Union Budget 2018: Key highlights

Finance Minister Jaitley said, 'Indian economy to grow at 7.2-7.5 per cent in second half of 2018-19.'

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday presented the Union Budget 2018 - the last budget of the BJP-led NDA government in the Parliament prior to the Lok Sabha elections slated for 2019.

Jaitley, speaking both in Hindi and English, said the focus of the Budget is agriculture and rural economy, health, infrastructure and senior citizens. He announced that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for notified kharif crops would be 1.5 times of the cost incurred by farmers for production.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'minimum government, maximum governance', Jaitley stated that India's USD 2.5 trillion economy is on course to achieve a growth of 8 per cent, following the 7.2-7.5 percent growth it achieved in the second half of 2018-19.

Highlights from Arun Jaitley's Budget speech:

  • Propose to increase the custom duty on mobiles from 15 per cent to 20 per cent and on some other mobile parts to 15 per cent, and some parts of TVs to 15 per cent
  • Propose to increase the health and education cess to 4 per cent
  • Long term capital gains over Rs 1 lakh to be taxed at the rate of 10 per cent without indexation
  • Rs 50,000 additional benefit to senior citizens for investment in mediclaim
  • A standard deduction of additional Rs 40,000 for salaried employees. This move will benefit 2.5 crore taxpayers
  • Govt 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
  • Rs 7000 crore will be the revenue foregone for the reduced corporate tax on MSMEs
  • Propose to extend the benefit of the reduced corporate rate of 25 per cent for companies with reported turnover of up to Rs 250 crore
  • 100 per cent tax deduction for the first five years to companies registered as farmer producer companies with a turnover of Rs. 100 crore and above
  • 41 per cent more returns were filed this year, which shows that more people have joined the tax net
  • Demonetisation was received by honest taxpayers as ‘Imaandaari ka utsav’
  • Gold monetisation scheme being revamped so that people can open gold deposit accounts in a hassle-free manner
  • Expenditure bill is Rs 21.57 lakh crore; Fiscal deficit 3.5 per cent for 2017-18
  • Re-fix allowances payable to MPs with an in-built system to revise it every 5 years
  • Salaries of President, Vice President and Governor being revised: Rs 5 lakh; 4 lakh; Rs 3.5 lakh per month respectively
  • Exceeded the disinvestment target and collected Rs 1 lakh crore
  • The government insurance companies to be merged into a single entity, and subsequently listed in the stock exchange, as part of the disinvestment programme
  • The government will assign every enterprise in India a unique ID on the lines of Aadhaar
  • The government has identified 372 basic business reform actions. Each state will take up these reforms
  • Will take all steps to eliminate the use of Cryptocurrencies... We will explore the use of blockchain
  • Rs 5.97 lakh crore allocated for infrastructure spending in India
  • 5 lakh WiFi hotspots to be set up in rural areas to provide easy Internet access
  • Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been taken up; Mumbai transport system is being expanded; suburban network of 160 km planned for Bengaluru
  • The government proposes to revamp the system of sanctioning of loans to SMEs. The information required for sanctioning the loan will be linked with GSTN and all required information can be fetched from GSTN Portal. It will help to grant the loans quickly and will help in reducing processing time
  • UDAN will connect 56 unserved airports in India and 31 unserved helipads
  • An institute is coming up at Vadodara to train people for the bullet train programme
  • AMRUT programme will focus on water supply to all households in 500 cities. Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth 19,428 core awarded
  • Rs 1,48,528 crore is the capital expenditure for the Indian Railways for 2018-19... All trains to be progressively provided with WiFi, CCTV and other state-of-the-art amenities
  • Bharatmala project approved for better road connectivity at Rs 5.35 lakh crore
  • Proposal to develop 10 prominent tourist destinations as Iconic tourism destinations
  • Women’s contribution reduced to 8 per cent towards PF in the first 3 years for new EPF accounts... The government will contribute 12 per cent of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors
  • 70 lakh farming jobs have been created this year, shows an independent study
  • Rs 3 lakh crore allocated for PM MUDRA Yojana
  • The government is slowly but steadily progressing towards universal health coverage
  • Announce allocation of Rs 56,619 crore for SC welfare and Rs 39,135 crore for ST welfare
  • Healthcare stocks trading higher after the government said it proposed to cover 100 million families via healthcare protection scheme. Apollo Hospital Ltd rose 4.1 per cent, Thyrocare Technologies Ltd 2.6 per cent, Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd rose 3 per cent
  • Mass formalization of MSME sector is happening after demonetization and GST
  • Total 187 projects sanctioned under the Namami Gange programme
