Budget 2018-19

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented his Budget for the year 2018-19 in Parliament. The budget is largely focused on uplift of agricultural sector, along with major push to healthcare and education sectors in the country.

Government said that a series of key reforms will surely propel India economy among the fastest growing economies of the world. Country firmly on course to achieve over 8% growth as manufacturing, services and exports back on good growth path.

Some of the key features of the Budget are :

  • No change in personal income tax slabs and rates;
  • Surcharge of 10% on income above Rs 50 lakh but less than Rs 1 cr, 15% on income above Rs 1 cr to continue;
  • Standard Deduction returns after a decade; Rs 40,000 to be allowed in lieu of transport allowance and medical expenses;
  • Economic growth pegged at 7.2-7.5% for H2 FY18;
  • India's average growth in first 3-year of NDA govt 7.5%;
  • Indian economy size $2.5 trillion; 7th largest in world;
  • India is expected to be 5th largest economy very soon;
  • Revised Fiscal Deficit estimate for 2017-18 is Rs 5.95 lakh crore at 3.5% of GDP;
  • Fiscal Deficit for FY'19 estimated at 3.3% of GDP;
  • Govt's market borrowing estimated at Rs 4.07 lakh cr in FY'19 versus Rs 4.79 lakh cr estimated in 2017-18;
  • 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;
  • Steps announced to deal with air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region;
  • 2 crore more toilets to be built under Swachh Bharat Mission;
  • Substantial increase in allocation of National Rural Livelihood Mission to Rs 5,750 cr in FY'19;
  • Govt announced 2 major initiatives under 'Ayushman Bharat' programme;
  • Govt to launch a flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover over 10 cr poor families providing coverage up to Rs 5 lakh per family every year for hospitalisation;
  • Govt earmarks Rs 56,619 cr for SCs and Rs 39,135 cr for STs in FY'19;
  • Sets target of Rs 3 lakh crore for lending under MUDRA;
  • Govt to contribute 12% of wages of the new employees in EPF for all sectors for 3 years;
  • Facility of fixed-term employment will be extended to all sectors;
  • Outlay of Rs 7,148 cr for textiles sector in 2018-19;
  • FinMin to leverage India Infrastructure Finance Corporation to help finance major infrastructure projects;
  • Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations being taken up;
  • Suburban network of 160 kms in Mumbai at an estimated cost of Rs 17,000 cr being planned;
  • Gross budgetary support for Railways hiked to over Rs 3 lakh crore in 2018-19 from Rs 2.73 lakh crore in 2017-18;
  • Plans to expand airport capacity more than 5 times to handle a billion trips a year;
  • Sebi to consider mandating, beginning with large firms, to meet about 1/4th of their financing needs from bond market;
  • Allocation on Digital India scheme doubled to Rs 3,073 cr;
  • Rs 10,000 cr for creation and augmentation of telecom infra;
  • Government to come out with policy to introduce toll system on 'pay as you use' basis;
  • Proposed expenditure on infra pegged at Rs 5.97 lakh cr as against Rs 4.94 lakh crore in FY'18;
  • Govt to evolve a scheme to assign enterprise a unique ID;
  • Capital of the FCI will be restructured to enhance equity and to raise long-term debt;
  • DIPAM will come up with more ETF offers including debt ETF;
  • Divestment target for FY'19 at Rs 80,000 cr;
  • Bank recapitalisation to pave way for PSBs to lend additional credit of Rs 5 lakh crore;
  • Govt to formulate a 'Gold Policy' to develop gold as an asset class;
  • Emoluments of President revised to Rs 5 lakh/month, Rs 4 lakh for vice president and Rs 3.5 lakh for Governors;
  • Govt proposes changes to refix salary, constituency allowance, office expenses and allowance payable to Members of Parliament;
  • The law will also provide for automatic revision of emoluments of MPs every five years indexed to inflation;
  • Rs 150 cr earmarked for FY'19 for the activities leading to Commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi;
  • 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;
  • Senior citizens will be able to claim benefit of deduction up to Rs 50,000 annually on health insurance premium and/or general medical expenditure incurred;
  • 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%.

Budget News

Modi's momentum under attack as opposition gears up for offensive (4th anniversary of BJP-led government)

    Updated On : May 26,2018   1:28 pm
New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) With his party 'stopped' in Karnataka and bracing to face crucial Assembly elections in three major states in the north this year end, Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes his government into the last year in office with the political momentum slightly shaken against the mounting burden of fulfilling expectations on numerous election promises. View More..

Cannes do attitude: Bit of sun, some sand and lot of hype (Column: Bollywood Spotlight)

    Updated On : May 26,2018   1:18 pm
Here we go again. Last week, our films and filmmakers headed to the scenic French town for a bit of sun and a lot of hype. How many of the films that we take to Cannes each year actually end up being recognised as cinema of worth in the international arena? View More..

