The government intends to remove all income tax exemptions in the long run, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday (February 1) after announcing a cut in tax rates for individuals on the condition they give up exemptions and deductions.
Speaking at a press conference after presenting her second budget, the finance minister said income tax cuts follow a reduction in corporate tax rates last September. The minister said additional capital will be provided to public sector banks as and when required.
However, her budget speech did not provide for any specific number for additional capital. The finance minister said the improvement in revenue generation gives hopes of lowering the fiscal deficit to 3.5 per cent of GDP in the next fiscal from 3.8 per cent in the current.
Disinvestment Secretary TK Pandey said big-ticket stake sale will happen in the next few months and that he was confident of achieving the ₹2.10 lakh crore target set for the next financial year.
He said an expression of interest (EoI) for sale of government stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) will be issued shortly. The Cabinet had approved sale of government stake in BPCL in November last year.
(With inputs from agencies)