This year’s budget garnered the interest of Indian citizens after significant decisions of GST, demonetization, FDI’s and digital India projects. Today’s budget by fifth Honorable Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who delivered the budget for five consecutive years has some pleasant and unpleasant points to highlight. Budget is mostly focused on distress farmers and health care. Let’s look at the highlights of 2018 budget.
Highlights of 2018 Budget
Arun Jaitley announced World’s largest government fund for health program which includes
- An annual cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family to cover 10 crores, poor families.
- TB patients who are undergoing treatment are allocated Rs 600 crore.
- 5 lakh new health care centers will be constructed in a budget of Rs. 1200 crore.
Railway’s and Airport
Another highlight of budget 2018 is Railway’s which was merged last year.
- An expenditure of Rs 1,48,528 crore for Indian Railways in 2018-19.
- All railways stations and trains in India will have CCTV and WiFi.
- 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.
- Redevelopment and digitalization of 600 major railway stations across the country.
- Airport capacity to be hiked to handle 1 billion trips every year.
- 56 airports ad 3 new helipads to be added.
- Present Airport Authority of India will be expanded by 5 times (current 124 airports)
Finance Minister announced budget focusing to improve the conditions of farmers and rural infrastructure.
- The government will fix the MSP of agricultural products at 1.5 times the market rate.
- A sum of Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation Green’
- Credit for agricultural activities increases to Rs 11 lakh crores.
- 3 lakh crore to be spent for rural infrastructure
Keeping in mind importance of education and its impact on future development of India, Jaitley proposed:
- Integrated BEd programme for teachers during service is essential.
- Technology will be the biggest driver in improving the quality of education.
- Specialised Railway University to be set up at Vadodara keeping in mind with advanced railway projects.
- Eklavya schools to be started by 2022 for Scheduled Tribe populations in a block where there is more than 50% ST population.
- Govt will set up two new Schools of Planning and Architecture, says Finance Minister Jaitley.
- 24 new govt medical colleges and hospital by upgrading existing district hospitals
Rs. 5.97 lakh crore allocated for infrastructure spending in India. Toll plaza system will be introduced on ‘Pay-as-you-use’ with the digital system.
Although 1.89 crore salaried individuals filed tax returns they were highly affected with no change in tax slabs and increase in Long Term Capital Gain Tax on equity gains.
- 10% slab on LTCG on equity gains of above Rs. 1 lakh will have the effect on investment in mutual funds and shares.
- Health and education cess increased to 4%
Government gel on burn came with the following announcements which might not reduce heat and pain but might land positives on their account.
- Govt to contribute 12% EPF for all sectors for next 3 years.
- Women EPFO contribution reduced to 8% from 12% for first three years.
2. Senior Citizens:
- Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses
- For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000
- 50,000 exemption for HC insurance for senior citizens
A sigh of relief can be noticed in the corporate sector with Corporate tax reduced to 25% for 250cr turnover companies.
Note: A significant rise in Stock Market, BSE Sensex, and NSE Nifty is observed.
- The government selling or liquidating an asset or subsidiary exceeded the target. Target for 2018-19 is Rs 80,000 crore.
- Government Insurance forms will be merged into a single entity and listed on exchanges as of disinvestment program along with other 24 central public sector enterprises.
This year’s budget is given a significant consideration for President, Vice President, and Parliament members.
- Rs 5 lakh for the President of India
- Rs 4 lakh for the Vice President
- Rs 3.5 lakh for the Governors
Automatic revision of annual income of Parliamentarians every five years with indexed to inflation.
- Government to construct 2 crore toilets in 2 years.
- 8 crore rural women will be provided with free LPG connections under Ujjwala scheme.
- A target to provide all Indians with their own homes by 2022.
- Amrut program to focus on the water supply to all households in 500 cities.
- Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth Rs 19,428 core.
Deficit: A fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP for FY2018-19 is proposed by Jaitley.
With Highs, lows, and loopholes, on the second month of the new year, India witnessed few significant allocations and unpleasant ignorance of wage citizens investments in stock market. Considering the tax on stock market transactions Arun Jaitley and Modi can be considered to be in a bit of trouble if the execution of Health, Railways, education and other industries do not outweigh.
So what are your comments on this year’s budget?