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Series of structural reforms will propel India among the fastest growing economies of the world

  • Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley presents general Budget 2018-19 in Parliament.
  • Budget guided by mission to strengthen agriculture, rural development, health, education, employment, MSME and infrastructure sectors
  • Government says, a series of structural reforms will propel India among the fastest growing economies of the world. Country firmly on course to achieve over 8 % growth as manufacturing, services and exports back on good growth path.
  • MSP for all unannounced kharif crops will be one and half times of their production cost like majority of rabi crops: Institutional Farm Credit raised to 11 lakh crore in 2018-19 from 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15.
  • 22,000 rural haats to be developed and upgraded into Gramin Agricultural Markets to protect the interests of 86% small and marginal farmers.
  • “Operation Greens” launched to address price fluctuations in potato, tomato and onion for benefit of farmers and consumers.
  • Two New Funds of Rs10,000 crore announced for Fisheries and Animal Husbandary sectors; Re-structured National Bamboo Mission gets Rs.1290 crore.
  • Loans to Women Self Help Groups will increase to Rs.75,000 crore in 2019 from 42,500 crore last year.
  • Higher targets for Ujjwala, Saubhagya and Swachh Mission to cater to lower and middle class in providing free LPG connections, electricity and toilets.
  • Outlay on health, education and social protection will be 1.38 lakh crore. Tribal students to get Ekalavya Residential School in each tribal block by 2022. Welfare fund for SCs gets a boost.
  • World‟s largest Health Protection Scheme covering over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families launched with a family limit upto 5 lakh rupees for secondary and tertiary treatment.
  • Fiscal Deficit pegged at 3.5 %, projected at 3.3 % for 2018-19.
  • Rs. 5.97 lakh crore allocation for infrastructure
  • Ten prominent sites to be developed as Iconic tourist destinations
  • NITI Aayog to initiate a national programme on Artificial Intelligence(AI)
  • Centres of excellence to be set up on robotics, AI, Internet of things etc
  • Disinvestment crossed target of Rs 72,500 crore to reach Rs 1,00,000 crore
  • Comprehensive Gold Policy on the anvil to develop yellow metal as an asset class
  • 100 percent deduction proposed to companies registered as Farmer Producer Companieswith an annual turnover upto Rs. 100 crore on profit derived from such activities, for fiveyears from 2018-19.
  • Deduction of 30 percent on emoluments paid to new employees Under Section 80-JJAAto be relaxed to 150 days for footwear and leather industry, to create more employment.
  • No adjustment in respect of transactions in immovable property where Circle Rate valuedoes not exceed 5 percent of consideration.
  • Proposal to extend reduced rate of 25 percent currently available for companies withturnover of less than 50 crore (in Financial Year 2015-16), to companies reportingturnover up to Rs. 250 crore in Financial Year 2016-17, to benefit micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • Standard Deduction of Rs. 40,000 in place of present exemption for transport allowanceand reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses. 2.5 crore salaried employees andpensioners to benefit.
  • Relief to Senior Citizens proposed:-
  • Exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices to beincreased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000.
  • TDS not required to be deducted under section 194A. Benefit also available forinterest from all fixed deposit schemes and recurring deposit schemes.
  • Hike in deduction limit for health insurance premium and/ or medical expenditurefrom Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 under section 80D.
  • Increase in deduction limit for medical expenditure for certain critical illness fromRs. 60,000 (in case of senior citizens) and from Rs. 80,000 (in case of very seniorcitizens) to Rs. 1 lakh for all senior citizens, under section 80DDB.
  • Proposed to extend Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March, 2020.Current investment limit proposed to be increased to Rs. 15 lakh from theexisting limit of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen.
    The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley departs from North Block to Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament House, along with the Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, Shri P. Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla and the senior officials to present the General Budget 2018-19, in New Delhi on February 01, 2018.
    The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley, the Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, Shri P. Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla along with the senior officials presented the General Budget to the President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on February 01, 2018.
    The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley addressing a Post Budget Press Conference, in New Delhi on February 01, 2018.
    The Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, Shri P. Radhakrishnan, the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla and the Finance Secretary, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia are also seen.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He is serving as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University, the university which controlling 440 colleges of Engineering, Management, Pharmacy & Architecture colleges in Gujarat.

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