Top takeaways from Union Budget 2018

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Feb 01, 2018, 08:56 AM IST
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File photo. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday presented Budget 2018, the Narendra Modi government’s last full budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The finance minister started his budget speech at 11 am in the Rajya Sabha. As expected the Budget wooed rural voters and small business owners before the general assembly elections.

The Budget had a string of populist giveaways, from free cooking gas to a health plan for the poor.

Income-Tax slabs 
No change in personal Income Tax slabs in Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2018. A standard deduction of Rs 40,000 under transport, medical reimbursement. For senior citizens, exemptions in income of Rs 10,000 from Banks FD and post offices. Senior citizens to get Rs 50,000 per annum exemption for medical insurance.

Salary hike for President, Vice-President  
Emoluments of the President to be revised to Rs 5 lakh per month & for Vice-president to be Rs 4 lakh per month.

MPs salary revision 
The government proposed changes in refixing salaries of Members of Parliament. Law will provide an automatic revision of emoluments of the MPs every 5 years indexed to inflation.

The government allocated Rs 2,000 crore to Agriculture market fund. Kharif MSP at 1.5 times of produce times. Food processing sector allocation almost doubled Rs 14,000 crore. Rs 500 crore allocated to operation greens. Rs 10, 000 crore for fisheries, aquaculture and animal husbandry funds. 

Rural Economy 
8 crore poor women to get new LPG connections under Ujjwala Yojana. Under PM Saubhagya Yojana, 4 crore poor people will get power connection. The government will spend Rs 16,000 crore on this scheme. Government plans to construct 2 crore toilets in next fiscal year under Swach Bharat Mission. It target house for all by 2022. 51 lakh houses have already been constructed. 

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. 

Employee-centric schemes 
Govt will contribute 12% of the wages of new employees in EPF in all sectors for next 3 years. Women contribution to EPF reduced to 8% for first 3 years 

Railway capital expenditure has been pegged at Rs 1.48 lakh crore, up from Rs 1.31 lakh crore last year. Plans to eliminate unmanned railway crossing. All stations with a footfall of greater than 25,000 will have escalators. More stations and trains will progressively be built with WiFi and CCTV cameras. 

India needs an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector. Construction of new tunnel in Sera Pass to promote tourism. Out of 100 smart cities 99 cities have been selected, with an outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore. 10 prominent tourist sites will be made iconic tourist destinations, with an amalgamation of private funding, marketing and branding. 

Under Aayushman Bharat programme, 1.5 lakh centres will be set up to provide health facilities closer to home. Rs 1,200 crore to be allocated for this programme. Flagship National Healthcare protection scheme, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. Up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. Jaitley announces setting up of one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies, with 24 New government medical colleges also being envisioned. 

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.

Allocation to Digital India scheme doubled to Rs 3073 cr. 5 lakh WiFi HotSpots to provide Broadband access to 5 crore rural citizens, at the cost of Rs 10,000 cr. 

Government will take measures to stop cryptocurrency circulation, as it is not considered legal tender.SEBI to consider mandating large corporations to meet 1/4th of their debt needs. SEBI to mull asking large cos to meet 25% debt from bond market 

Corporate tax
Corporate Tax of 25% extended to companies with turnover up to Rs 250 cr in financial year 2016-17 

Fiscal Deficit
Fiscal deficit is 3.5% of GDP at Rs 5.95 lakh crore in 2017-18. Projecting fiscal deficit to be 3.3% of GDP in the next fiscal 

Capital gains 
Long-term capital gains exceeding rs 1 lakh will be taxed at 10 % without indexing. Short term capital tax remains at 15% 

Imports and Exports 
Customs Duty on certain products, such as mobile phones and televisions has been increased, to provide a fillip to 'Make in India' 

Rs 3,794 crore allocated to the MSME sector in the form of capital support and interest subsidy By 2022.