Finance Minister Jaitley presents Budget 2017-18

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced Rs 10 lakh crore for agriculture credit for the current fiscal year. Special efforts will be made to ensure adequate credit to "under served" regions like eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir, Jaitley said, presenting the Union Budget 2017-18 in the Lok Sabha.

Noting that about 40 per cent of the small farmers procure loans from cooperative structure, Jaitley said the government will support National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) for the computerisation and integration of its 63,000 "functional PSEs" with core banking support and financial cooperatives.

This integration will be done over three years at an estimated cost of Rs 9,800 crore with financial participation from the states.

"This will ensure seamless flow of credit to small and marginal farmers," he added.

Jaitley also termed the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) as an important step in safeguarding farmers' crops against natural calamities, and announced a coverage of 40 per cent for the current fiscal year, increased from 30 per cent in 2016-17.

The budget for the PMFBY has increased from Rs 5,500 crore last year to Rs 13,220 crore this year.

To help farmers know the quality of soil, Jaitley announced setting up of 'mini-labs' at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and ensure 100 per cent coverage in all 648 KVKs across the country.

"Issuance of soil health cards has gathered momentum... Its real benefits would be available only when the soil samples are tested for quality," he said.

The Finance Minister also provisioned for 100 such mini-labs developed by local qualified entrepreneurs who will be subsidised by the government.

A 100 per cent increase in the irrigation fund was also announced at Rs 40,000 crore, from earlier Rs 20,000 crore.

Jaitley promised a dedicated micro-irrigation fund to achieve the goal of 'Per Drop More Crop' with an initial corpus of Rs 5,000 crore..

Highlights of Union Budget 2017-18

  • Five special tourism zones, anchored on SPVs, to be set up; Incredible India II campaign to be launched across the world
  • Expert international assistance will be harnessed to improve railway safety preparedness and maintenance practices
  • Allocation for infrastructure at record Rs 3,96,135 crore in 2017-18
  • National Testing Agency to be established to conduct all entrance exams for higher education
  • Innovation Fund for secondary education to be created
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras to be extended to more than 600 districts across the country
  • Mahila Shakti Kendras to be set up at village level, in 14 lakh ICDS centres, with an allocation of Rs. 500 crore
  • Net tax revenue grew by 17 per cent in 2015-16
  • Committed to making taxation rate reasonable, our tax administration more fair and expand the tax base of the country
  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target has been doubled at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18
  • 3,500 km railway lines to be commissioned in 2017-18 against 2,800 km in 2016-17
  • Railways plan size for 2017-18 pegged at Rs. 1,31,000 crore, including Rs 55,000 crore to be provided by the government
  • Using space technology in a big way to plan MGNREGA works
  • During 2017-18, another 5 lakh ponds to be constructed for drought-proofing
  • AadharPay, a merchant version of Aadhaar-enabled payment system to be launched shortly for those without debit cards, mobile phones
  • Sanitation coverage in rural areas has gone up to 60 per cent
  • Swachh Bharat Mission has made tremendous progress in promoting safe sanitation and ending open defectation
  • By 2019 all passenger coaches of railways to be fitted with bio-toilets
  • 1 crore houses to be completed by 2019 for houseless and those living in 'kacha' houses
  • Rs 19,000 crore in 2017-18 for PMGSY; together with contribution from states, Rs 27,000 crore to be spent
  • Total allocation for rural, agricultural & allied sectors for 2017-18 is a record Rs 1,87,223 crore, up 24 per cent from last year
  • Target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record Rs 10 lakh crore
  • Coverage of Fasal Bima Yojana to go up from 30 per cent of cropped area, to 40 per cent in 2017-18, 50 per cent in 2018-19
  • NABARD to set up dedicated micro-irrigation fund to be set to achieve Per Drop More Crop mission
  • Corpus of NABARD's long-term irrigation fund raised to Rs 40,000 crore
  • Mini soil-testing labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras to ensure 100 per cent coverage
  • Highest ever allocation to MGNREGA at Rs 48,000 crore
  • Merger of Railway Budget with Budget 2017 a historic step
  • Transform, Energize and Clean India - #TECIndia - our agenda for the next year
  • Advancement of budget will enable all ministries, departments to operationalize all schemes right from beginning of next fiscal
  • Demonetisation aims to create a new normal, where the GDP would be bigger, cleaner and real
  • Effects of demonetisation not expected to spill over to next year
  • Firmly believe that GST, Demonetisation, built on JAM, will have an epoch-making impact on the lives of our people
  • Demonetisation aims to create a new normal, where the GDP would be bigger, cleaner and real
  • Recalls #MahatmaGandhi's words: A right cause never fails
  • 3 challenges in current global scenario:Monetary stance of US FED Reserve, Commodity prices specially crude oil & retreat from globalisation
  • We have moved from a discretionary administration to a policy-based administration
  • Expectations included burning issues like inflation and price rise, issue of corruption & crony capitalism
  • Our government was elected amidst huge expectations of people, the underlying theme of expectations being good governance
  • Hope to resolve all issues regarding GST via consultations
  • We are moving from informal to formal economy & the Government is now seen as a trusted custodian of public money
 

Budget News

Tata Chemicals posts 32% rise in Q4 net profit

    Updated On : May 26,2017   7:40 pm
Kolkata, May 26 (IANS) Tata Chemicals on Friday reported close to 32 per cent rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs 343.02 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2017, from Rs 260.21 crore in the corresponding period a year ago. View More..

