prime Minister and his government on issues such as Rafale, jobs and demonetisation. He said Opposition parties will meet Election Commission officials on Monday over concerns about EVM tampering. Apart from Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, NC leader Omar Abdullah, SP's Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP's Satish Mishra, DMK's Kanimozhi, TMC's Derek O'Brien, CPI's D Raja, CPI-M's T K Rangarajan, RJD's Manoj Jha, AAP's Sanjay Singh, RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary, among others, attended the meeting. Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and A K Antony, JD-S leader Danish Ali, and Sharad Yadav were also present in the meeting. Several Opposition parties have been claiming that only two-three countries are using EVMs and the rest have reverted to the ballot paper system following complaints of malfunctioning of these machines.
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