Finance Minister presents Union Budget 2018-19 in Parliament
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents his Budget for the year 2018-19 in Parliament. The budget is largely focused on uplift of agricultural sector, along with major push to healthcare and education sectors in the country. The Budget of 2018 is India’s first after the implementation of the Goods and Services tax (GST) in June last year. Below are Highlights of Budget 2018-19.
Highlights of the Budget
* PAN to be used as Unique Entity Number for non- individuals from April 1.
* Govt makes PAN mandatory for any entity entering into a financial transaction of Rs 2.5 lakh or more.
* This budget will accelerate economic growth, it is focused on all sectors: PM Modi
* Prime Minister Narendra Modi praises his finance minister Arun Jaitley for delivering a budget that is “farmer friendly, common citizen friendly, business environment-friendly and development friendly.”
* Govt’s health scheme to cover 10 crore poor families is world’s largest government-funded health protection scheme.
* Arun Jaitley proposed to tax long term capital gains exceeding Rs 1 lakh at 10 per cent without indexation.
* Electronic IT assessment will be rolled out across the country, leading to greater efficiency and transparency: FM
* Mobile phones set to become costlier as custom duty on them has been increased to 20 per cent.
* Health and education cess has been increased to 4 per cent.
* For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000: FM Jaitley
* FM Jaitley proposes to introduce tax on distributed income by equity oriented mutual funds at 10 per cent.
* Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses: FM Jaitley
* Companies with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore to be taxed at 25 per cent: FM
* Arun Jaitley says that the government does not propose any changes in tax slabs for the salaried class this year.
* FM proposes a fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP for 2018-19.
* Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposes revising emoluments as per the following structure:
— Rs 5 lakh for the President of India
— Rs 4 lakh for the Vice President
— Rs 3.5 lakh for the Governors
* Jaitley also proposes automatic revision of emoluments of Parliamentarians every five years, indexed to inflation.
* We have already exceeded our disinvestment target, announces Arun Jaitley.
Disinvestment target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore. Target for 2018-19 is Rs 80,000 crore.
* 5 lakh WiFi hotspots will be set up in rural areas to provide easy internet access.
* Government will take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are funding illegitimate transactions.
* Govt announces Amrut program to focus on water supply to all households in 500 cities. Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth Rs 19,428 core will be awarded: FM
* NITI Aayog will establish a national programme to direct our efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development: FM
* Airport capacity to be hiked to handle 1 billion trips every year.
* Arun Jaitley says that 4,000 km of new railway track will be laid down by 2019.
* All railways stations with footfall more than 25,000 to have escalators, says the Finance Minister.
* Mumbai transport receives Rs 40,000 crore.
* The government will undertake redevelopment of 600 major railway stations across the country.
* Arun Jaitley announces capital expenditure of Rs 1,48,528 crore for Indian Railways in 2018-19.
* National Heritage City Development Augmentation Scheme has been undertaken to preserve and protect heritage cities in the country, announces the Finance Minister.
* Government to contribute 12 per cent of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors: FM
* Infrastructure is the growth driver of economy: Jaitley
* Target of 3 lakh crore for lending under PM Mudra Yojana: FM
* MSME enterprises are a major element for growth, says Jaitley. He also added that mass formalisation of MSME sector is happening after demonetisation and GST.
* Govt will launch health scheme to cover 10 crore poor families, Arun Jaitley says.
* The Government is slowly but steadily progressing towards universal health coverage: FM
* Government aims to bring 60 crore bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
* Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe populations: Finance Minister
* Rs 600 crore allocated to Tuberculosis patients undergoing treatment.
* Govt will set up two new Schools of Planning and Architecture, says Finance Minister Jaitley.
* To tackle brain drain, Jaitley announces scheme to identify bright students pursuing B Tech in premiere engineering institutes, and providing them higher-education opportunities in the IITs and IISc. These students will receive handsome fellowships, and will be expected to dedicate a few hours to teach in higher education institutions weekly.
* Specialised railway university to be set up at Vadodara.
* Jaitley proposed integrated BEd programme for teachers: “training of teachers during service is essential.” Technology will be the biggest driver in improving the quality of education.
* Budget allocates money for social security and protection programme for all widows and orphaned children.
* We have a target to provide all Indians with their own homes by 2022, says Jaitley.
* Ujjwala scheme to amplify targets, will now provide 8 crore rural women free LPG connections.
* Air pollution in Delhi-NCR has been a cause of concern, govt has proposed subsidised machinery for in-situ management of crop residue in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT Delhi.
* Govt of India will take necessary measures to put in place measures for the state government to purchase surplus solar power produced by local farmers at sutiable prices.
* Arun Jaitley proposes a sum of Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation Green’ on the lines of ‘Operation Flood’.
* Food processing sector is going at an average of 8 per cent per annum.
* We have been saying it for years that India is primarily an agricultural country: Jaitley
* Arun Jaitley on Minimum Support Price of agricultural products: Only increasing the MSP is not enough, the government will fix the MSP of agricultural products at 1.5 times the market rate.
* Our emphasis is on generating higher benefits and productive employment for the farmers: Jaitley while addressing the agricultural sector in his Budget speech 2018.
* Our government has worked sincerely, and without weighing the political costs, hoping that benefits are delivered to people at their doorsteps. The Direct Benefit Transfer system of India is a success story that is reiterated across the world: Jaitley.
* This year’s Budget will particularly focus on agriculture, says Jaitley.
* The finance minister also pointed out that India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
* Indian economy has performed very well since our government took over in May 2014, says Arun Jaitley.
* Arun Jaitey recalls the measures — like GST, FDI, demonetisation, etc. — taken by the NDA government in the past four years that have impacted the economy of the country.
-01 February, 2018 / New Delhi /Microstat