  • 24 new government medical colleges and hospitals to be set up by upgrading existing district hospitals
  • Rs 600 crore for nutritional support to TB patients
  • One medical college per every three constituency
  • Have decided to take healthcare protection to a new aspirational level. Launching a flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, benefiting approx. 50 crore. Providing Rs 5 lakh per family per year for medical reimbursement, under National Health Protection Scheme. This will be world’s largest health protection scheme
  • Rs 1200 crore for the flagship programme in health wellness centres
  • Eighteen new schools of planning and architecture will be set up. I propose railway university in Vodadara
  • Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe population... Propose to launch a scheme to revitalise research-based education with Rs 1 lakh crore in the next four years
  • Integrated B.Ed programme to be initiated for teachers, to improve quality of teachers
  • Technology will be the biggest driver in improving education
  • Rs 14.34 lakh crore to be spent for providing livelihood to rural India through infrastructure building
  • Loans to self help groups will increase to Rs 75,000 crore by March 2019
  • We aim that by 2022, all poor people have a house to live in
  • In the next financial year, we target the construction of two crore toilets under the 'Swachh Bharat Mission'
  • Removal of crop residue to be subsidised in order to tackle the problem of pollution due to burning of crop residue
  • Ujwala will give 8 crore women new LPG connections
  • Special scheme to address air pollution in Delhi-NCR region
  • Credit for agricultural activities is up from Rs 10 lakh crore to Rs 11 lakh crore
  • Fishery and aquaculture and animal husbandry funds with a total corpus of Rs 10,000 crore
  • Agri-Market Development Fund with a corpus of Rs 2000 crore to be set up for developing agricultural markets
  • Restructured National Bamboo Mission to be launched with an allocation of Rs 1290 crore to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner
  • Grameen Agricultural Market (GRAM) will provide farmers a means to sell directly to buyers
  • Rs 500 crore announced for Operation Green
  • Allocation to food processing ministry is being doubled from Rs 715 crore to Rs 1400 crore
  • Cluster-model approach to be adopted for agricultural production
  • The focus is on low-cost farming, higher MSP. Emphasis is on generating farm and non-farm employment for farmers
  • 470 APMCs have been connected to eNAM network, the rest to be connected by March 2018... Agri-Market Development Fund with a corpus of 2000 crore to be set up for developing agricultural markets
  • In India, agricultural production has attained a record growth... Will double the income of farmers by 2022
  • Agri-related stocks gain after it is said MSP for all crops to be increased by 1.5 times. Kaveri Seeds Co Ltd rose 2.4 per cent, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd 2.1 per cent, Escorst Ltd rose 5 per cent, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd rose 2.2 per cent
  • The government will ensure payment of full MSP even if farmers sell below MSP
  • The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops shall be increased to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost
  • Our government has ensured that services and benefits reach people directly. The direct benefit transfer in India is the biggest such exercise in the world
  • Maximum governance, minimum government has ensured India has climbed 42 places in the ease of doing business. We are now working toward easing of living in India
  • Budget 2018 will focus on agriculture and rural economy, health, infra, senior citizens
  • This year’s budget will focus on strengthening rural and agricultural economy
  • India grew at an average of 7.5 per cent in the first three years since 2014. It is now a 2.5 trillion dollar economy. Economy to grow at 7.2-7.5 per cent in second half of 2018-19
  • All the structural reforms will help the economy in the short and long-term... India is expected to become the fifth largest economy very soon
  • Indian economy has performed very well since our Government took over in may 2014. It is now the seventh largest in the world
  • Introduction of GST has made indirect tax system simpler; demonetisation has reduced cash in economy, promoted digital transactions
  • Our government has implemented structural reforms
  • India stands out as the fastest growing economy in the world

11:05 am: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley starts reading out from Budget document.

10:20 am: Cabinet meeting begins inside Parliament ahead of Union Budget. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives.

(Photo: ANI)(Photo: ANI

9:55 am: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrives in Parliament with the Budget document.

9:50 am: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley meets President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 in the Parliament.

9:45 am: Ahead of Union Budget 2018-19, budget papers arrive in Parliament.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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