12 April, 2021

The Same Old Taxing Times

A low fiscal deficit on his mind, the FM plays it safe with taxes. Only the old have reason to smile.

Senior’s Gift
This Budget has been kind to pensioners most of all
Photograph by Bhupinder Singh
The Same Old Taxing Times
  • No change in personal income tax; standard deduction of Rs 40,000 reintroduced, but ­medical and travel benefits to go
  • Education and health cess increased from three to four per cent, which will affect all ­taxpayers and neutralise gains from standard deduction
  • Long-term capital gains tax on gains above Rs 1 lakh reintro­duced; markets react—both Sensex and Nifty fall; investment in markets likely to be affected
  • Senior citizens to benefit from increase in tax exemption on interest income and on medical insurance, both up to Rs 50,000
  • Corporate tax on MSMEs with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore (excluding proprietorships and partnerships) reduced from 30 per cent to 25 per cent


Union Budget 2018 has been on expected lines, aimed at app­easing farmers and others in rural areas, as well as small ind­ustry. When it comes to most tax proposals, though, it has disappointed everybody except senior citizens and Micro, Small...

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