'Globalisation of strategies necessary for disaster risk reduction'

    Updated On : May 26,2017   7:06 pm
New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) India has stressed the need for "globalisation of strategies" for disaster risk reduction (DRR) at the world's foremost gathering on reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations. View More..

Been more socially responsible than 'Satyamev Jayate' host: Kamal Haasan

    Updated On : May 26,2017   2:54 pm
Chennai, May 26 (IANS) Actor Kamal Haasan on Friday said he does not have to do a show like Aamir Khan's "Satyamev Jayate" to prove he is socially responsible. View More..

Senate Republicans start version of Obamacare repeal

    Updated On : May 26,2017   2:34 pm
Washington, May 26 (IANS) Senate Republicans have started writing their Obamacare repeal bill -- even though few decisions have been made about how to resolve the biggest policy disagreements, the media reported. View More..

Films are my current focus: Zoya Afroz

    Updated On : May 26,2017   1:18 pm
New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) After making it big in both films and TV shows as a child artiste, Zoya Afroz made her silver screen debut as an adult with "The Xpose" in 2014. However, the actress says she is not keen on reappearing on the small screen again right now as her focus is currently on doing movies. View More..

Britannia's Q4 net profit marginally up 2.5%, income at Rs 2,193.63 cr

    Updated On : May 25,2017   8:22 pm
Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) Despite a sluggish demand scenario post demonetisation, FMCG major Britannia Industries on Thursday reported a marginal rise of 2.54 per cent in its standalone net profit at Rs 196.73 crore for the fourth quarter (Q4) ended March 31, from Rs 191.86 crore for the same period in the last fiscal. View More..

Pending electricity bills of 1984 riot victims waived

    Updated On : May 25,2017   5:26 pm
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) The Delhi government has decided to waive the pending electricity bills of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said here on Thursday. View More..

'23 million Americans to lose health insurance by 2026'

    Updated On : May 25,2017   1:48 pm
Washington, May 25 (IANS) The healthcare reform proposed by US President Donald Trump to "repeal and replace" ObamaCare, will leave 23 million US citizens without health insurance over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said. View More..

'Indian cinema has been escapist experience for masses'

    Updated On : May 25,2017   1:44 pm
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Bollywood's song and dance sequence has been a way for the masses to escape from the daily grind, feels Ashley Rodrigues, who is helming a Virtual Reality (VR) short film with Eddie Avil. View More..

US Treasury urges Congress to raise debt limit before recess

    Updated On : May 25,2017   1:26 pm
Washington, May 25 (IANS) US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has urged the Congress to raise the debt limit before its August recess to avoid a potential federal government default. View More..

'Thodi Thodi Si Manmaaniyan': Simple oft-seen drama (IANS Review, Rating: **)

    Updated On : May 25,2017   1:26 pm
Film: "Thodi Thodi Si Manmaaniyan"; Director: Aditya Sarpotdar; Cast: Mukesh Tiwari, Shrenu Parikh, Arsh Sehrawat, Rahul Raj Malhotra, Abhinav Parashar, Shilpa Tulaskar and Kuldeep Sarin; Rating: ** View More..

Melbourne to be Australia's largest city by mid-2030s: Expert

    Updated On : May 25,2017   11:48 am
Melbourne, May 25 (IANS) Melbourne would be Australia's largest city by the mid-2030s, data released on Thursday revealed. View More..

S. Korea freezes rates in first meet under President Moon

    Updated On : May 25,2017   10:30 am
Seoul, May 25 (IANS) South Korea's central bank on Thursday froze its benchmark interest rate at the record-low level in its first rate-setting meeting under the new government. View More..

Hollywood studios can't support risky films: Brad Pitt

    Updated On : May 25,2017   8:36 am
Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) Hollywood actor Brad Pitt says business model of Hollywood studios does not allow them to support risky films like his forthcoming satirical comedy "War Machine". View More..

Cabinet decides to abolish Foreign Investment Promotion Board (Roundup)

    Updated On : May 24,2017   9:54 pm
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) In a major decision aimed at further easing doing business in India, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday abolished the 25-year-old Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), obviating the need for prior clearance for Foreign Direct Investment in more than 90 per cent cases. Industry lauded the move as a "bold" step that would add to the healthy inflow of foreign investment. View More..

Cabinet approves Indo-German cooperation in alternative medicine

    Updated On : May 24,2017   9:00 pm
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between Germany and India regarding their cooperation in the sector of alternative medicine. View More..

Cabinet nod to raising bonds of Rs 2,360 cr for green energy

    Updated On : May 24,2017   8:34 pm
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The Union cabinet on Wednesday accorded its approval to raising bonds worth Rs 2,360 crore for development of renewable energy, an official said here. View More..

Cabinet decides to abolish Foreign Investment Promotion Board

    Updated On : May 24,2017   7:54 pm
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) In a major decision aimed at further easing doing business in India, the Union cabinet on Wednesday abolished the 25-year-old Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), obviating the need for prior clearance for foreign direct investment in more than 90 per cent cases. View More..

Cabinet approves abolition of Foreign Investment Promotion Board

    Updated On : May 24,2017   7:10 pm
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) In a bid to further ease doing business in India, the Union cabinet on Wednesday abolished the over 25-year-old Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that vetted foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals. View More..

Bonn talks reveal uncertainty over Paris Agreement

    Updated On : May 24,2017   4:04 pm
Climate negotiations are a highly complex undertaking with one simplifying factor that everything happens in one place. But for the current round of negotiations in Bonn, even this isn't the case. View More..