The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley presented the General Budget 2017-18 in Parliament on 1st February, 2017. This is the first of its kind which included the Railway Budget, does not have Plan and Non-plan classifications and has been advanced by a month to the beginning of February. The budget reflects the approach of development of every section of society and every sector of economy. First time in the history of Indian economy, in the budget special attention has been given to rural sector, agriculture, farmers, poor and underprivileged section of society. By reducing existing rate of tax from 10% to 5% on income between 2.5 lakhs to 5 lakhs gives relief to middle class and lower middle class. In his Budget speech Shri Jaitley said that the agenda is “Transform, Energise and Clean India” (TEC)- to transform the quality of governance for better quality of life. The aim is to energise various sections of society, especially the youth and the vulnerable and to clean the country from the evils of corruption, black money and non-transparent political funding. He said, the government will spend more in rural areas, on infrastructure and poverty alleviation while maintaining fiscal prudence. Economic reforms will be continued to promote higher investments and accelerate growth for the benefit of the poor and the underprivileged. Total expenditure in Budget for 2017-18 has been placed at Rs.21.47 lakh crores. Here we are publishing the highlights of Union Budget for our reader’s.
Highlights of Union Budget 2017-18
It will have a great impact on the economy and lives of people .
Demonetisation is a bold and decisive measure that will lead to higher GDP growth.
A sum of Rs. 10 lakh crore is allocated as credit to farmers, with 60 days interest waiver.
NABARD fund will be increased to Rs. 40,000 crore.
Government will set up mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras for soil testing.
A dedicated micro irrigation fund will be set up for NABARD with Rs 5,000 crore initial corpus.
Irrigation corpus increased from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore.
Dairy processing infrastructure fund wlll be initially created with a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore.
A model law on contract farming will be prepared and shared with the States.
The government targets to bring 1 crore households out of poverty by 2019.
During 2017-18, five lakh farm ponds will be be taken up under the MGNREGA.
Over Rs 3 lakh crore will be spent for rural India. MGNREGA to double farmers’ income.
Will take steps to ensure participation of women in MGNREGA up to 55%.
Space technology will be used in a big way to ensure MGNREGA works.
The government proposes to complete 1 crore houses for those without homes.
Will allocate Rs. 19,000 crore for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in 2017-18.
The country well on way to achieve 100% rural electrification by March 2018.
Swachh Bharat coverage has gone up from 42% in Oct 13 to 60% now.
Innovation fund for secondary education.
Focus will be on 3,479 educationally-backward blocks.
Colleges will be identified based on accreditation.
Skill India mission was launched to maximise potential.
100 India International centres across the country.
Courses on foreign languages will be introduced.
Will take steps to create 5000 PG seats per annum.
For the poor and under privilege
Rs. 500 crore allocated for Mahila Shakthi Kendras.
Under a nationwide scheme for pregnant women, Rs. 6000 will be transferred to each person.
A sum of Rs. 1,84,632 crore allocated for women and children.
Affordable housing will be given infrastructure status.
Owing to surplus liquidity, banks have started reducing lending rates for housing.
Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 targeted.
Health sub centres, numbering 1.5 lakh, willl be transformed into health wellness centres.
Two AIIMS will be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.
Will undertake structural transformation of the regulator framework for medical education.
Allocation for Scheduled Castes is Rs. 52,393 crore
Aadhaar-based smartcards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health.
Infrastructure and railways
Rs. 39,61,354 crore has been made for infrastructure.
Total allocation for Railways is Rs. 1,31,000 crore.
No service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC.
Raksha coach with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore for five years (for passenger safety).
Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020.
3,500 km of railway lines to be commissioned this year up from 2,800 km last year.
SMS-based ‘’clean my coach service’’ is put in place.
Coach mitra facility will be introduced to register all coach related complaints.
By 2019 all trains will have bio-toilets.
500 stations will be made differently-abled friendly.
Railways to partner with logistics players for front-end and back-end solutions for select commodities.
Railways will offer competitive ticket booking facility.
Rs. 64,000 crore allocated for highways.
High speed Internet to be allocated to 1,50,000 gram panchayats.
New Metro rail policy will be announced with new modes of financing.
A strategic policy for crude reserves will be set up.
Rs. 1.26,000 crore received as energy production based investments.
Trade infra export scheme will be launched 2017-18.
FDI policy reforms – more than 90% of FDI inflows are
Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be abolished.
Computer emergency response team for financial sector will be formed.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target fixed at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18.
Digital India – BHIM app will unleash mobile phone revolution. The government will introduce two schemes to promote BHIM App – referral bonus for the users and cash back for the traders.
DBT to LPG consumers , Chandigarh is kerosene-free, 84 government schemes are on the DBT platform.
Head post office as the central office for rendering passport service.
Easy online booking system for Army and other defence personnel.
For big-time offences – including economic offenders fleeing India, the government will introduce legislative change or introduce law to confiscate the assets of these people within the country.
Total expenditure is Rs. 21, 47,000 crore.
Plan, non-plan expenditure to be abolished; focus will be on capital expenditure, which will be 25.4 %.
Rs. 3,000 crore under the Department of Economic Affairs for implementing the Budget announcements.
Expenditure for science and technology is Rs. 37,435 crore.
Total resources transferred to States and Union Territories is Rs 4.11 lakh crore.
Recommended 3% fiscal deficit for three years with a deviation of 0.5% of the GDP.
Revenue deficit is 1.9 %
Fiscal deficit of 2017-18 pegged at 3.2% of the GDP. Will remain committed to achieving 3% in the next year.
Funding of political parties
The maximum amount of cash donation for a political party will be Rs. 2,000 from any one source.
The defence sector gets an allocation of Rs. 2.74,114 crore.
Between November 8 to December 30, deposits ranging from Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 80 lakh were made in 1.09 crore accounts.
Net tax revenue grew by 17 percent in 2015-16
Out of 76 lakh individual assessees declaring income more than Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried.
1.95 crore individuals showed income between Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh.
Proposal to have a carry-forward of MAT for 15 years.
Capital gains tax to be exempted for persons holding land from which land was pooled for creation of the state capital of Andhra Pradesh.
Proposal to reduce tax for small companies with a turnover of up to Rs 50 crore to 25%.
The government proposes to reduce basic customs duty for LNG to 2.5% from 5%.
The Income Tax Act to be amended to ensure that no transaction above Rs 3 lakh is permitted in cash.
The limit of cash donation by charitable trusts is reduced to Rs 2,000 from Rs 10,000.
Personal income tax
Existing rate of tax for individuals between Rs. 2.5- Rs 5 lakh is reduced to 5% from 10%.
People filing I-T returns for the first time will not come under any government scrutiny.