Union Budget: Everything you need to know

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be presenting his fourth Union Budget today. It will be a challenging task for the finance minister as he will be presenting the Budget just three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's drastic step of banning old Rs 500, 1000 notes from circulation.


UNION BUDGET: Union Budget is the most comprehensive report of the government's finances in which revenues from all sources and outlays of all activities are consolidated. The Budget also contains estimates of the government's accounts for the next year called Budget Estimates.

DIRECT AND INDIRECT TAXES: Direct taxes are the one that fall directly on individuals and corporations. For example: income tac, corporate tax etc. Indirect taxes are imposed on goods and services. They are paid by consumers when they buy goods and services. These include excise duty, customs duty etc.

CONTINGENCY FUND OF INDIA: A fund placed at the disposal of the President to enable him/her to make advances to the executive /Government to meet urgent unforeseen expenditure.

PUBLIC ACCOUNT: Under provisions of Article 266 (1) of the Constitution of India, Public Account is used in relation  to all the fund flows where Government is acting as a banker. Examples include Provident Funds and Small Savings. This money does not belong to government but is to be returned to the depositors. The expenditure from this fund need not be approved by the parliament.

CORPORATE TAX: This is the tax paid by corporations or firms on the incomes they earn.

MINIMUM ALTERNATIVE TAX (MAT): The Minimum Alternative Tax is a minimum tax that a company must pay, even if it is under zero tax limits.

NON-PLAN EXPENDITURE: Non-Plan expenditure covers all expenditure of the Government not included in the Plan. It includes both development and non-development expenditure.

PLAN EXPENDITURE: Money given from the Government's account for the central Plan is called Plan Expenditure. This is developmental in nature and is spent on schemes detailed in the Plan.

DISINVESTMENT: By disinvestment we mean the sale of shares of public sector undertakings by the Government. The shares of government companies held by the Government are earning assets at the disposal of the Government. If these shares are sold to get cash, then earning assets are converted into cash. So it is referred to as disinvestment.  

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