Here are the key highlights of Union Budget 2017-18:

  • The overall approach while making the Budget was to spend more in rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation with fiscal prudence.
  • The Budget contains 3 major reforms:
    – First, advancing the Budget date to February 1
    – Merger of the Rail Budget with Union Budget, thereby bringing Railways to the centre stage
    – Has done away with plan and non-plan expenditure
  • Based on the objective to transform, energise and clean India
  • With better Monsoon, Agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1% in current year
  • Issuance of soil health cards have gathered momentum, will set up a mini lab in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs)
  • A dairy processing infrastructure fund will be created by NABARD
  • 1 crore households to be lifted from poverty
  • 2 new Strategic Oil Reserves to be set up in Odisha and Rajasthan
  • Additional 10 lakh new Point-of-Sale terminals to be issued
  • Payment Regulatory Board to be set up under Central Reserve Bank

For Youth

  • For youth, the Budget proposed to introduce a system of measuring annual learning; Science to be given focus
  • To complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha houses
  • We propose to establish National Testing Agency for entrance exams for higher education. It’ll free CBSE, AICTE etc:
  • 3.5 crore youth to be trained under the livelihood promotion programme Sankalp
  • 5000 additional medical PG seats to be allotted in 2017
  • Two new AIIMS for Jharkhand and Gujarat

The Poor and the Privileged

  • Aim to make 50,000 Gram Panchayat free from poverty
  • For the benefit of women and children, allocation across all schemes stepped up from 1,56,528 cr to 1,84,632 cr
  • The government is planning to complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha houses
  • Mission Antyodaya to bring 1 crore households out of poverty and to make 50,000 Gram Panchayats poverty-free
  • During 2017-18, another 5 lakh ponds will be constructed for drought-proofing
  • Proposal to double the lending target of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and set it up at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18
  • DigiGov for education, healthcare, and skills to the villages. Smart Villages in the making

Senior Citizen

  • Aadhar based smart cards to be issued for senior citizens, says FM
  • The Government will launch a new health protection scheme which will provide health cover up to Rs 1 lakh per family. For senior citizens of age 60 years and above belonging to this category, an additional top-up package up to Rs 30,000 will be provided
  • Pension schemes offer financial protection to senior citizens. The FM proposes to make withdrawal up to 40% of the corpus at the time of retirement tax exempt in the case of National Pension Scheme

Railways

  • Rail safety fund with corpus of Rs 100,000 crore will be created over the period of 5 years
  • 500 stations to be differently-abled friendly with lifts and escalators
  • Railways to implement end to end transport solution for selected commodities
  • Modernisation of corridors. 500 stations to be made handicapped friendly. Coach Mitra-complaints
  • 1,000 Mw solar capacity to be set up under mission for railways
  • Dedicated trains for tourism and pilgrimage
  • Service booking tax on online railway ticket booking through IRCTC to go. Online bookings up from 58% to 68%
  • By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with Bio-toilets
  • A new metro rail policy will be announced which will open up new jobs for our youth
  • Railways will integrate end to end transport solutions for selected commodities through partnership
  • Launch of Tejas Express – New product offering for premium customers
  • Encourage employment for SC/ST through horticulture and tree plantation at side of tracks
  • Railway related state-run companies like IRCON and IRCTC to be listed on stock exchanges
  • Unmanned railway level crossings to be eliminated by 2020
  • Railway related state-run companies like IRCON, IRCTC to be listed on stock exchanges

Telecom

  • Telecom sector is an important sector for us. Allotting Rs 10,000 crore for BharatNet

Digitalisation

  • Promotion of Digital Economy an integral part of strategy to clean up system and weed out corruption
  • 125 lakh people have adopted the BHIM app. Two more schemes are being brought to encourage people to use the app.
  • Aadhar enabled payment system to be launched soon; Banks have targeted to introduce additional 10 lakh Point-of-Sale terminals by March 2017
  • Relief to the middle class, promote digital economy, encouraging affordable housing planned

Tax Proposals

  • Fiscal deficit target 3.2%, committed to 3.0% following year
  • Due to demonetisation, advance tax on personal Income tax increased by 34.8%
  • There is an urgent need to protect the poor from chit fund schemes, draft bill placed in public domain
  • Plan to extend basket of financial instruments to which the capital gains can be invested sans payment of tax
  • Capital gains tax to be exempted, for persons holding land from which land was pooled for creation of state capital of Telangana
  • Income tax for small companies with an annual turnover of 50 crore, now to pay 25%—a reduction of 5%
  • Not to remove Minimum Alternative Tax in 2017-18; Propose to allow a carry forward of MAT for a period of 15 years as against 10 years now
  • No transactions above Rs 3 lakh
  • Proposes to reduce basic customs duty on LNG from 5% to 2.5% in 2017-18

Political Parties

  • Maximum cash donation that any party can receive will be Rs 2,000 from one source
  • Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or in the digital mode from their donors
  • Every political party will have to file their returns

Income Tax

  • Proposes to reduce existing rate of taxation of those with income between 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh from 10% to 5%
  • Surcharge of 10% for those whose annual income is Rs 50 lakh to 1 crore
  • All other categories in subsequent brackets get Rs 12,500 benefit per person
  • No tax for people upto income of 4.5 lakh
    Others
  • Head post offices to be used as front offices of passport service
  • Chandigarh and eight districts of Haryana have been declared kerosene-free
  • Have increased allocation for scientific ministry to Rs 37,435 cr in 2017-18
  • GST Council finalised its recommendations; implementation of GST likely to bring more taxes to Centre, States

 

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