Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018-19 in the Parliament on Thursday, February 1.
This will be the fourth and the penultimate budget of the NDA-led government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the country goes for polls in 2019.
If the General Elections are announced earlier next year, the fifth budget will only be a Vote on Account.
It will be the second year wherein the Railway Budget will be included in the General Budget and the first after the government enacted major economic reform like the Goods & Services Tax (GST).
Key announcements of the Union Budget for 2018-19:
Current State (pre-budget):
* India now a $2.5 trillion economy and is expected to become the 5th largest economy soon.
* Indian economy to grow at 7.2 to 7.5% in the second half of 2017-18, on path to achieve 8% growth.
* Focus on agriculture, rural economy, health, infrastructure and senior citizens.
* Government allocating resources in a more transparent manner.
* Time to shift focus from ‘ease of doing business’ to ‘ease of living’ for common people.
* Government committed to doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
* Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops will increase to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost. The government will set up a fund of Rs 2,000 crore for developing agricultural markets and allocate Rs 200 crore for cultivation and associated industry.
* Rs 500 crore allocated for ‘Operation Green’ on the lines of ‘Operation Flood’.
* Rs 1,200 crore allocated for National Bamboo Mission to promote the bamboo sector.
* Rs 10,000 crore allocated to set up a fund for Fishery & Aquaculture Infrastructure Development and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure.
* Proposed to raise institutional credit for agriculture to Rs 11 Lakh Crore for 2018-19.
* Government to aid governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab in curbing air pollution. Will subsidise removal of crop residue to lessen impact of crop burning on pollution.
* Government will provide 8 crore free gas connections women under Ujjwala scheme and 4 crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana.
* Undertake construction of 2 crore more toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission. 6 crore toilets have already been constructed.
* Will launch ‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education’ by 2022 to improve quality of education. Rs 1 lakh crore to be invested in next 4 years.
* Every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal people will have ‘Ekalavya’ school at par with Navodaya Vidayalas by 2022.
* Two new full-fledged Schools of Planning and Architecture to be set up.
* National Health Protection Scheme launched to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families or 50 crore people – the world’s largest health-protection scheme.
* Rs 5 lakh will be provided to per family per year.
* Rs 600 crore corpus set up to help TB patients.
* 24 new government medical colleges and hospitals to be set up by upgrading existing district hospitals.
* 187 projects sanctioned for cleaning of Ganga under NAMAMI Ganga scheme.
* 115 districts identified taking various indices of development into consideration. Quality of life to be improved in these districts.
* Rs 3 lakh crore allocated for lending under Mudra loans in 2018-19. Over 10 crore were given in the current fiscal, of which women received for 70%.
* Government to contribute 12% of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors for three years. Contributions from women employees will be brought down from 12% to 8%.
* 10 prominent tourist destinations to be developed to attract more tourists.
* Proposed construction of tunnel under the Se-La pass in Arunachal Pradesh.
* Rs 10,000 crore allocated to telecom infrastructure for setting up 5 lakh WiFi hotspots.
* 372 specific business reform actions have been identified to improve ease of doing business.
* Government revised fiscal deficit for 2017-18 to Rs 5.95 lakh crore or 3.5% of GDP. 3.3% of GDP projected for next fiscal.
* Rs 56,619 crore allocated for SC welfare and Rs 39,135 crore for ST welfare.
* AMRUT program to focus on water supply to all households in 500 cities. Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth Rs 19,428 core awarded.
* Rs 1,48,528 crore allocated as capital expenditure for Indian Railways for 2018-19, most of which will be used for capacity expansion.
* Target of 18,000 kms of doubling of tracks would eliminate capacity constraints.
* Railways to procure 12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and 700 locomotives.
* All railways stations with more than 25,000 footfall to have escalators. All railways stations and trains to have Wi-Fi and CCTVs progressively.
* Institute coming in Vadodara to train the manpower required for the high speed railway projects.
* Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been taken up. 4,267 unmanned level crossings to be eliminated in the next two years.
* Bengaluru Metro to get Rs 17,000 crore. Mumbai rail network to receive Rs 11,000 crore.
* Railways’ focus will be on safety, maintenance of railway tracks, increase in use of technology and fog safety devices.
* 16 new airports started operations last year under UDAN connectivity scheme and more will be added this year.
* Airport Authority of India (AAI) now has 124 airports and will be expanded by 5 times in coming years with an aim to hit a billion trips a year.
* UDAN scheme will connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads.
* 1 lakh Gram Panchayats have been connected to optic fibre and 5 lakh Wi-Fi spots to be created in rural areas.
* Niti Aayog to establish a national programme to direct efforts towards Artificial Intelligence, including research and development of its applications.
* No change on government’s stance on cryptocurrency like Bitcoins. Government still considers cryptocurrency illegal and will take steps to eliminate their use.
* Blockchain technology used by cryptocurrencies, however, will be adopted for payment systems.
* Emoluments of the President to be revised to Rs 5 lakh per month and emoluments of the Vice-president to be revised to Rs 4 lakh per month.
* Proposed changes in re-fixing salaries of Members of Parliament. Law will provide automatic revision of emoluments of the MPs every 5 years indexed to inflation.
* Gold monetisation scheme being revamped to make it easy for people to open gold deposit accounts in a hassle-free manner.
* Two defence industrial corridors in the country to promote domestic production in both public and private sectors proposed.
* Tax payer base rose from 6.47 crore in 2014-15 to 8.27 crore in 2016-17, resulting in an additional collection of Rs 90,000 crore.
* 12.6% growth in direct taxes and 18.7% growth in indirect taxes in 2017-18.
* 100% tax rebate for farmer producer companies having a turnover of Rs 100 crore proposed.
* No changes to personal income tax rates applicable to individuals in wake of positive changes made in last three years.
* Rs 8,000 crore revenue was lost due to standard deduction allowed to salaried employees in previous year.
* Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses against the earlier Rs 30,000.
* For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000.
* Corporate tax rate cut to 25% for companies with turnover of Rs 250 crore.
* Proposed to introduce tax on distributed income by equity oriented mutual funds at 10%.
* Proposed to tax long term capital gains exceeding Rs 1 lakh at 10% without indexation.
* Customs duty on mobile phones increased from 15% to 20%. Accessories and Televisions to also attract 15% tax to encourage domestic manufacturing.
* Additional Rs 11,000 crore collected by increasing educational cess from 3% to 4%.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourns the House till Monday, February 5 after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2018 speech.Back to latest news