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Below are the highlights of Union Budget for the financial year 2017-18 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Lok Sabha on Wednesday:

* Five special tourism zones, anchored on SPVs, to be set up; Incredible India II campaign to be launched across the world

* Expert international assistance will be harnessed to improve railway safety preparedness and maintenance practices

* Allocation for infrastructure at record Rs 3,96,135 crore in 2017-18

* National Testing Agency to be established to conduct all entrance exams for higher education

* Innovation Fund for secondary education to be created

* Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras to be extended to more than 600 districts across the country

* Mahila Shakti Kendras to be set up at village level, in 14 lakh ICDS centres, with an allocation of Rs. 500 crore

* Net tax revenue grew by 17 per cent in 2015-16

* Committed to making taxation rate reasonable, our tax administration more fair and expand the tax base of the country

* Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target has been doubled at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18

* 3,500 km railway lines to be commissioned in 2017-18 against 2,800 km in 2016-17

* Railways plan size for 2017-18 pegged at Rs. 1,31,000 crore, including Rs 55,000 crore to be provided by the government

* Using space technology in a big way to plan MGNREGA works

* During 2017-18, another 5 lakh ponds to be constructed for drought-proofing

* AadharPay, a merchant version of Aadhaar-enabled payment system to be launched shortly for those without debit cards, mobile phones

* Sanitation coverage in rural areas has gone up to 60 per cent

* Swachh Bharat Mission has made tremendous progress in promoting safe sanitation and ending open defectation

* By 2019 all passenger coaches of railways to be fitted with bio-toilets

* 1 crore houses to be completed by 2019 for houseless and those living in ‘kacha’ houses

* Rs 19,000 crore in 2017-18 for PMGSY; together with contribution from states, Rs 27,000 crore to be spent

* Total allocation for rural, agricultural & allied sectors for 2017-18 is a record Rs 1,87,223 crore, up 24 per cent from last year

* Target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record Rs 10 lakh crore

* Coverage of Fasal Bima Yojana to go up from 30 per cent of cropped area, to 40 per cent in 2017-18, 50 per cent in 2018-19

* NABARD to set up dedicated micro-irrigation fund to be set to achieve Per Drop More Crop mission

* Corpus of NABARD’s long-term irrigation fund raised to Rs 40,000 crore

* Mini soil-testing labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras to ensure 100 per cent coverage

* Highest ever allocation to MGNREGA at Rs 48,000 crore

(IANS)

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