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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden Budget in Parliament. The first female full-time finance minister read out one of the longest budget speeches in recent times. Here are the basic points that would affect the Common Man.

1. Tax rate reduced to 25 per cent for companies with an annual turnover up to Rs400 crore.
2. Income Tax: Surcharge of 10 per cent increased on individuals having taxable income from Rs2 crore to Rs5 crore. An additional surcharge of 22 per cent on individuals having taxable income of Rs 5 crore and above. No tax for those earning less than Rs 5 lakh per annum.
3. Interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar: Those who don’t have PAN card can file tax returns using the Aadhaar card. The Aadhaar can be used wherever a PAN is required.
4. Pre-filled tax returns with details of several incomes and deductions to be made available.
5. Additional deduction up to Rs1.5 lakh for interest paid on loans borrowed up to March 31, 2020 for purchase of house valued up to Rs45 lakh.
6. Additional income tax deduction of Rs1.5 lakh on interest paid on electric vehicle loans.
7. Customs Duty exempted on certain parts of electric vehicles. Therefore, electric vehicles will now be cheaper.
8. Capital gains exemptions from the sale of residential house for investment in start-ups extended till FY21.
9. Pension benefits to about three crore retail traders and small shopkeepers with an annual turnover of less than Rs1.5 crore.
10. India’s first indigenously developed payment ecosystem for transport – inter-operable transport card runs on RuPay card and would allow the holders to pay for bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping.
11. 657km of Metro rail network has become operational across the country.
12. Basic Customs Duty increased on cashew kernels, PVC, tiles, auto parts, marble slabs, optical fibre cable, CCTV camera. All these items will now cost more.
13. Exemptions from customs duty on certain electronic items now manufactured in India withdrawn. Electrical goods would become cheaper.
14. Increase in special additional excise duty and road and infrastructure cess each by Rs1 per litre on petrol and diesel.
15. TDS of two per cent on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs1 crore in a year from a bank account.
16. Customs duty on gold and other precious metals increased. Gold and jewellery to cost more.
17. Internet connectivity in local bodies in every panchayat under BharatNet to bridge the rural-urban divide.
18. Rs400 crore provided for world-class educational institutions in India. ‘Study in India’ proposed to bring foreign students to study in Indian higher educational institutions.
19. A massive program of railway station modernisation to be launched.
20. Mission to make LED bulbs widespread across the country.

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