The Budget came as a set back for those who were expecting some relaxation in income tax as the finance minister kept the personal income tax slabs unchanged.
Earlier it was assumed that in its last budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha election the government may hike the personal income-tax exemption from the present Rs 2.5 lakh to at least Rs 3 lakh.
In his Budget speech, the finance minister said,”Government has made many positive changes in the personal income tax rates applicable to individuals in the last three years, therefore, I do not wish to make any changes to this.”
However, the finance minister has announced Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses.
Standard deduction, which existed till the assessment year 2005-06, allowed salaried individuals to claim a flat deduction from his or her salary income of Rs. 30,000 or 40 percent of salary whichever is less for gross salary Rs.5 lakh or below. If the gross salary exceeded Rs. 5 lakh, a standard deduction of Rs. 20,000 was allowed.