India's Union budget 2018 Highlights | Focuses on agriculture, infrastructure, healthcare reforms
Updated On : 01 Feb 2018,03:25 PM
The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget for 2018-19 on Thursday. The first phase of the Parliament Budget session began on January 29 and will continue till February 9. This years Budget session is crucial for the Govt because it has come after the Modi government’s two major big financial decisions - Demonetisation and GST.
1. Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 introduced in lieu of transport and medical reimbursements for salaried employees. For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000.
2. In 2016-17, 1.89 crore salaried individuals filed returns and the average tax comes out to be around Rs 76,000 per individuals. For the same period, 1.88 crore business individuals filed returns who paid average tax of around Rs 25,000.
3. Tax payer base has risen from 6.47 crore in 2014-15 to 8.27 crore in 2016-17. Demonetisation was received by honest tax-payers as 'Imaandari ka Utsav'.
4. 100% tax deduction for the first five years to companies registered as farmer producer companies with a turnover of Rs. 100 crore and above.
5. Revised fiscal deficit estimate for 2017-18 is 3.5% of GDP, fiscal deficit of 3.3% expected for 2018-19.
6. Emoluments revised for Constitutional heads: Rs. 5 lakh for the President, Rs. 4 lakh for the Vice President, Rs. 3.5 lakh for Governors. Automatic revision of MPs' emoluments every five years, indexed to inflation.
7. Disinvestment target for 2018-19 set at Rs 80,000 crore. The target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore
8. Government insurance companies to be merged into a single entity, and subsequently listed in the stock exchange, as part of the disinvestment programme.
9. Amrut program to focus on water supply to all households in 500 cities. Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth Rs. 19,428 crore will be awarded.
10. No place for ‘Bitcoin’ in formal economy of ‘demonetised’ India : Government to take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are being used to fund illegitimate transactions.
11. 5 lakh WiFi hotspots to be set up in rural areas to provide easy Internet access.
12.18,000 km of doubling of tracks would eliminate capacity constraints. We are moving towards optimum electrification of railway. Over 3,600 km of track renewal is being targeted in 2018-19
13. The capital expenditure for Indian Railways for 2018-19 is set at Rs 1,48,528 crore. All stations with more than 25,000 footfall will have escalators. All stations and trains to be provided with WiFi, CCTVs.
14. Allocation for SC welfare is Rs. 56,619 crore and for ST welfare is Rs. 39,135 crore.
15. 70 lakh formal jobs have been created this year. Govt will contribute 12% of the wages as EPF in all sectors for the next three years. Contributions from women employees will be brought down from 12% to 8%.
16. We have allocated Rs 1,200 crore for health wellness centres i.e. Rs 5 lakh per family per year for 10 crore poor families. The world's largest government funded programme
17. To provide Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for medical reimbursement under National Health Protection Scheme. This will be world's largest health protection scheme.
18. We have decided to take healthcare protection to a new aspirational level. We are launching a flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, benefiting approximately 50 crore people.
19. Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe population. Scheme for revitalizing school infrastructure called RISE - Revitalizing Infrastructure in School Education, with an allocation of 1 lakh crore rupees over four years.
20. Rs. 14.34 lakh crore to be spent for building rural infrastructure.
21.Targets revised for Ujjwala and Saubhagya yojana : 8 crore free gas connections to be provided to women under Ujjwala Yojana and 4 crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana.
22. Removal of crop residue to be subsidized in order to tackle the problem of pollution in NCR region due to burning of crop residue.
23. Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Fund to be set up with a total corpus Rs. 10,000 crore.
24. Restructured National Bamboo Mission to be launched with an allocation of Rs. 1290 crore to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner. Rs. 500 crore to be allocated for Operation Green.
25. Cluster-model approach to be adopted for agricultural production. Allocation is being doubled to boost Food Processing; specialized agro-processing and financial institutions to be promoted by Government.
26. EPF transfer is now hassle free