Civil Services Preparation: Budget Summary – 2018

Hello Everyone,

In our previous UPSC blog we have provided the gist of Eco Survey 2018 which forms an important part of economy part for UPSC Prelims 2018. Hope you had an informative read for your civil services preparation.

Now we are presenting you another important part of the economy syllabus UNION BUDGET 2018. You must have gone through the budget speech document by now and found it lengthy and cumbersome. So, we here are presenting a brief gist – a budget summary covering all the important and relevant topics for the exam.

Union Budget every year is presented by the Finance Minister on the first working day of February.

Halwa ceremony: Before the budget is printed more than 100 officials of Finance Ministry remain in the printing press where Halwa is prepared in a kadai and is served. These officials remain in the budget printing press till the Finance Minister finishes his budget speech.

Budget is a document that gives us the information about expenditure of the Government for the following year and also the revenue side where it discusses about direct and indirect tax rate changes or introductions.

For making the long document easy and lucid we divided the information into sector wise and discussed each sector individually.

  1. India’s GDP among the world countries:

  • Government says that it is firmly on course to achieve high growth of 8% plus as manufacturing, services and exports are back on good growth path and IMF, in its latest Update, has forecast that India will grow at 7.4% next year.
  • Services resumed high growth rates of 8% plus, exports expected to grow at 15% in 2017-18 and manufacturing back on good growth path.
  • India is the seventh largest in the world with USD 2.5 trillion-dollar GDP and is about to become the fifth largest economy soon.
  • At the international level, the country is ranked 100 in World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ breaking into top 100 for the first time.
  • India is already the third largest economy by Purchasing Power Parity basis.

Government has taken up programmes to direct the benefits of structural changes and good growth to reach farmers, poor and other vulnerable sections of our society and to uplift the under-developed regions.

Budget will consolidate these gains and particularly focus on strengthening agriculture and rural economy, provision of good health care to economically less privileged, taking care of senior citizens, infrastructure creation and working with the States to provide more resources for improving the quality of education in the country.


  1. Agriculture and rural economy

  • For Doubling Farmer income to 2022 Government has announced a few Schemes.
  • Government has decided to keep MSP for all unannounced kharif crops atleast one and half times of their production cost.
  • volume of institutional credit for agriculture sector from year-to-year increased from Rs.8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs.10 lakh crore in 2017-18 and he proposed to raise this to11 lakh crore for the year 2018-19.
  • Fisheries and Aqua culture Infrastructure Development Fund (FAIDF) for fisheries sector and an Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) for financing infrastructure requirement of animal husbandry sector with a total corpus of 10,000 crores for the two new funds.
  • A new Scheme ‘‘Operation Greens’’ was announced with an outlay of Rs 500 Crore to address the challenge of price volatility of perishable commodities like tomato, onion and potato.
  • Develop and upgrade existing 22,000 rural haats into Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) to take care of the interests of more than 86% small and marginal farmers.
  • Rs 200 crore has been allocated for organized cultivation of highly specialized medicinal and aromatic plants. Further organic farming by Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and Village Producers’ Organizations (VPOs) in large clusters, preferably of 1000 hectares each will be encouraged.
  • Allocation of Ministry of Food Processing has been doubled from Rs.715 crore in 2017-18 to 1400 crore in 2018-19.
  • Re-structured National Bamboo Mission with an outlay of1290 crore to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner terming Bamboo as Green Gold.
  • Proposed to set up state-of-the-art testing facilities in all the 42 Mega Food Parks.
  • To increase export potential to $100 billion for the present $ 30 billion.
  • 2600 crore allocated for Prime Minister Krishi Sinchai Yojana Har Khet ko Pani (Ground water irrigation scheme).
  • Loans to SHGs will increase to 75,000 crores by March, 2019 and increased allocation of National Rural Livelihood Mission to Rs 5750 crore in 2018-19.
  • Ujjwala Scheme distribution of free LPG connections will be given to 8 crore poor women increase from 5 crores.
  • Saubahagya Yojana, 4 crore poor households are being provided with electricity connection with an outlay of 16,000 crores.
  • For creation of livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas, total amount to be spent by the Ministries will be Rs.14.34 lakh crore.
  1. Education, Health and Social Protection:

Estimated budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs.1.38 lakh crore against estimated expenditure of Rs.1.22 lakh crore in 2017-18.


  • Ekalavya Model Residential School on par with Navodaya Vidyalayas to provide the best quality education to the tribal children in their own environment by 2022 in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons with special facilities for preserving local art and culture besides providing training in sports and skill development.
  • Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions.
  • Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme: Under this, 1,000 best B.Tech students will be identified each year from premier institutions and provide them facilities to do D. in IITs and IISc, with a handsome fellowship.


  • National Health Protection Scheme: To cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families around 50 crore members providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • Rs 1200 crore for the National Health Policy, 2017.
  • 600 crore to provide nutritional support to all TB patients at the rate of Rs.500 per month.
  • A total of 187 projects have been sanctioned under the Namami Gange programme for infrastructure development, river surface cleaning, rural sanitation and other interventions at a cost of 16,713 crore. All 4465 Ganga Grams – villages on the bank of river – have been declared open defecation free

Social Sector:

  • Allocation on National Social Assistance Programme this year has been kept at 9975 crore.
  1. Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) and Employment:

  • Rs 3794 crore to MSME Sector for giving credit support, capital and interest subsidy and innovations.
  • Target to lend Rs 3 lakh crores under MUDRA Yojana in 2018-19. NBFCs
  • Corporate tax rate reduced to 25% for companies which reported a turnover up to 250 crores in the FY 2016-17.
  • National Apprenticeship Scheme with stipend support to give training to 50 lakh youth by 2020
  • Setting up of model aspirational skill centres in every district of the country under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra.
  • Rs 7148 crore for the textile sector in 2018-19 to boost employment.


