New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister on Monday presented Union Budget 2021 amid challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sitharaman, who presented the eighth Budget of the PM Modi-led NDA government, provided various sops and reliefs for salaried class.  

Announcing her 'never like before' Budget, Sitharaman reduced the customs duty on semis, flux and long products of non-alloy, alloy and stainless steel. " I'm exempting duty on steel scrap up to 31st March 2022. I am also revoking ADD and CBD on certain steel products," she said.

The Finance Minister also withdrew the exemptions on parts of chargers and sub-parts of mobiles. She further said that some parts of mobiles will move from nil rate to a moderate 2.5 per cent.

"In order to incentivize startups in the country, I propose to extend the eligibility for claiming tax holidays for startups by one more year, till March 31, 2022," she said.

Sitharaman also imposed a agri cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel. She also raised the customs duty on some auto parts to 15 per cent.

"I propose an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on a small number of items. However, while applying this cess, we have taken care not to put additional burden on consumers on most items," Sitharaman said in her Budget speech.

The central government also increased the customs duty on cotton to 10 per cent while the same on solar lanterns was cut to 5 per cent. The limit for foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance sector was also raised to 74 per cent from 49 per cent by the Finance Minister.

"We propose to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 and will launch a new investor charter for investor protection. Will launch a securities market code which will include the SEBI Act, the government Securities Act and the Depositories Act. Asset reconstruction and management company to be set up for stressed assets," the Finance Minister said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma