New Delhi, Feb 12 : Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said in the Lok Sabha that the proposal to increase rebate for taxpayers up to Rs 5 Lakh has been welcomed across India as it gives lower tax, higher cash in the hands of small taxpayers which will also give a fillip to the economy.
Participating in the Finance Bill discussion in the Lok Sabha, Goyal said: "The NDA government allowed standard deduction of Rs 40,000 a year which is now hiked To Rs 50,000 per annum".
"In the last five years, the government has brought about a number of major changes in the income tax concessions and deductions available to all the taxpayers.
In one way or the other, we have addressed every section of society," Goyal said.
Highlighting the changes, the Finance Minister said interest payable on housing loans has been increased to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh while deductions under 80C for investments made in certified savings have increased that from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh.
The NDA government has also introduced standard deduction which was not there earlier for salary earners and pensioners up to Rs 50,000.
Similarly, the exempt amount on which tax was not payable at all has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh and then Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh by giving them additional rebate.
"In this interim Budget, we have given further tax rebate so that incomes up to Rs 5 lakh is exempt.
We have also increased the exemptions applicable to the senior citizens on interest incomes to Rs 40,000 from Rs 10,000", he added.
The interim Union Budget 2019 has echoed the government's firm commitment to substantially boost investment across the agricultural, social, education and health sectors as well as promote welfare for the economically weak, rural and the urban middle class.
The direct tax proposals put forth in the Budget have firmly portrayed the government's intention to continue extending momentum of the buoyancy in direct taxes and expanding the taxpayer base, with suitable respite, he added