These are the highlights of the Union Budget for the financial year 2017-18, presented by Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley in Parliament today, This is the fifth and last full Union Budget of the present Government.
1. Claims Govt. has successfully implemented fundamental structural reforms.
2. Govt. ended policy paralysis, he claims
3. Claims Govt. has worked sincerely without thinking of political costs.
4. India is set to become the fifth largest economy in the world very soon from its present status of 7th largest economy.
5. GDP growth of 6.3% in the second quarter has shown a significant turnaround.
6. Hope to grow by 7.2% to 7.5% in the second half.
7. Firmly on the path to achieve growth of 8 percent plus.
8. Exports are expected to grow by 15% in the year 2017-18.
9. Allocation of natural resources in a more transparent manner.
10. Services being delivered to people at doorstep or in their accounts.
11. Emphasis on generation of higher income for farmers.
12. MSP for crops hiked by 1.5 times that of the production cost.
13. 2000 crores’ infrastructure fund allocation for farm sector.
14. Focus on agricultural and rural economy.
15. Farm income to be doubled by financial year 2020.
16. 470 APMCs connected to ENAM.
17. Food processing sector growth anticipated at 8%.
18. Food processing allocation doubled at 1400 crores.
19. 500 Crores allocation for Operation Green to boost agriculture.
20. Issuance of Kisan credit cards extended to fisheries.
21. Restructured National Bamboo Mission proposed with allocation of 1290 crores.
22. Fisheries and Aquaculture development fund and Animal Husbandry development fund to be set up with a corpus of 10,000 Crores.
23. Export procedures for agricultural commodities to be liberalised.
24. Special scheme proposed to fight air pollution in the NCR.
25. Free gas connection to 8 crores deserving poor women under Ujjwala Yojana.
26. 4 crores rural households to be electrified.
27. 11 lakh crores credit facility proposed for the farm sector increased from the present 10 lakh crores.
28. 2 crores more toilets to be constructed in the next year, to be added to the 6 crore toilets constructed so far.
29. Housing for all by the year 2022 where every poor will own a house with dedicated fund for affordable housing.
30. 5,750 crores allocation for National Livelihood Mission.
31. Will treat education holistically without any segmentation moving from blackboard to digital board across all schools.
32. Eklavya schools proposed for tribal children.
33. Proposal to set up a Railway University in Vadodara.
34. 18 new schools proposed for architecture.
35. 1.5 lakh health centres to be set up.
36. 1,200 crores boost for the health sector.
37. Massive National health protection scheme announced with 50 crores families to be initially benefitted.
38. 5 lakhs per family per year free health cover announced with 10 crores families to be covered initially.
39. At least 1 medical college announced for every 3 constituencies.
40. 600 crores allocation for providing nutrition for tuberculosis patients.
41. 24 new medical colleges to be set up with one funded medical college for each state.
42. 187 projects sanctioned under the Save Ganga Yojana.
43. 16,713 crores allocated for rural sanitation.
44. 4465 villages have been declared as open defecation free.
45. 1.26 crores bank accounts opened under Sukanya Samruddhi Scheme.
46. 60 crores bank accounts to be brought under Jan Dhan Yojana.
47. 3,794 crores allocation for the MSME sector.
48. 52,719 crores allocation for the SC schemes.
49. 4.6 lakh crores credit facility announced under the Mudra scheme in financial year 2018-19.
50. 76% of Mudra loans to be given to women.
51. Women employees’ contribution to the EPF reduced to 8% for the first three years with no change in the employers’ contribution.
52. Paid maternity leave to women employees increased compulsorily to 26 weeks across all sectors.
53. Govt. will contribute 12% of wages of new employees to EPF for 3 years.
54. 99 cities selected with an outlay of 2.04 lakh crores under Smart City Mission
55. 10 tourist cities to be developed into iconic tourist destinations.
56. 142 cities have got investment grade ratings.
57. 9,000 kms of national roads to be completed this year with a big thrust on road infrastructure with allocation of 5,000 crores under first phase.
58. 1.48 lakh crores allocation for the rail projects.
59. All railway stations with 25000 footfalls every day will have escalators.
60. 150 kms of additional tracks planned under the Mumbai Suburban Transport with allocation of 40,000 crores.
61. 3,600 kms taken under track renewal.
62. Redevelopment proposed for 600 major railway stations.
63. 4,000 kms new rail track to be laid by 2019.
64. All trains will soon have Wi-Fi and CCTVs.
65. 56 unserved airports to be connected by next year from the 124 airports presently under AAI under the Regional Air Connectivity Scheme.
66. 3,073 crores allocation for Digital India Scheme.
67. 10,000 crores allocation for digital infrastructure.
68. Crypto-currency usage to be monitored by the Government and regulated.
69. System of toll payment by cash being replaced by electronic payments only soon.
70. 5 lakhs Wi-Fi spots for benefit of 5 crores rural citizens.
71. National programme being launched to direct efforts in artificial intelligence.
72. All the general insurance companies owned by Government to be merged into one entity and subsequently to be listed.
73. 2017-18 disinvestment targeted by the Govt. achieved and exceeded.
74. 80,000 crores set as the disinvestment target for 2018-19.
75. Emoluments for President, Vice President an Governors to be enhanced to INR 5 lakhs, 4 lakhs and 3.5 lakhs per month which was last increased in 2006.
76. Increased salary for Parliamentarians too with emoluments for MPs to be re-fixed with automatic provision of revision every five years based on inflation.
77. 3.3% of GDP is the fiscal deficit proposed for financial year 2018-19.
78. 21.57 lakh crores is the revised estimated expenditure estimate for next year.
Direct Tax proposals:
1. 85.51 lakh new Income Tax returns filed for the assessment year 2017-18.
2. Additional 90,000 crores collected as tax by the Income Tax Department.
3. Presumptive Income Scheme liberalised with turnover
4. Profit of Co-operative societies providing agricultural services to its members is exempt from tax; this is being extended to Farmer Producer Companies also with a turnover of up to 100 crores.
5. Corporate tax rate reduced to 25% for Companies having a turnover of 250 crores in the financial year 2016-17, which was for turnover up to 50 crores last year.
6. No change in personal Income Tax slab rates.
7. As a relief to salaried taxpayers, a standard deduction of INR 40,000 in lieu of transport allowance and medical reimbursement deduction.
8. The standard deduction to benefit pensioners also.
9. Transport allowance will, however, continue at the same rate for differently-abled employees.
10. As a relief to senior citizens, exemption of interest income from Banks and Post Offices for deduction of tax at source increased from the present INR 10,000 to INR 50,000.
11. Medical insurance premium deduction u/s 80D for senior citizens increased from INR 30,000 to INR 50,000.
12. Senior citizens can also claim a deduction of INR 50,000 for general medical expenditure.
13. Long-Term Capital Gains from the transfer of equity shares and equity-linked units exceeding INR 1 lakh to be taxed at 10% without any indexation benefit.
14. A cut-off date of 31st Jan 2018 to be provided for the above, wherein the gains from the date of purchase till the date of 31st Jan 2018 will not be taxed.
15. The education cess of 3% to be increased by 1% to 4% as education and health cess.
16. Roll-out of e-assessment to be done across the country whereby all assessments to be compulsorily done through electronic mode.
Indirect Tax proposals:
1. Customs duty on mobile phones to be increased from 15% to 20%.
2. Customs duty on television parts to be increased to 15%.
3. Customs duty on raw cashew to be reduced from 5% to 2.5%.
4. Name of Central Board of Excise and Customs to be changed as Central Board of Direct Taxes and Customs.
CA. Sanjay Thampy
FCA, Grad. CWA, CS, DBM
An avid blogger, Sanjay is based in Mumbai and can be reached at email@example.com.