Key Highlights from Budget 2018: Bold on vision, short on outlays and focused on polls

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s delivered this government’s fifth and last full Budget amid subdued economic growth, challenging fiscal situation and farm distress. What makes it all the more important is the upcoming elections in eight states this year and the General Election next year, all of which put tough demands on it. How has Jaitley managed to balance populist demands, the need to support economic growth and PM Modi’s focus on fiscal discipline and reforms?

Fiscal Situation 
* 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 

* Rs 21.57 lakh crores transferred as net GST to states against a projection of Rs 21.47 lakh crores
85.51 lakh new tax payers filed income tax returns in FY17


* Growth in direct taxes (till Jan 15) is 18.7 %
* Surcharge of 10% on income above Rs 50 lakh but less than Rs 1 cr to be continued next year; 15% on income above Rs 1 cr to also continue.

* 100% tax deduction is allowed to co-operative societies

* Corporate Tax of 25% extended to companies with turnover up to Rs 250 cr in financial year 2016-17 
Incentives 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 under Sec 80D 
Rs 7.5 lakh per senior citizen limit for investment in interest-bearing LIC schemes doubled to Rs 15 lakh

* Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 allowed for transport, medical reimbursement for salaried tax payers

* Govt to reduce hardships faced in realty deals; no adjustment to be made in case circle rate does not exceed 5 pc of sale consideration

* Rs 8,000 crore revenue lost due to standard deduction al l owed to salaried employees
Rs 7,000 cr revenue forgone on account of lower corporate tax for Rs 250 crore turnover companies 

* Rs 19,000 cr revenue loss on direct tax in last fiscal


Short term capital tax remains at 15%

* A tax on distributed income at 10%

* Education cess increased to 4% from 3% to collect additional Rs 11,000 crore

* GST revenue will be received only for 11 months, that will have an effect on balance sheets

* GST collections projection pegged at Rs 7.43 lakh crore in full year 2018-19 as against Rs 4.44 lakh crore in nine months of current fiscal.

* Govt makes PAN mandatory for any entity entering into a financial transaction of Rs 2.5 lakh or more.

Customs Duties 
Customs Duty on certain products, such as mobile phones and televisions has been increased, to provide a fillip to ‘Make in India’

* Social welfare surcharge of 10% on imported goods.

* Central Board of Excise and Customs renamed as Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs
Import of solar tempered glass for manufacture of solar cells exempted from customs duty.

* Customs duty on crude edible vegetable oils like groundnut oil, safflower seed oil hiked from 12.5% to 30%; on refined edible vegetable oil from 20% to 35%

* Customs duty on sunglasses, cigarette lighter, toys, bus and truck tyres, select furniture hiked.
Customs duty on imitation jewellery hiked from 15% to 20%; doubled on all watches to 20%.

* Import duty on LCD/LED/OLED panels, parts of TVs hiked to 15%; duty on smart watches, wearable devices, footwear doubled to 20%.

* New scheme for providing electronic assessment to eliminate person-to-person contact

The government’s emphasis will be on generating higher incomes for farmers, by helping them produce more with lesser cost, and in turn, earn higher income for their produce.

* Jaitley stressed on the fact that India’s agricultural production is at a record high level today. 275 million tonne foodgrains and 300 million tonne fruits and vegetable have been produced in the country.
The FM said the government wants farmers to earn 1.5 times the production cost, and the Minimum Selling Price (MSP) for the Kharif Crops has been set at 1.5 times the produce price. Jaitley said the Centre will work with states to ensure that all farmer get a fair price.

* Agricultural market and infra fund of Rs 2000 crore fund will be set up to strengthen the market connectivity.
A sum of Rs 500 cr will be allocated for Operation Green to be launched. It will promote agricultural products.
Extend the facility of Kisan credit card to fisheries and for animal husbandry

* Rs 10,000 crore set aside for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund

* Rs 10,000 crore set aside for animal husbandry infra fund
Propose to launch a restructured bamboo mission with a fund of Rs 1200 crore . “Bamboo is green gold,” Jaitley said.

* Agricultural credit target increased from Rs 8.5 lakh crore to Rs 11 lakh core

* Special scheme to manage crop reduce in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi to reduce pollution.

Rural Economy

 8 crore poor women will get new LPG connections.

* PM Saubhagya Yojana: 4 crore poor people will get power connection.

* The government will spend Rs 16,000 crore on this scheme.

* Govt plans to construct 2 crore toilets in next fiscal year under Swach Bharat Mission
Government target house for all by 2022. 51 lakh houses have been constructed affordable houses in rural and further 50 lakh houses in urban areas.

* 1 cr houses to be built under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in rural areas

* National livelihood scheme gets Rs 5,750 crore .

* In 2018-19, ministries will be able to spend Rs 14.34 lakh crores for creation of livelihood in rural areas.

* Govt gives Rs 9,975 crore for social security schemes for the next fiscal year.

* Govt to increase digital intensity in education. Technology to be the biggest driver in improving quality of education: FM Jaitley

* Rs. 1 lakh crore allocated to revitalisation and upgradation of education sector. Promoting learning based outcomes and research.

* By 2022, every block with more than 50 per cent ST population will have Ekalvya schools at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas

* Aims to move from black board to digital board schools by 2022.

* PM reasearch fellows: Govt will identify 1000 Btech students each years and provide them to do PHDs in IIT and IISc, while also teaching undergraduate students once a week at that time.
Aims to move from black board to digital board schools by 2022.

* PM reasearch fellows: Govt will identify 1000 Btech students each years and provide them to do PHDs in IIT and IISc, while also teaching undergraduate students once a week at that time.


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. World’s largest government-funded healthcare programme.
Universal health coverage will be expanded after seeing the performance of the scheme

* Rs 600 crore allocated for tuberculosis patients, at the rate Rs 500 per month during the course of their treatment.

* Jaitley announces setting up of one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies, with 24 New government medical colleges also being envisioned. Government also will work on upgrading hospitals to medical colleges. etc.


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