Union Budget 2018: Key Highlights
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today presented a rural-focused Union Budget for financial year 2018-19 that provides for higher minimum support prices and an increased farm credit target. He also introduced a health insurance scheme for over 10 crore families with a cover of Rs 5 lakh a year. Jaitley brought back the Long-Term Capital Gains Tax on equity gains of above Rs 1 lakh.
Here are the key announcements:
- Fiscal deficit for 2017-18 is likely to be higher at 3.5 percent compared to the targeted 3.2 percent of the GDP.
- FY18 revenue receipts revised estimates of Rs 21.5 lakh crore versus budget estimate of Rs 21.4 lakh crore.
- Direct taxes rose 18.6 percent as of Jan. 15.
- Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for the salaried for transport and health.
- Senior citizen deduction for health insurance raised to Rs 50,000.
- To allow 100 percent deduction to some farmer producer companies.
- Reduced corporate tax of 25 percent extended to companies with an annual turnover of Rs 250 crore.
Long-Term Capital Gains Tax
- Short-term capital gains tax for selling shares within one year remains at 15 percent.
- Health and education cess increased to 4 percent from 3 percent.
- Customs duty on mobile phones raised to 20 percent from 15 percent.
- Customs duty on raw cashew reduced to 2.5 percent from 5 percent.
- Customs duty on some mobile and television parts increased to 15 percent.
- National Insurance Company, United Insurance Company, United India Assurance and Oriental Insurance will be merged and listed.
- Government to raise more than Rs 1 lakh crore through divestment in the ongoing financial year against a target of Rs 72,500 crore.
- To raise minimum support price for kharif season crops to 1.5 times of agri production cost—that is cost plus 50 percent.
- Total credit to agriculture target set at Rs 11 lakh crore for FY19.
- Strengthening the e-national agricultural market network.
- The government will spend Rs 14.34 lakh crore on rural infrastructure across various schemes and departments.
- National Health Protection Scheme for 10 crore families.
- It provides a health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family a year.
- Rs 600 crore to provide nutritional support for tuberculosis patients.
- Government to work towards resolving bad loans of micro, small and medium enterprises.
- To contribute 12 percent of wages of new Employees’ Provident Fund subscribers for three years.
- Additional measures to aid venture capital/angel investors in startups.
- FY19 allocation for scheduled tribes at Rs 39,135 crore.
- FY19 allocation for scheduled caste allocation at Rs 56,619 crore.
- Smart city projects worth Rs 20,852 crore in progress.
- Plan 99 smart cities with outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore.
- To complete 9,000 km of National Highways in FY18.
- NHAI to organise road assets into an special purpose vehicle.
Railways, Air Connectivity
- Rs 40,000 crore will be spent on upgrading Mumbai train systems.
- Plan for 160 km suburban rail line in Bengaluru at Rs 17,000 crore.
- Aim to electrify 4,000 km of railway lines in FY19.
- Railway stations with more than 25,000 footfalls to have escalators.
- Regional air connectivity scheme UDAN to connect 56 unserved airports, 31 heliports.
- One lakh gram panchayats have been connected under BharatNet.
- FY19 allocation for rural telecom set at Rs 10,000 crore.
- To allocate Rs 3,073 crore under Digital India programme.
- Free cooking gas aim raised to 8 crore poor households under Ujjwala Scheme.
- Under the ‘Swacch Bharat’ scheme, six crore toilets made so far, aim to make two crore more. To increase spending on rural sanitation.
- Dedicated affordable housing fund to be set up.
- Scheme to combat air pollution in National Capital Region to be launched.