Here are all the key highlights from Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech

* To simplify the tax system and lower tax rates, around 70 of more than 100 income tax deductions and exemptions have been removed

* Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) abolished; Companies will not be required to pay DDT; dividend to be taxed only at the hands of recipients, at applicable rates. 

* Cash reward system envisaged to incentivise customers to seek invoice. 

* 15% concessional tax rate for new power generation companies. 

* Tax on cooperative societies reduced to 22% without exemptions. 

* 100% tax concession to sovereign wealth funds on investment in infrastructure projects. 

* Tax on Cooperative societies to be reduced to 22 per cent plus surcharge and cess ,as against 30 per cent at present. 

To end tax harassment, new taxpayer charter to be instituted. Tax harassment will not be tolerated, says FM.

* To amend I-T Act to allow faceless appeals

* To launch new direct tax dispute settlement scheme — Vivaad se Vishwaas scheme. 

Interest and penalty will be waived for those who wish to pay the disputed amount till March 31. 

* Government to look at ensuring that contracts are honoured. 

* Proposes new National Policy on Official Statistics to improve data collection and dissemination with .. 

* Rules of origin requirements in Customs Act to be reviewed, to ensure FTAs are aligned with the conscious direction of our policy: FM 

Aadhaar-based verification of taxpayers is being introduced to weed out dummy or non-existent units; instant online allotment of PAN on the basis of Aadhaar. 

* Registration of charity institutions to be made completely electronic, donations made to be pre-filled in IT return form to claim exemptions for donations easily.

* Tax holiday for affordable housing extended by 1 year. Additional deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs for interest paid on loans taken for an affordable house extended till 31st March, 2021. 

* Govt plans to sell part of its holding in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) by way of Initial Public Offering. 

* Certain specified categories of government securities will be open fully for NRIs
apart from being open to domestic investors 

FPI limit in corporate bonds raised to 15% from 9%

* Government doubles divestment target for the next fiscal at Rs 2.1 lakh crore. 

* Expand Exchange Traded Fund by floating a Debt ETF, consisting primarily of govt. securities. 

Indirect Tax :
* Customs duty raised on footwear to 35% from 25% and on furniture goods to 25% from 20%. 

Excise duty proposed to be raised on Cigarettes and other tobacco products, no change made in the duty rates of bidis. 

* Basic customs duty on imports of news print and light-weight coated paper reduced from 10% to 5%. 

* Customs duty rates revised on electric vehiclesand parts of mobiles. 

* 5% health cess to be imposed on the imports of medical devices, except those exempt from BCD. 

* Lower customs duty on certain inputs and raw materials like fuse, chemicals, and plastics. 

*Higher customs duty on certain goods like auto-parts, chemicals, etc. which are also being made domestically.

Startups & MSME: 
* Tax burden on employees due to tax on ESOPs to be deferred by five years or till they leave the company or when they sell, whichever is earliest. 

* New Simplified return for GST from April 2020 

* Start-ups with turnover up to Rs. 100 crore to enjoy 100% deduction for 3 consecutive assessment years out of 10 years. 

* Turnover threshold for audit of MSMEs to be increased from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore, to those businesses which carry out less than 5% of their business in cash. 

* App-based invoice financing loans product to be launched, to obviate problem of delayed payments and cash flow mismatches for MSMEs. 

* Amendments to be made to enable NBFCs to extend invoice financing to MSMEs 

Fiscal numbers & allocations: 
* FY20 fiscal deficit revised to 3.8% from 3.3% in the current fiscal. For FY21, fiscal target seen at 3.5%

* Deviation of 0.5%, consistent with Section 4(3) of FRBM Act. 

* Net market borrowing for FY20 at Rs 4.99 lakh crore; For FY21 it’s pegged at Rs 5.36 lakh crore

Nominal GDP growth for 2020-21 estimated at 10%

Receipts for 2020-21 estimated at Rs 22.46 lakh crore. Expenditure at Rs 30.42 lakh crore.

* Defence gets Rs 3.37 lakh crore as the defence budget

Rs 2.83 lakh crore to be allocated for the 16 Action Points; Rs 1.6 lakh crore allocated to agriculture and irrigation; Rs 1.23 lakh crore for Rural development and Panchayti Raj. 

* Rs 4,400 crore for clean airRs 53,700 crore for ST schemes; Rs 85,000 crore for SCOBCs schemes; Rs 28,600 for women specific schemes; Rs 9,500 crore for senior citizen schemes.