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

Uproar in Odisha Assembly over BJP leader's arrest

    Updated On : Mar 21,2018   3:20 pm
Bhubaneswar, March 21 (IANS) The Odisha Assembly witnessed repeated adjournments on the second day of the Budget Session on Wednesday as BJP members created a ruckus over the arrest of their leader and former minister Jayanarayan Mishra. View More..

Delhi government brings out Outcome Budget

    Updated On : Mar 21,2018   1:46 pm
New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) The Delhi government on Wednesday brought out the Outcome Budget 2017-18, which tells the outputs and outcomes of spending of funds allocated in the 2017-18 Delhi Budget. View More..

Paytm more preferred by Indian professionals than Google: LinkedIn

    Updated On : Mar 21,2018   12:52 pm
New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Professionals in India prefer home-grown tech and mobile Internet companies like Directi, Flipkart and One97 Communications (Paytm) more than global giants like Google and Amazon as their workplace, revealed a new LinkedIn report on Wednesday. View More..

Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day

    Updated On : Mar 21,2018   11:40 am
New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Barely five minutes after the Rajya Sabha assembled on Wednesday, it was adjourned for the day amid pandemonium. View More..

Government to blame for parliament impasse, running away from debate: Opposition

    Updated On : Mar 20,2018   8:06 pm
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The Congress and other opposition parties on Tuesday held the Narendra Modi government responsible for the continued impasse in Parliament and not making any efforts to sort out the stalemate that entered its 12th day, while claiming it was running away from debate. View More..

Logjam continues in Parliament, no confidence motion not taken up in LS (Roundup)

    Updated On : Mar 20,2018   7:56 pm
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The Lok Sabha was once again unable to take up a no confidence motion against the government with disruptions continuing to stall proceedings for the 12th day on Tuesday. View More..

Odisha on path of inclusive growth: Governor

    Updated On : Mar 20,2018   4:08 pm
Bhubaneswar, March 20 (IANS) Odisha Governor S.C. Jamir on Tuesday said the state was on the path of equitable and inclusive growth but the opposition Congress staged a walkout from the assembly protesting over farmers' issues. View More..

itel Mobile launches 2 budget smartphones in India

    Updated On : Mar 20,2018   2:30 pm
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Refreshing its budget line-up, China-based Transsion Holdings itel Mobile on Tuesday launched two smartphones S42 and A44 in India for Rs 8,499 and Rs 5,799, respectively. View More..

No-confidence motion not taken up, Sushma stopped from speaking

    Updated On : Mar 20,2018   1:54 pm
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) A no-confidence motion could not be taken up in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was stopped from making a statement in the House on the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq. View More..

The (absent) CSR in Swachh Bharat (Comment)

    Updated On : Mar 20,2018   12:10 pm
A Swachh marathon conducted by the Dettol company, Reckitt Benckiser, in collaboration with NDTV, as part of the Swachch Banega India project, takes the discussion on sanitation into the drawing rooms of the middle and upper classes. With brand ambassadors like Amitabh Bachchan hosting the show, people look up and watch. View More..

Lok Sabha adjourned till 12 p.m.

    Updated On : Mar 20,2018   11:18 am
New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) The Lok Sabha was adjourned till 12 p.m., on Tuesday minutes after it met for the day. View More..

Agrarian distress: India pays price of reforms by stealth (Column: Active Voice)

    Updated On : Mar 20,2018   11:08 am
The 180 km-long march of Maharashtra's farmers from Nashik to Mumbai that swelled to about 40,000 in number by the time it reached the state capital is a potent reminder of the burgeoning problem of agrarian distress in India. It is also indicative of how this segment of the Indian population -- which comprises about 60 percent of the total -- has found itself repeatedly short-changed in the country's developmental process. View More..

Parliament logjam continues, no-confidence motion not taken up (Roundup)

    Updated On : Mar 19,2018   9:22 pm
New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) The Parliament on Monday could not transact any business as the opposition parties continued to stall proceedings over their demands, resulting a wash out of the second part of the budget session for eleven consecutive days. View More..

Morocco to spend $15.8bn if wins 2026 World Cup bid

    Updated On : Mar 19,2018   8:26 pm
Rabat, March 19 (IANS/MAP) Morocco will spend a total of $15.8 billion on stadiums and infrastructure if it wins its bid to organise the 2026 World Cup. View More..

Punjab to ban hookah bars

    Updated On : Mar 19,2018   7:18 pm
Chandigarh, March 19 (IANS) The Punjab government on Monday decided to impose a ban on hookah bars across the state instead of issuing temporary orders against their operation every two months. View More..

Court asks EC not to announce schedule for by-elections in Telangana

    Updated On : Mar 19,2018   7:04 pm
Hyderabad, March 19 (IANS) In temporary relief to two Congress legislators expelled from Telangana Assembly last week, the Hyderabad High Court on Monday directed the Election Commission not to issue poll schedule for by-elections in their constituencies for six months. View More..

Budget session of Odisha Assembly set to be stormy

    Updated On : Mar 19,2018   5:52 pm
Bhubaneswar, March 19 (IANS) The Budget session of the Odisha Assembly starting on Tuesday is likely to be stormy as the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are set to raise a host of issues to corner the BJD government. View More..

Tripura CM meets PM, seeks special package for state

    Updated On : Mar 19,2018   5:36 pm
New Delhi/Agartala, March 19 (IANS) Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who heads an 11-day-old BJP government in the state, on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a special package to overcome a "severe financial burden" the new government is saddled with, an official said. View More..

BJP MLA suspended from Delhi Assembly for entire budget session

    Updated On : Mar 19,2018   3:14 pm
New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) BJP MLA O.P. Sharma was suspended from the Delhi Assembly for the entire budget session by Speaker Ram Niwas Goel here on Monday. View More..

NASA's new instrument to help measure Sun's incoming energy

    Updated On : Mar 19,2018   2:16 pm
Washington, March 19 (IANS) To continue long-term measurements of the Sun's incoming energy, NASA has powered on a new instrument installed on the International Space Station (ISS). View More..