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Guwahati: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced the increase in the income tax exemption which is now seen as a major “tax relief” for the middle-class citizens of the country.

The government has increased the income tax exemption limit to Rs 7 lakh a year for those who choose the New Tax Regime, which was earlier set at Rs 5 lakh.

This new tax structure also includes a five-slab structure with no tax for those with income between Rs 0-3 lakh and tax rates of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 30% for higher income brackets.

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The minister also announced a Standard Deduction of Rs 52,500 for salaried individuals with an income of Rs 15.5 lakh or more.

To further incentivise the new tax regime, the minister also announced that the old regime – which has higher tax rates but several exemptions – will only be available on request now.

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Lastly, she proposed an increase in the tax exemption limit on leave encashment on the retirement of non-government salaried employees to Rs 25 lakh.

The Old Tax Regime remains unchanged, with those choosing it still able to avail of exemptions on investments after which their final taxable income is calculated. The highest applicable tax rate in India after surcharges has also been reduced from 42.7 per cent to 39 per cent.

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