Top GKToday’s News Headlines-2 February 2020

Here are Top GKToday’s News Headlines for February 2, 2020

INDIA

  • Coronavirus outbreak in China: 324 Indians evacuated from Wuhan city in Air India plane
  • Gopal Baglay appointed India’s new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
  • ‘Veer Smriti’ memorial for 357 Army and Assam Rifles personnel killed while fighting insurgency in Nagaland inaugurated at Mokokchung
  • AP Govt. launches doorstep pension delivery scheme ‘YSR Pension Kanuka’
  • Sahitya Akademi Awardee winner Punjabi writer Jaswant Singh Kanwal dies at 101 in Moga district of Punjab

ECONOMY & CORPORATE

  • Pramod Agrawal assumes charge as the new CMD of Coal India Ltd
  • 3rd private train of the IRCTC to run between Indore and Varanasi as Humsafar Express: Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav

WORLD

  • Maldives officially rejoins Commonwealth more than three years after quitting over criticism of its human rights record
  • Pakistan declares national emergency to battle locusts destroying crops
  • Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark dies at the age of 92

SPORTS

  • Australian Open tennis: Sofia Kenin (US) wins women’s singles title; Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic) & Nikola Mektić (Croatia) win mixed doubles title

UNION BUDGET 2020-21: HIGHLIGHTS

AGRICULTURE

  • Farm loan disbursal target for banks hiked by 11% to Rs 15 lakh crore for 2020-21
  • 3,477 Sagar Mitras and 500 Fish Farmer Producer Organisations to involve youth in fisheries extension
  • States asked to adopt three central model laws on agricultural land leasing, marketing and contract farming
  • Farmers will be allowed to set up solar units on barren/fallow lands and supply power to grids
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme to be expanded; 20 lakh farmers would be provided funds to set up standalone solar pumps
  • Kisan Rail to be launched for cold supply chain to transport perishable goods
  • Krishi Udan scheme to be launched by Aviation Ministry to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products

DISINVESTMENT

  • Disinvestment proceeds pegged at Rs 1.20 lakh crore for 2020-21, up from Rs 65,000 crore in current fiscal
  • Proposal to sell the balance government holding in IDBI Bank
  • Govt to sell part of stake in LIC through IPO

NEW TAX SLABS

  • New slabs introduced and tax rate for different slabs reduced if a taxpayer opts for foregoing exemptions & deductions
  • No tax on annual income of up to Rs 2.5 lakh
  • Tax rate of 5% (as earlier) on annual income Rs 2.5 lakh-5 lakh
  • Tax rate of 10% on annual income Rs 5 lakh-Rs 7.5 lakh
  • Tax rate of 15% on annual income Rs 7.5 lakh-10 lakh
  • Tax rate of 20% on annual income Rs 10 lakh-2.5 lakh
  • Tax rate of 25% on annual income Rs 12.5 lakh-15 lakh
  • Tax rate of 30% on annual income above Rs 15 lakh

CUSTOMS

  • Customs duties on household appliances such as fans, grinders and mixers increased from 10% to 20%
  • Customs duties on printed circuit board assembly on cellular phones doubled to 20%
  • Customs duty on completely built units of commercial electric vehicles raised from 25% to 40%

TOBACCO

  • For non-filter cigarettes below 65 mm, the excise duty increased from Rs 90 per thousand to Rs 200 per thousand
  • On filter cigarettes over 65 mm and up to 70 mm, the duty was hiked from Rs 145 per thousand to Rs 250 per thousand
  • Excise duty also increased on chewing tobacco, scented zarda, hookahs and snuff

SPEECH LENGTH

  • Longest ever budget speech of over 2 hours 40 minutes, breaking her 2019 record of 2 hours and 17 minutes

FISCAL DEFICIT

  • Fiscal deficit of 3.8% (Revised Estimate) for 2019-20 and 3.5% (Budget Estimate) for 2020-21

GOVT. DEBT

  • Central government debt reduced to 48.7% of GDP (March 2019) from 52.2% (March 2014).

DEPOSIT INSURANCE

  • Bank deposit insurance coverage increased to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh

DEFENCE OUTLAY

  • Defence outlay pegged at Rs 3.23 lakh crore in 2020-21, up from Rs 3.16 lakh crore this financial year

TAX DISPUTES

  • Under the ‘Vivad Se Vishwas’ scheme, a taxpayer will have to pay only the disputed taxes, and will get a complete waiver of interest and penalty provided he pays by March 31, 2020

RAILWAYS

  • Railways got a budgetary allocation of Rs 70,000 crore and an outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.61 lakh crore, 3% more than the previous year

DDT

  • Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) at the hands of companies abolished; dividend to be taxed at the hands of recipients as per applicable slab

FPI

  • Govt. plans to increase investment limit of foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in corporate bonds from 9% to 15%

EXPORTS

  • NIRVIK (Niryat Rin Vikas Yojana) scheme being launched to provide for higher insurance coverage, reduction in premium for small exporters and simplified procedure for claim settlements

COOPERATIVES

  • Lower tax rates for cooperatives at 22% with 10% surcharge and 4%

HOUSING

  • Additional deduction up to Rs 1.5 lakh for interest paid on loans taken for an affordable house extended till 31st March 2021

MSMEs

  • MSMEs: Turnover threshold for audit increased to Rs 5 crore from Rs 1 crore for businesses carrying out less than 5% business transactions in cash

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