Union Budget 2018-19 Highlights
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018 in parliament on 1st February 2018 on Thursday. From last year, the Railway Budget was included in the General Budget. It was the first Budget since the government effected major economic reforms, including the Goods and services Tax (GST).
1. No change in personal income tax structures.
2. The salaries of the President and Vice-President, Governors and Members of Parliament have been increased.
* President - Rs.5 lakh per month
* Vice-President - Rs.4 lakh per month
* Governors - Rs 3.5 lakh per month
3. Government revised fiscal deficit for 2017-18 is 3.5% of GDP. Jaitley projects a deficit of 3.3% of GDP for 2018-19.
4. Rs 10,000 crore was allocated to set up 5 lakh WiFi hotspots under telecom infrastructure.
5. For senior citizens, the government proposes exemption on of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000.
6. Railway capex set at Rs 1.48 lakh crore for 2018-19 and target of doubling 18,000 km of lines.
7. Rs. 3 lakh crore was allocated for lending under Mudra loans in 2018-19.
8. Government to contribute 12% of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors for three years and that contributions for women employees will be brought down from 12% to 8%.
9. Finance Minister said, the government will provide 8 crore free gas connections to women under Ujjwala scheme, and 4 crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana. The government will also build 2 crore more toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission.
10. Government to implement Minimum Support price (MSP) for all crops, It is increased to 1.5 times of production costs.
11. Rs 2000 crore for developing agricultural markets.
12. Rs 10,000 crore was allocated to set up a fund for Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure.
13. Government allocated Rs.500 crore for "operation green", which will promote processing facilities, professional management.
14. Rs.1290 crore was allocated for a National Bamboo Mission, to promote the Bamboo sector in a holistic manner.
15. Disinvestment target for this year is Rs.80,000 crore
16. The deduction has been increased to Rs.1,00,000 for any critical illnesses.
17. New flagship National health Protection Scheme is launched by Govt, providing Rs 5 lakh per family per year as health insurance.
18. Finance Minister said, India is a 2.5 trillion economy and is expected to become the 5th largest economy very soon.
19. Finance Minister reiterated that India will grow at 7.2 - 7.5% in the second half of the 2017-18.
20. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana target reduced from 2022 to 2019.
21. Finance Minister said, there's been a 12.6% growth in direct taxes and 18.7% growth in indirect taxes in 2017-18.
22. Customs on mobile phones to increase from 15 to 20%, to encourage domestic manufacturing.
23. Education cess has been increased to 4% from 3%.