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

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