Watch: Key highlights of Budget 2018

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Feb 01, 2018, 07.59 AM(IST)

Finance minister says "firmly on path to achieve 8 percent plus growth soon". Photograph:( WION Web Team )

India unveiled its budget for the fiscal year starting April 1 on Thursday, in what is being seen as a test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to maintain fiscal discipline without stifling economic growth ahead of general elections next year.

Also read: Full text of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's speech to Parliament

Here are the highlights of the budget for 2018-19 fiscal year.

New Income Tax Slab

Income Tax Slab for people less than 60 years for 2017-18

Income Slabs                                                         Income tax rate in 2017-18
Upto Rs. 2,50,000                                                  Nil
From Rs 2,50,001- Rs 5,00,000                             5%
From Rs.5,00,001- Rs.10,00,000                           20%
Above Rs.10,00,000                                               30%

Income Tax Slab for Individuals more than or equal to 60 years but less than 80 years known as Senior Citizens for 2017-18

Income Slabs                                                        Income Tax Rate for 2017-18
Upto Rs. 3,00,000                                                 Nil
From Rs 3,00,001- Rs 5,00,000                            5%
From Rs.5,00,001- Rs.10,00,000                         20%
Above Rs.10,00,000                                             30%

Income Tax Slab for Individuals more than or equal to 80 years known as Super Senior Citizens For 2017-18

Income Slabs                                                      Income Tax Rate for 2017-18

Upto Rs. 5,00,000                                               Nil
From Rs.5,00,001- Rs.10,00,000                       20%
Above Rs.10,00,000                                           30%

Fiscal deficit

Targets 2018/19 fiscal deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP, estimates current year at 3.5 percent - Bloomberg citing sources

Growth

Estimates 7.2 to 7.5 percent GDP growth in second half of current fiscal year.

Finance minister says "firmly on path to achieve 8 percent plus growth soon".

Expenditure

Estimates 1.38 trillion rupees expenditure on health, education and social security.

Railway capital expenditure set at 1.49 trillion rupees for 2018/19.

Infrastructure

To spend 14.34 trillion Indian rupees ($225.50 billion) on rural infrastructure.

Banking/Lending

To soon announce measures to address bad loans of small and medium enterprises.

Proposes setting up 3 trillion rupees plan for lending for small enterprises.

Agriculture

Finance minister says will focus on strengthening rural, agriculture economy.

Sets 10 trillion rupees to 11 trillion rupees credit for "agricultural activities".

Minimum support price of all crops to be increased to at least 1.5 times of production cost.

Export of agriculture commodities to be liberalised.

Education 
Government to increase digital intensity in education. Technology to be the biggest driver in improving quality of education. Rs. 1 lakh crore allocated to revitalisation and up-gradation of the education sector. By 2022, every block with more than 50 per cent ST population will have Ekalvya schools at par with Navodaya Vidyalaya. 

Health/pollution

To provide 500,000 rupees per family annually for medical reimbursement under National Health Protection Scheme. Finance minister says the plan will protect 500 million poor people and will be world's largest health protection scheme.

To implement special schemes for governments around Delhi to address air pollution.

Removal of crop residue to be subsidized in order to tackle the problem of pollution due to the burning of crop residue.

Aviation

UDAN Scheme to connect 64 unconnected airports across the country. Airport Authority of India (AAI) has 124 airports. Propose to increase the number by at least 5 times 1 billion trips a year, Rs 60 cr has been allocated to kickstart the initiative.

Rail Budget 2018 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Union Budget 2018 speech announced a capital expenditure of Rs 1.48 lakh crore for Indian railways. 

According to Jaitley most of this money will be spent on capacity expansion since that is the most important priority for railways right now. There is a target of doubling 18,000 km of lines and gauge conversion is underway to eliminate capacity constraints, FM Jaitley said for Railway Budget 2018. 

Highlights of Rail Budget

Focus on safety first, maintenance of track infrastructure is being given special attention.

12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and 700 locomotives being procured. There are significant achievements of physical targets by Railways.

All stations with more than 25,000 footfall will have escalators.

4267 unmanned railway crossing will be eliminated in next two years. All railway stations and trains will be provided WiFi and CCTVs progressively.

10 prominent tourist sites to be developed as iconic tourist spots.

Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations taken up; Mumbai transport system being expanded; the suburban network of 160 km planned for Bengaluru.

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.

Physical targets of Indian Railways is also improving. Work on dedicated freight corridors is on in full-swing – both east and west – announced FM Jaitley in the Railway Budget speech.

We have announced plans to set up a dedicated Railway University in Vadodara, said FM Arun Jaitley during his Union Budget 2018 speech.

(With inputs from Agencies) 

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