With a tablet in her hand, having the national emblem embossed on its red cover, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the ‘paperless’ Union Budget 2021, her third budget, in the Parliament on Monday. Not only the way of presentation, the budget also assured some reforms.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praise on the budget saying: “We have taken the approach of widening new opportunities for growth, new openings for our youth, a new high to human resources, develop new regions for infrastructure, walking towards technology and bring new reforms with this Budget 2021”.

Here are the highlights of the Union Budget 2021:

Healthcare Boost

The budget features a hike of 137 percent in spending on the healthcare sector, which amounts to over Rs 2.23 lakh crore. Rs 35,000 crore will be spent on the coronavirus vaccination in the financial year 2021-22.

Tax Reforms

In a relief for senior citizens above 75 years, the Income Tax Return filing will not be mandatory. Banks will deduct TDS. While reopening of the I-T assessment cases have been halved to three years, the time bar will be 10 years for serious frauds.

Agriculture Infrastructure Cess

The government also announced an Agriculture Infrastructure cess on specified goods. On gold and silver, 2.5 percent will be the cess, 35 percent on apples, 30 percent on Kabuli chana, 10 percent on peas, 50 percent on Bengal gram and chickpeas, 20 percent on lentil and five percent on cotton.

Exemptions

For the Non-resident Indians, the tax department will issue rules that will remove hardships of double taxation. Exemption in tax holiday for startups and capital gains have been extended by one year. The new budget also proposes an exemption for the aircraft leasing companies and affordable housing for the migrant workers.