Finance Minister, the Central government has finally announced the Union Budget 2018-19 on 1 February 2018. Subsequently, this budget is comprised of various scheme and initiatives of Modi govt. for the welfare of every section of society. Union budget includes provisions for agriculture, corporate, employees, rural women, railways, aviation, healthcare, defense, infrastructure, market, banking, and industries sector.
The primary objective is to build a strong and confident India. Indian Economy is now of Rs. 2.5 trillion dollars which are soon going to become world 5th largest economy.
This budget is important as this is the last budget of the Modi govt. before General Elections. So, the primary focus is to provide benefits to the masses. Accordingly, this is a Common Man’s Budget.
The important features and highlights of Union Budget 2018-19 are as follows:-
Govt. will set up an agricultural market and infrastructure fund of Rs. 2000 crore to improve market connectivity.
Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Maha Abhiyan – Kusum Scheme for farmers: This scheme will provide subsidy on establishing solar power plants on their barren land and result in doubling farmers income by 2022. The total outlay of this scheme is Rs. 48,000 crore.
Subsequently to provide more price of the crops to farmers, govt. has now set the minimum support price (MSP) for Kharif crops at 1.5 times as their production cost.
Central Govt. has doubled the amount for the food processing sector to Rs. 1400 crore.
Moreover, to generate higher income, govt. will provide Rs. 10,000 crore to the animal husbandry for fishery and aquaculture.
In addition to this, govt. has also launched “Operation Greens” on the lines of Operation Flood to boost agricultural production. For this operation greens, govt. has allocated Rs. 500 crore under Market Assurance Scheme. This will promote various Food Processing Organizations (FPOs), agri-logistics and processing facilities. Under this scheme, govt. will give provide Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Tomato, Onion, and Potato and will give them TOP Priority. Here govt. will provide “Nyuntam Samarthan Mulya” for T – Tomato, O – Onion and P – Potato.
Increase in the agricultural credit target from Rs. 8.5 lakh crore to Rs. 11 lakh crore. In addition, govt. will extend the Kisan Credit Card to fisheries and animal husbandry.
Henceforth, govt. will also launch a Restructured Bamboo Mission with a total outlay of Rs. 1200 crore.
For every district, govt. will start “Krishi Cluster Scheme”.
Central Govt. will also introduce a special scheme to manage crop residue and tackle Air Pollution in Delhi NCR region.
In addition, govt. has also started Gobar Dhan Scheme For Farmers to improve their life and double their income by 2022.
Rural People / Economy –
Extension of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to provide LPG Connections to women. Now, Central Govt. will provide these LPG connections to 8 crore rural families. Thus, this budget focuses on Women Empowerment.
Central Govt. will provide electricity connections to 4 crore people under Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Scheme –
Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana. For this, govt. will spend Rs. 16000 crore.
Central Govt. is going to construct 2 crore toilets under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Construction of 51 lakh more houses in rural areas under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
National Livelihood Mission gets a budgetary allocation of Rs. 5750 crore
Central Govt. will include all 16 crore Jan Dhan Accounts under Micro Insurance and Pension Schemes.
Central Govt. has allocated Rs. 1 lakh crore for upgradation of education sector under Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education – RISE Scheme.
Govt. will start Eklavya schools comprising more than 50% of ST candidates.
Subsequently, govt. will also transform blackboards to digital boards by 2022.
Central Govt. will identify 1000 b.tech candidates and enable them to do PhDs in IIT and IISc under Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) Scheme.
Health Care Facilities –
Central Govt. has launched National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) to provide Health Insurance of Rs. 5 Lakh to each poor family. Accordingly, this scheme will cover 10 crore families (50 crores) people.
Under Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Govt. will set up 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers with the total outlay of Rs. 1200 crore. This scheme will benefit deprived sections of the society.
This financial assistance is for secondary and tertiary hospitalization. Ayushman Bharat Scheme is the biggest Health Assurance Scheme of the world.
Central Govt. has allocated Rs. 600 crore for Tuberculosis patients. TB patients will get Rs. 500 per month during their treatment period.
Furthermore, Central Govt. will ensure that there is 1 medical college within 3 parliamentary constituencies. For now, govt. will open 24 new govt. medical colleges.
Diesel / Petrol Rates –
Central govt. has cut off excise on unbranded diesel by 2 rupees to Rs. 6.33 per litre.
In addition to this, govt. also reduced the excise on unbranded petrol by 2 rupees to Rs. 4.48 per litre.
Employee Centric Schemes –
Central Govt. will make a contribution of 12% of wages for new employees for the upcoming 3 years.
In addition to this, women’s contribution to EPF for the first 3 years is reduced to 8%.
However, the contribution from the employers remains the same.
Furthermore, govt. has allotted Rs. 4.6 lakh crore for PM Mudra Yojana to create employment opportunities.
Infrastructure Development –
Central Govt. has allocated Rs. 5.35 lakh crore to develop 35,000 km of roads under phase 1 of Bharatmala Project.
In addition to this, govt. will carry out developmental activities in 99 Smart Cities with an outlay of 2.04 lakh crore.
Furthermore, central govt. has approved AMRUT Scheme to provide water to each household with an outlay of 77,640 crores.
Railways / Rail Budget 2018-19 –
This year, Rail Budget is increased to Rs. 1.48 lakh crore from previous Rs. 1.31 lakh crore.
Subsequently, central govt. will eliminate 4267 unmanned railway crossing in upcoming 2 years.
Accordingly, all the railway stations which have more than 25000 footfalls will now have escalators.
Aviation / Airways Sector –
Central Govt. focuses on increasing the capacity of airports and to increase round trips to 5 times i.e 1 billion trips per annum.
For this purpose, central govt. has allocated Rs. 60 crore for its launch.
Furthermore, UDAN Scheme (Ude Desh ke Aam Nagrik Yojana) will connect 64 unconnected airports across the country.
Tax & Senior Citizens –
There is no change in the personal income tax slab rates.
Central Govt. has extended the existing limit of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen to Rs. 15 lakh under Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY). This scheme is extended until March 2020.
Moreover, there is a standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 for medical expenses to the salaried class.
In addition to this, govt. will exempt Rs. 50,000 for medical insurance to Senior Citizens.
Furthermore, Senior Citizens will get Rs. 10,000 exemption income from FDs.
Other Benefits – Defense / Technology / Market / Corporate Sector –
Central Govt. has increased the budget for defense to Rs. 2.82 lakh crore from previous Rs. 2.67 lakh crore.
Central Govt. has increased the food subsidy to 1.69 lakh crore to 1.4 lakh crore in the previous FY.
Digital India Scheme has been allocated Rs. 3073 crore.
Central Govt. will set up 5 lakh Wi-Fi networks to benefit 5 crore rural citizens across the country.
Moreover, govt. has allocated Rs. 7,148 crore for textile industries.
Salaries of President is hiked to Rs. 5 lakh, Vice President to Rs. 4 lakh and Governors to Rs. 3.5 lakh.
Furthermore, there is a lower corporate tax on companies with less than Rs. 250 crore turnover in the previous fiscal year.
However, Central Govt. has hiked custom duties on Mobiles, Televisions and other electronic items which will result in higher prices.
Moreover, govt. has also increased import duties on LED / LCD / Crude sunflower seed oil or groundnut oil/ sunglasses/cigarette lighters/ toys/bus/truck tires/furniture / watches and footwear which will raise the prices of these items.
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