Union Budget 2017 – 2018 : Highlights

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017, his fourth annual budget, today. The budget focuses on energizing the youth to reap benefits of growth and employment and on uplifting the poor.

Budget agenda was – transform, energize and clean India – TEC India. The total budget was Rs. 21.34 lakh crores for the year 2017 – 2018. Highlights of the budget with respect to each sector are as follows:

1. Tax Policy and Personal Income Tax
  • The holding period for long-term capital gain is lowered to 2 years.
  • The government proposes to reduce basic customs duty for LNG to 2.5% from 5%.
  • No transaction above Rs 3 lakh permitted in cash.
  • 5% tax exemption for companies having turnover below Rs. 50 crores.
  • The limit of cash donation by charitable trusts is reduced to Rs 2,000 from Rs 10,000.
  • Existing rate of tax for individuals between Rs.  2.5- Rs 5 lakh is reduced to 5% from 10%.
  • 10% surcharge on individual income above Rs. 50 lakh and up to Rs 1 crore to make up for Rs 15,000 crore loss due to cut in personal I-T rate.
  • 15% surcharge on individual income above Rs. 1 crore to remain as it is.
2. Youth
  • A system of measuring annual learning outcomes and an innovation fund for secondary education will be introduced.
  • Focus on 3,479 educationally backward blocks.
  • Colleges will be identified based on accreditation.
  • 100 India International centres to be established across the country, under the Skill India Mission which was launched to maximize potential.
  • Courses on foreign languages to be introduced.
  • Will take steps to create 5000 post graduate seats per annum.
3. Poor, Underprivileged and Rural Population
  • A total of Rs. 1,84,632  crore has been allocated for women and children.
  • Over Rs. 3 lakh crores will be spent for rural India.
  • Rs. 500 crore allocated for Mahila Shakthi Kendras.
  • Under a nationwide scheme for pregnant women, Rs. 6000 will be transferred to each person.
  • Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025.
  • Two AIIMS will be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.
  • Allocation for Scheduled Castes is Rs. 52,393  crores.
  • Aadhaar-based smart cards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health.
  • 100% rural electrification by March 2018.
  • Rs. 19,000 crores allocated for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in 2017-18.
  • MGNREGA is allocated Rs. 48,000 crores. 
  • Under the MGNREGA farmers’ income would be doubled.
4. Agriculture Sector
  • A sum of Rs. 10 lakh crore is allocated as a credit to farmers, with 60 days interest waiver.
  • NABARD fund will be increased to Rs. 40,000 crore. 
  • The government will set up mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras for soil testing.
  • Irrigation corpus increased from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore.
  • Dairy processing infrastructure fund will be initially created with a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore.
  • A model law on contract farming will be prepared and shared with the States.
5. Political Parties, Defence Sector and Energy Sector
  • The amount of cash donation for a political party capped at Rs. 2,000 per source.
  • The Defence sector was allocated Rs. 2.74,114 crores.
  • Rs. 1.26,000 crore received as energy production based investments.
6. Infrastructure and Railways
  • A total allocation of Rs. 39,61,354 crores for infrastructure.
  • The total allocation for Railways is Rs. 1,31,000 crores.
  • No service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC.
  • 500 stations will be made differently-abled friendly.
  • Rs. 64,000 crore allocated for highways. 
  • High-speed Internet to be allocated to 1,50,000 gram panchayats.
  • New Metro rail policy will be announced with new modes of financing.

Source: The Hindu

To sum up, the annual budget was a treat for the weaker sections of the society and had some good news for everyone.


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