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Union Budget-2018 Highlights

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New Delhi: Highlights of the Union Budget for 2018-19 presented in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday:

* Education and health cess to be increased from 3 per cent to 4 per cent

* Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 introduced in lieu of transport and medical reimbursements for salaried employees

* All senior citizens can claim benefit of reduction Rs 50,000 year for any general health expenditure and health insurance premium

* Exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000 for senior citizens

* Long-term capital gains exceeding Rs 1 lakh to be taxed at 10 per cent

* Electronic IT assessment will be rolled out across the country, leading to greater efficiency and transparency

* No change in personal income tax rates for salaried class

* Tax buoyancy more than expected, thanks to greater compliance

* Demonetisation was received by honest tax-payers as ‘Imaandari ka Utsav’

* Measures on rationalising long-term capital gains

* Companies with turnover of upto Rs 250 crore to be taxed at 25 per cent

* Government has identified 372 specific business reform actions to improve ease of doing business; Evaluation of performance under this programme to be based on user feedback

* Revised fiscal deficit estimate for 2017-18 is 3.5 per cent of GDP, fiscal deficit of 3.3 per cent expected for 2018-19

* 12.6 per cent growth in direct taxes in 2017-18; 18.7 per cent growth in indirect taxes in 2017-18

* 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

* Revised emoluments for President – Rs 5 lakh, Vice President – Rs 4 lakh and Governors – Rs 3.5 lakh; Automatic revision of MPs’ emoluments every five years, indexed to inflation

* UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme will connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads

* Rs 80,000 crore disinvestment target for 2018-19, target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore

* Government insurance companies to be merged into a single entity, and subsequently listed in the stock exchange, as part of the disinvestment programme

* National Logistics Portal as a single online window to link all stakeholders, to be developed by Department of Commerce

* Foundation stone of the bullet train was laid in September 2017. An institute is coming up in Vadodara to train the manpower required for the high speed railway projects

* 12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and 700 locomotives being procured. There is significant achievements of physical targets by railways

* Road construction has scaled new heights, confident that 9000 km highway construction will be complete by 2017-18

* National Committee chaired by PM, including CMs, Gandhians and representatives from various walks of life for year-long commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

* Rs 1,48,528 crore capital expenditure for Indian Railways for 2018-19

* All trains to be progressively provided with Wi-Fi, CCTV and other state-of-the-art amenities

* NITI Aayog will establish a National Programme to direct efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development

* Five lakh Wi-Fi hotspots to be set up in rural areas to provide easy internet access

* Government to take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are being used to fund illegitimate transactions

* Individual enterprises too to have unique ID

* Government plans to construct two crore more toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission

* Rs 7,148 crore outlay for textile sector in 2018-19

* One government medical college to be ensured for every three parliamentary constituencies by upgrading 24 district-level colleges

* Hard work of farmers resulted in a record production of more than 275 million tonnes of foodgrain and about 300 million tonnes of horticultural produce

* Not only focussing on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ but also ‘Ease of Living’

* 70 lakh formal jobs have been created this year. Government will contribute 12 per cent of the wages as EPF in all sectors for the next three years

* Mass formalisation of MSME sector is happening after demonetisation and GST

* 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 approximately 50 crore people

* 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

* Government is slowly but steadily progressing towards universal health coverage

* Air pollution in Delhi NCR is a cause for concern; special scheme will be implemented to support Haryana, Punjab, UP and Delhi NCT to address this and subsidise machinery for management of crop residue

* Scheme for revitalising school infrastructure, with an allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore over four years. Called RISE – Revitalizing Infrastructure in School Education

* Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe population

* By 2022, every block with more than 50 per cent ST population and at least 20,000 tribal people will have ‘Ekalavya’ school at par with Navodaya Vidyalas

* Integrated B.Ed programme to be initiated for teachers to improve quality of teachers

* India is firmly on path to achieve 8 per cent plus growth

* Propose to raise institutional credit for agriculture to Rs 11 lakh Crore for 2018-19

* Rs 14.34 lakh crore to be spent for rural infrastructure

* Eight crore free gas connections to women under UJJWALA and 4 crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana

* Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Fund to be set up with corpus of Rs 10,000 crore

* Restructured National Bamboo Mission to be launched with allocation of Rs 1,290 crore to promote sector in a holistic manner

* Rs 500 crore for Operation Green

* Agri-Market Development Fund with a corpus of 2000 crore to be set up for developing agricultural markets

* 470 APMCs have been connected to #eNAM network, the rest to be connected by March 2018

* Minimum Support Price of all crops shall be increased to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost

* From ease of doing business, government has moved to ease of living for the poor and middle class

* Allocation in for Ministry of Food Processing is being doubled; specialised agro-processing and financial institutions to be promoted by the government

* India now a $2.5 trillion economy and firmly on path to achieve 8% plus growth soon

* Will focus on agriculture and rural economy, health, infra, senior citizens

* Hope to grow at 7.2 per cent-7.5 per cent in the second half of 2017-18

* Allocating natural resources in a more transparent manner, there is a premium on honesty now

* Government led by PM Modi has implemented a series of fundamental structural reforms

 

(IANS)