New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented Union Budget 2021 amid hopes to revive the Indian economy that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. During her Budget presentation, Sitharaman said that the "preparation of Union Budget 2021 was undertaken in circumstances like never before in view of calamities that have affected a country or a region within a country".

Here are the highlights of the day:

12:56 pm: To further reduce litigation for small taxpayers I propose to constitute a dispute resolution committee which will be faceless to ensure efficiency, transparency. Anyone with a taxable income up to Rs 50 Lakhs and disputed income up to Rs 10 Lakhs eligible to approach committee, said Sitharaman.

12:55 pm: During her speech, Sitharaman said that ITR, details of capital gains, income from list securities, dividend income, income from interest on bank deposits to come pre-filled in ITR.

12:41 pm: Tax audit limit increased from Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore

12:41 pm: Will reduce the time limit for reopening assessments to 3 years from present 6 years: FM

12:40 pm: No income tax for senior citizens dependent on pension and interest income.

11:16 am: The government stretched its resources for the benefit of the poorest of the poor. The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, the three Aatma Nirbhar Bharat packages and subsequent announcements were like five mini-budgets in themselves, says Nirmala Sitharaman

11:16 am: Today India has 2 vaccines available and has begun safeguarding not only her own citizens against COVID19 but also those of 100 or more countries. It has added comfort to know that 2 ore more vaccines are also expected soon, says Nirmala Sitharaman

11:16 am: In May 2020, government announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, to sustain the recovery further we also rolled out two more Atmanirbhar packages. Total financial impact of all packages including measures taken by RBI was estimated to be about Rs 27.1 lakh crores, says Nirmala Sitharaman

11:11 am: The preparation of this Budget was undertaken in circumstances like never before, in view of calamities that have affected a country or a region within a country. But what we have endured with COVID-19 to 2020 is Sui generis, says Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:02 am: Nirmala Sitharaman begins her Budget speech.

10:46 am: Just In: Cabinet approves UnionBudget 2021-22 that will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament today.

10:37 am: The Union Cabinet meeting is underway at the Parliament.

10:28 am: Also Read -- Nirmala Sitharaman goes digital, replaces traditional 'Bahi-khata' with 'tablet'

10:20 am: Currently, the Sensex is trading 400 points above and is trading at 46,748.28 while Nifty is at 13,736.70, trading 102 points above.

9:55 am: Just In: Nirmala Sitharaman meets President Ram Nath Kovind ahead of Budget presentation.

9:37 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will read the Budget from her tablet this year.

9:13 am: Kunal Varma, chief business office and co-founder, MoneyTap has said that an increase in the limit for tax deductions under section 80C would be good.

"Considering inflation in the recent past, the previous limits are no longer relevant. This will boost spending or ability to invest, which the economy needs right now," he said, as reported by Live Mint.

8:53 am: Also Read -- Nirmala Sitharaman ready with 'economic vaccine', India hopes big amid COVID aftermath

8:45 am: Ahead of the Budget presentation, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur has said that the Union Budget 2021 will be in accordance with people's expectations.

"The government which functions on mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas' gave new direction to India by announcing Aatmanirbhar package, protecting it from pandemic and bringing economy back on track swiftly," he said.

8:35 am: "The fact that a new tax regime has been introduced last year means that not many changes can be expected now," HDFC Securities said, as reported by an English new channel.

8:30 am: However, several experts believe that the government will unlikely announce major reliefs as it had introduced a new tax regime in 2020.

8:25 am: Earlier, a media report also claimed that the Centre will likely tweak the list of eligible rebates and exemptions to allow some more categories of financial savings instruments for taxpayers.

8:20 am: Industry experts expect that the central government might introduce a COVID cess today and higher deductions under Section 80D to increase spending. 

8:15 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Union Budget 2021 today amid hopes to revive the economy that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma