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Budget 2018
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Budget 2018: Disappointment for Middle class, no changes in Income Tax

While the Agriculture, Healthcare, transport sectors were given priority, financial sector and the salaried class were handed over a disappointment in the Budget 2018. 

Amidst the pressure of falling GDP growth rate and slumping economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today presented the Budget 2018 in parliament. The budget holds key importance not only because it is the last budget of the present NDA government but also because it is Finance Minister’s fifth and last full budget. This year all eyes were set on the budget 2018 as it will also impact the upcoming assembly elections in six states as well as general elections next year. While the Narendra Modi government has come under fire on a host of issues such as unemployment and downward economic growth, etc. Here are the key highlights from the budget 2018 speech:

  • The 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 as against the projection of Rs 21.47 lakh crores.
  • 85.51 lakh new taxpayers filed income tax returns in FY17.
  • No changes in Income Tax slab.
  • Growth indirect taxes (till Jan 15) is 18.7 %
  • Surcharge of 10 pc on income above Rs 50 lakh but less than Rs 1 cr to be continued next year; 15 pc on income above Rs 1 cr to also continue.

  • Corporate Tax of 25% extended to companies with turnover up to Rs 250 cr in the financial year 2016-17.
  • Incentives for Senior citizens: Exemptions in income of Rs 10,000 from Banks FD and post offices.
  • A standard deduction of Rs 40,000 allowed for transport, medical reimbursement for salaried taxpayers.
  • Education cess increased to 4% from 3% to collect additional Rs 11,000 cr.
  • Customs Duty on certain products, such as mobile phones and televisions has been increased, to provide a fillip to ‘Make in India’.
  • 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 product 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.
  • 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.
  • PM research fellows: Govt will identify 1000 Btech students each year and provide them to do PhDs in IIT and IISc, while also teaching undergraduate students once a week at that time.
  • 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.
  • Jaitley announces setting up of one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies, with 24 New government medical colleges also being envisioned. The government also will work on upgrading hospitals to medical colleges.
  • 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.
  • Bharatmala project: To develop 35,000 KM under phase 1 with an outlay of Rs 5.35 lakh crore.
  • Railway capex has been pegged at Rs 1.48 lakh crore, up from Rs 1.31 lakh crore last year.
  • More stations and trains will progressively be built with WiFi and CCTV cameras.
  • Allocates Rs 11,000 crore to the Mumbai rail network and Rs 17,000 crore for the Bengaluru metro.
  • 150 km of additional suburban railway networks to be set up in Bengaluru at the cost of Rs 17,000 Cr.

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