  1. Infrastructure and Financial Sector Development:

  • Announced increase of budgetary allocation on infrastructure for 2018-19 to Rs.5.97 lakh crore against estimated expenditure of Rs.4.94 lakh crore in 2017-18.
  • Our country needs massive investments estimated to be in excess of Rs 50 lakh crore in infrastructure to increase growth of GDP.
  • Using online monitoring system of PRAGATI alone, projects worth 9.46 lakh crore have been facilitated and fast tracked.
  • Under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, about 35000 kms road construction  in Phase-I at an estimated cost of Rs.5,35,000 crore has been approved.


  • Railways Capital Expenditure for the year 2018-19 has been pegged at Rs.1,48,528 crore
  • 4000 kilometers of electrified railway network is slated for commissioning during 2017-18.
  • 12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and approx. 700 locomotives to be produced during 2018- 19
  • Addition of 90 kms of double line tracks at a cost of over Rs 11,000 crore in Mumbai’s transport system. 4. 150kms of additional suburban network planned at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore.


  • Regional connectivity scheme of UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) – to connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads across the country.
  • Airport Authority of India (AAI) has 124 airports. Government proposes to expand airport capacity more than five times under a new initiative – NABH Nirman.


  • To secure India’s defences, government plans to develop infrastructure and connectivity in border areas.
  • Rohtang tunnel has been completed to provide all weather connectivity to the Ladakh region.
  • Government proposes to take up Construction of Zozila Pass tunnel and tunnel under construction of Sela Pass.
  1. Disinvestment:

  • 2017-18 disinvestment target of Rs. 72,500 crores has been exceeded and expected receipts of Rs. 1,00,000 crores. Disinvestment target of Rs. 80,000 crores for 2018-19.
  • Three Public Sector Insurance companies- National Insurance Co. Ltd., United India Assurance Co. Ltd., and Oriental India insurance Co. Ltd., will be merged into a single insurance entity.
  • A comprehensive Gold Policy will be formulated to develop gold as an asset class. Gold Monetization Scheme will be revamped to enable people to open a hassle-free Gold Deposit Account.
  • Emoluments to Rs.5 lakh for the President, Rs 4 lakhs for the Vice President and Rs.3.5 lakh per month to Governor are proposed.
  1. Fiscal Management:

This is a very important section and please pay attention to all bold words in this section.

  • The Budget Revised Estimates for expenditure in 2017-18 are Rs.57 lakh crore as against the Budget Estimates of Rs.21.47 lakh crore.
  • Projected a Fiscal Deficit of 3.3% of GDP for the year 2018-19. The Revised Fiscal Deficit estimates for 2017-18 were put at Rs. 5.95 lakh crore at 3.5% of GDP.
  • Acceptance of key recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Budget Management Committee to bring down Central Government’s Debt to GDP ratio to 40%.
  • The growth of direct taxes in financial year 2016-17 was 12.6 percent, and for financial year 2017-18 (up to 15th January, 2018) is 18.7 percent
  • The number of Effective Tax Payers has increased from47 crore at the beginning of Financial year 2014-15 to 8.27 crore at the end of 2016-17.
  • 100 percent deduction to companies registered as Farmer Producer Companies with an annual turnover up to Rs. 100 crores on profit derived from such activities, for a period of five years from financial year 2018-19.
  • Proposed to tax such Long-Term Capital Gains exceeding Rs. 1 lakh at the rate of 10 percent, without allowing any indexation benefit. However, all gains up to 31stJanuary, 2018 will be grandfathered. The Finance Minister has also proposed to introduce a tax on distributed income by equity oriented mutual funds at the rate of 10 percent


  1. Relief to senior Citizens:

  • Exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices are proposed to be increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000.
  • 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
  • Extend the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March, 2020. The current investment limit is also proposed to be increased to Rs. 15 lakhs from the existing limit of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen.

With the roll of GST, the Budget also proposes to change the name of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

Sample Questions:

  1. Finance Minister in his Budget speech 2018 have mentioned ‘Operation Greens’.This is related to

a) Climate Change

b) Bamboo Mission

c) Tomato, Potato and Onions.

d) Green revolution

Ans: c

  1. LTCG proposed in the Budget 2018.Identify the correct Statements.

1) The Gains till Jan 31st 2018 will be grandfathered.

2) A Flat rate of 10 percent is proposed.

3) Gains will be indexed to Inflation.

4) It doesn’t cover equities in Stock Markets.

a) 1 and 2 are true.

b) 3 and 4 are true.

c) All are true.

d) None

Ans: a

  1. Arrange the following Schemes in Descending order according to their allocations in budget 2018.

1) Krishi Sinchai Yojna Har Khet ko Pani

2) Re-structured National Bamboo Mission

3) National Social Assistance Programme.

4) Saubhagya Yojana 

a) 3>2>1>4

b) 1>2>4>3

c) 2>3>4>1

d) 4>3>1>2

Ans: d

We have covered all the important and relevant topics from Budget Speech. Please double read the Bolded parts as they have been marked for more convenience. Please focus on the new Schemes like Saubhagya they have been allocated handsomely in the budget.

Although allocations are not very important by the numbers they find importance in comparison of Schemes. Hence a sample question has been provided to give a fair idea to the aspirant.

Coming to Schemes we have discussed in a separate blog of two parts. Along with that this blog and some schemes in India Year book should be comprehensive enough for the exam.

Hope you have loved this effort of ours in helping your civil services preparation.

All the Best!


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