Parmanu good intentions gone to waste (Movie review **)

    Updated On : May 25,2018   11:16 pm
"Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran", Starring John Abraham, Boman Irani, Anuja Sathe, Diana Penty; Directed by Abhishek Sharma; Rating: **(2 stars). View More..

Facebook, Twitter introduce new guidelines for political ads

    Updated On : May 25,2018   3:54 pm
San Francisco, May 25 (IANS) In a fresh attempt to prevent foreign interference in elections globally, Facebook and Twitter have announced new guidelines for political advertisements on their platforms, beginning with the US. View More..

India welcomes UN Peacebuilding Commission work in Sri Lanka

    Updated On : May 25,2018   3:52 pm
United Nations, May 25 (IANS) India has welcomed the work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. View More..

Summer decor ideas that are light on your pocket

    Updated On : May 25,2018   2:16 pm
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Lets welcome the warm weather and infuse some tropical vibes with simple tricks to transform homes into luxurious retreats. View More..

I can do that: Danny Dengzongpa on leading life sans acting

    Updated On : May 25,2018   12:04 pm
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) At 70, Danny Dengzongpa has featured in hundreds of films in a career spanning almost five decades. The Bollywood baddie has no immediate plans to retire from acting, but he says it's something that he can live without. View More..

Facebook to now label political ads

    Updated On : May 25,2018   9:34 am
San Francisco, May 25 (IANS) In a fresh bid to prevent foreign interference into elections, Facebook has begun labelling all political and issue ads in the US -- including a "Paid for by" disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the advertisement. View More..

Government launches integrated school education scheme

    Updated On : May 24,2018   7:36 pm
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) on Thursday launched an integrated scheme for school education from pre-school till Class 12 and promised to increase the budget for the entire school education next year by 20 per cent. View More..

Well-prepared to fend off Chinese competition in India: Samsung official

    Updated On : May 24,2018   12:34 pm
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Stressing that there has not been any significant loss of its market share owing to the rise of Chinese smartphone brands in India, a top Samsung executive has said the company is well prepared to fend off challenges from its competitors. View More..

Good cinema is medium for social change: Anupam Kher

    Updated On : May 24,2018   10:58 am
Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) Actor Anupam Kher says "good cinema" is not only about entertainment, but it is also a medium for change. View More..

SpiceJet to commence 10 new flights across south India

    Updated On : May 23,2018   9:56 pm
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Budget passenger carrier SpiceJet on Wednesday said it will launch 10 new flight services across south India region from May 25 to June 16. View More..

Direct tax collections grow 18% to Rs 10.03 lakh cr

    Updated On : May 23,2018   9:06 pm
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) India's direct tax collections for the last financial year crossed the Rs 10 lakh crore mark, registering an increase of 18 per cent over the previous fiscal, the government said on Wednesday. View More..

Mobiistar debuts in India with budget smartphones (Lead, correcting headline)

    Updated On : May 23,2018   8:12 pm
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Vietnam-based smartphone maker Mobiistar on Wednesday debuted in the Indian smartphone market with "XQ Dual" and "CQ" priced at Rs 7,999 and Rs 4,999 respectively. View More..

Western genre is unexplored in Indian cinema: Team 'Phamous'

    Updated On : May 23,2018   6:28 pm
Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) Karan Lalit Bhutani, whose debut directorial "Phamous" will release on Friday, says it is an attempt to experiment with the western genre, which he feels has been unexplored so far in Indian cinema. View More..

Mobiistar debutes in India with budget smartphones

    Updated On : May 23,2018   3:18 pm
New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Vietnam-based smartphone maker Mobiistar on Wednesday debuted in the Indian smartphone market with "XQ Dual" and "CQ" priced at Rs 7,999 and Rs 4,999, respectively. View More..

Ryan Reynolds, Michael Bay team up for 'Six Underground'

    Updated On : May 23,2018   11:56 am
Los Angeles, May 23 (IANS) Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds will be seen in Michael Bay's upcoming film "Six Underground" for Netflix. View More..

President Kovind says no to honorary doctorate from Nauni varsity

    Updated On : May 21,2018   5:56 pm
Solan, May 21 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday refused to accept an honorary doctorate that was to be conferred on him by the horticulture and forestry university at its annual convocation in Nauni near here. View More..

Moody's cuts Punjab National Bank's deposit ratings, outlook stable

    Updated On : May 21,2018   2:34 pm
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the local and foreign currency deposit rating of multi-crore fraud hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) to Ba1/NP from Baa3/P-3, a statement said here on Monday. View More..

European countries a hot destination for Indians

    Updated On : May 20,2018   2:52 pm
New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) With travel bug catching up in India, European countries are a preferred destination for Indians this summer, according to a survey. View More..