Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018-19 for financial year 2018-19, highlighting the government’s economic reforms undertaken in the last four years and its achievements. This year’s Budget was focussed on strengthening agriculture and rural economy. Finance Minister promised that government with Niti Aayog will also devise mechanism to ensure that the farmers get the minimum support price. Following are the highlights of Union Budget 2018-19:
- Economic growth pegged at 7.2-7.5% for H2 FY18.
- Fiscal Deficit pegged at 3.5 %, projected at 3.3 % for 2018-19.
- Indian economy size $2.5 trillion; 7th largest in world and very soon expected to be 5th largest economy.
- Govt’s market borrowing estimated at Rs 4.07 lakh cr in FY’19 versus Rs 4.79 lakh cr estimated in 2017-18;
Agriculture & Rural Economy:
- MSP of all kharif crops to be hiked to at least 1.5 times of their production cost;
- Institutional mechanism proposed to develop policies and practices for price and demand forecast;
- Rs 2,000 cr fund for developing and upgrading agri marketing infra in 22,000 Grameen Agri Markets and 585 APMCs;
- Allocation for food processing ministry doubled from Rs 715 cr in RE FY’18 to Rs 1,400 cr in BE FY’19;
- Kisan Credit Cards extended to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers;
- Agriculture credit disbursal target increased to Rs 11 lakh crore from Rs 10 lakh crore in 2017-18;
- “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.
- 100 percent deduction proposed to companies registered as Farmer Producer Companies with an annual turnover upto Rs. 100 crore on profit derived from such activities, for five years from 2018-19.
- 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.
- Ayushman Bharat Program:
- National Health Protection Scheme:- New Flagship National Health Protection Scheme, providing health insurance cover of ₹5 lakh per family per year. The Scheme will cover 10 crore vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries.
- Health and Wellness Centre:- Creation of Health and Wellness centres, which will “bring healthcare closer to home”. These centres, 1.5 lakh in number, will provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. Rs. 1200 crores have been allocated for this.
- Relief to Senior Citizens proposed:-
- Exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices to be increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000.
- TDS not required to be deducted under section 194A. Benefit also available for interest from all fixed deposit schemes and recurring deposit schemes.
- Hike in deduction limit for health insurance premium and/ or medical expenditure from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 under section 80D.
- Increase in deduction limit for medical expenditure for certain critical illness from Rs. 60,000 (in case of senior citizens) and from Rs. 80,000 (in case of very senior citizens) 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 the existing limit of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen.
- Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022‟‟ with a total investment of Rs.1,00,000 crore in next four years
- Rs. 5.97 lakh crore allocation for infrastructure
- Ten prominent sites to be developed as Iconic tourist destinations.
- Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations being taken up;
- Plans to expand airport capacity more than 5 times to handle a billion trips a year;
- The Budget doubled the allocation on Digital India programme to Rs 3073 crore in 2018-19.
- To further Broadband access in villages, the Government proposes to set up five lakh wifi hotspots to provide net connectivity to five crore rural citizens.
FISCAL Policy & Taxes:
- Growth in direct taxes up to Jan 15, 2018 is 18.7%;
- Corporate tax reduced to 25% for firms with turnover of Rs 250 cr in 2016-17;
- Interest income exemption on deposits with banks and post offices for senior citizens increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000.
- Govt introduces long-term capital gains on equity market; long-term capital gains over Rs 100,000 to be taxed at 10%;
- Education cess increased to 4% from 3%;
- E-assessment of Income Tax Act to eliminate person-to-person contact;
- Customs duty on mobile phones increased from 15% to 20%; also on certain parts of TVs to 15%;
- Govt makes PAN mandatory for any entity entering into a financial transaction of Rs 2.5 lakh or more;
- Food subsidy to rise to Rs 1.69 lakh crore in 2018-19 from Rs 1.4 lakh crore in current year;
- Defence outlay raised to Rs 2.82 lakh crore in 2018-19 from Rs 2.67 lakh crore in current year;
- Customs duty on crude edible vegetable oils hiked from 12.5% to 30%; on refined edible vegetable oil from 20% to 35%;
- Customs duty on perfumes, dental hygiene, after-shave, deodorants, room deodorisers, preparations for use on hair doubled to 20%.
- 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.
- Comprehensive Gold Policy will be formulated to develop gold as an asset class.
Union Budget 2018-19: Download Summary PDF s