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

Death penalty based on wrong diagnosis, says child rights activists

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   11:10 pm
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) A day after President Ram Nath Kovind approved the ordinance to introduce death penalty for child rape, child and women rights activists voiced dissatisfaction with the move, saying that the new provisions fail to highlight other issues faced by survivors. View More..

Funds meant for tribal welfare being misutilised: AAP

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   10:50 pm
Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday accused the Union Coal and Mining Ministeries of mis-utilising funds allocated for Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), a strategy for the socio-economic development of tribal people, and criticised the Central governmentfor not looking into the matter. View More..

NDA goverment crushing SC, Modi only interested in becoming PM again: Rahul (Roundup)

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   10:14 pm
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the BJP-led NDA government of "crushing" the Supreme Court and said that the Dalits may get killed and women may face rapes but Prime Minister Narendra Modi was only interested in himself and in becoming PM again. View More..

Petrol price at Rs 74.50 a litre in Delhi, highest since September 2013

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   5:10 pm
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Petrol prices rose for the fifth consecutive day on Monday to Rs 74.50 per litre in New Delhi, even as global crude oil cost dipped somewhat due to international factors. View More..

Demand for under-construction properties fall in Delhi-NCR

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   4:26 pm
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Demand for under-construction properties in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) fell in January-March 2018, compared to October-December 2017, due to the 12 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) imposed on the segment, a report said on Monday. View More..

Modi government crushing SC: Rahul

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   3:28 pm
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the Modi government of "crushing" and "suppressing" the Supreme Court and asserted that his party will not allow the ruling alliance to derail institutions created by the Constitution. View More..

Russian experts to inspect UK military activity

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   2:32 pm
Moscow, April 23 (IANS) Russian experts will carry out a military activity assessment in a district in the UK starting from Monday, a top official said here. View More..

Kerala's KASE to boost blue-collar job acceptability

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   1:26 pm
Thiruvananthapuram, April 23 (IANS) Many in Kerala look down upon blue-collar jobs even though thousands of Keralites do such jobs abroad and elsewhere in India. To get rid of this perception is the primary objective of state-owned Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE), said a top official. View More..

'Absence of benchmarks impacting quality of education in government schools'

    Updated On : Apr 23,2018   12:02 pm
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Thanks to the Right to Education Act (RTE) of 2009, India has been able to achieve near universal enrolment of children in schools at the primary and upper primary levels -- but the quality of what is being taught has been severely impacted by the lack of benchmarks, says a senior official, as also a recent survey. View More..

Education, job creation, healthcare in focus: Modi

    Updated On : Apr 22,2018   4:48 pm
New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Appreciating the work of the BJP MPs and MLAs at the grassroot level, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said his government is focusing on education for children, opportunities for youth and medicine for the elderly. View More..

Shorts films should release theatrically

    Updated On : Apr 22,2018   2:26 pm
New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Director Tarun Dudeja's latest short film "Listener", which travelled to film festivals in the US and Germany, was released digitally earlier this week. But he feels the audience in India should be able to watch short films on the big screen too. View More..

Himachal CM prioritises strengthening state's strategic infrastructure (IANS Interview)

    Updated On : Apr 22,2018   12:42 pm
Shimla, April 22 (IANS) First-time Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has made strengthening the mountain state's weak infrastructure -- road, rail and air -- a priority as this would not only boost national security but also increase tourist flows. Himachal Pradesh shares a 260 km border with China. View More..

'Concept of equality' pervades world's biggest community kitchen (IANS Special Series)

    Updated On : Apr 22,2018   12:06 pm
Amritsar (Punjab), April 22 (IANS) If there is one big leveller for people, irrespective of their religion, caste, gender, social status or riches, it is the "langar", or community kitchen, at the Golden Temple complex, where the holiest of Sikh shrines, the Harmandir Sahib, is located, in this city considered holy by Sikhs. View More..

Rs 3.5 lakh crore needed for internal security in 2020-25: MHA

    Updated On : Apr 21,2018   10:52 pm
New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday said it had informed the 15th Finance Commission about its budgetary requirement of more than Rs 3.5 lakh crore for internal security and other responsibilities between 2020-25. View More..

Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

    Updated On : Apr 21,2018   10:14 am
Moscow/New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Twitter has banned Russia-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company "operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices." View More..

CPI-M terms 15th Finance Commission's TOR anti-federal

    Updated On : Apr 20,2018   7:38 pm
Hyderabad, April 20 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Friday voiced over what it called the anti-federal and anti-democratic underpinnings of the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the 15th Union Finance Commission. View More..

CPI-M calls 15th Finance Commission TOR biased, demands amendments

    Updated On : Apr 20,2018   6:34 pm
Hyderabad, April 20 (IANS) The CPI-M on Friday expressed deep concern over the "anti-federal and anti-democratic underpinnings" of the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the 15th Finance Commission and demanded they be amended. View More..

Delhi engineering college again barred from admitting students

    Updated On : Apr 20,2018   5:54 pm
New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) G.B. Pant Government Engineering College has been barred for the second year in a row from admitting students because the institute has failed in creating basic facilities and infrastructure in the 10 years of its establishment. View More..

Audi India sees flat sales in 2018 following duty hike

    Updated On : Apr 20,2018   5:40 pm
Kolkata, April 20 (IANS) Luxury carmaker Audi India, which had looked at a double-digit growth this year, is now expecting that sales will be flat in 2018, following an increase in cess and hike of customs duty on some imported auto components announced in the Union Budget, an official said here on Friday. View More..

Audi India sees flat sales in 2018 following duty hike

    Updated On : Apr 20,2018   3:44 pm
Kolkata, April 20 (IANS) Luxury carmaker Audi India, which had looked at a double-digit growth this year, is now expecting that sales will be flat in 2018, following an increase in cess and hike of customs duty on some imported auto components announced in the Union Budget, an official said on Friday. View More..