New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented what she had termed the "never like before" Union Budget 2021-22. The Budget, which came amid the country reeling under the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, came with announcements for all the sectors while aiming at boosting the country’s economy through higher spending across sectors.

Here are the highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2021-22 speech:

* Sitharaman said that Indian Railways has prepared a National Rail Plan for India 2030 which aims to create a future-ready railways system by 2030 - bringing down logistic cost for industry is at the core of a strategy to enable Make in India.

* Sitharaman also provided a record sum of Rs 1,10,055 crores for Railways of which Rs 1,07,100 crores is for Capital Expenditure only.

* Sitharaman also launched the PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana with an outlay of about 64,180 crores over 6 years.

* The central government also allocated Rs 4.78 lakh crore to Defence Budget and increased the capital outlay for the armed forces by nearly 19 per cent.

* Sitharaman said that Union Budget 2021 proposals for 2021-12 rest on six pillars -- health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D, Minimum government and Maximum governance.

* The government also imposed an agriculture infra cess on petrol and diesel. However, this will not impact the final consumers as the Centre has reduced the Basic Customs Duty on fuel.

* Sitharaman also imposed the agricultural cess on several other goods, including alcohol (100 per cent), gold and silver bars (2.5 per cent), crude palm oil (17.5 per cent), crude soyabean (20 per cent), apples (35 per cent) and peas (40 per cent).

* Sitharaman also reduced the timeline for reopening of tax cases to 3 years from 6 years. She also proposed to make income tax appellate tribunals faceless and set up national income tax appellate tribunal centre.

* The Centre in Union Budget 2021 also said that senior citizens above 75 years with only pension income have been exempted from filing I-T returns.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma