Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Major Highlights of Union Budget 2017-18

Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget for 2017-2018 in Parliament today. The budget this year basically focussed on 10 major themes; farming sector, rural population, youth, poor and underprivileged, infrastructure, digital economy, tax administration ,financial sector,  public services and prudent fiscal management for the honest.

Farming Sector:
  • ·        A sum of Rs. 10 lakh crore is allocated as credit to farmers, with 60 days interest waiver.
  • ·        NABARD fund will be increased to Rs. 40,000 crore
  • ·        Government will set up mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras for soil testing
  • ·        A dedicated micro irrigation fund will be set up for NABARD with Rs 5,000 crore initial corpus
  • ·        Irrigation corpus increased from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore
  • ·        Dairy processing infrastructure fund will be initially created with a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore
  • ·        A model law on contract farming will be prepared and shared with the States

Rural Population:
  • ·        The government targets to bring 1 crore households out of poverty by 2019
  • ·        During 2017-18, 5 lakh farm ponds will be taken up under the MNREGA
  • ·        Over Rs 3 lakh crore will be spent for rural India. MGNREGA to double farmers' income
  • ·        Steps to ensure participation of women in MNREGA
  • ·        Space Technology to be used for monitoring MNREGA
  • ·        Country well on way to achieve 100% rural electrification by March 2018.
  • ·        Safe drinking water to cover 28 thousand Arsenic & Fluoride effected habitation in the next 4 years
  • ·        Sanitation coverage has gone up from 42% in Oct 13 to 60% now
  • ·        Open Defecation Free villages given priority for piped drinking water.

  • ·        A system of measuring annual learning outcomes and come out with an innovation fund for secondary education will be introduced
  • ·        Special Focus will be on 3,479 educationally-backward blocks
  • ·        UGC Reforms to enable greater Administration and Academic Autonomy
  • ·        National Testing Agency for Entrance examinations in Higher Education Institutions
  • ·        A system of measuring Annual learning outcome
  • ·        Courses on foreign languages will be introduced
  • ·        Steps to create 5000 PG seats per annum
  • ·        Skill India mission was launched to maximise potential. Will set up 100 India International centres across the country under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras
  • ·        Government proposes to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM Platform with at least 350 online courses. This will enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.

Poor and Underprivileged:

  • ·        Rs. 500 crore allocated for Mahila Shakthi Kendras
  • ·        Under a nationwide scheme for pregnant women, Rs. 6000 will be transferred for women undergoing institutional deliveries
  • ·        A sum of Rs. 1,84,632  crore allocated for women and children
  • ·        Increased allocation of housing under PM Gram Awas Yojana, with houses allocated primarily in the name of women to increase ownership and financial security of women.
  • ·        Two AIIMS will be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.
  • ·        Action plan to eliminate Kala-Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018 and Measles by 2020
  • ·        Health sub centres, numbering 1.5 lakh, will be transformed into health wellness centres.
  • ·        Aadhaar-based smartcards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health.

  • ·        A total allocation of Rs. 3,96,135 crore has been made for infrastructure
  • ·        In the road sector, the Budget allocation has been stepped up to Rs. 64,900 crores
  • ·        2,000 kms of coastal connectivity roads have been identified for construction and development to facilitate better connectivity with ports and remote villages.
  • ·        Specific programme for development of multi-modal logistics parks, together with multi modal transport facilities, will be drawn-up and implemented that will make our economy more competitive
  • ·        In solar energy, the second phase of Solar Park development is proposed to be taken up for additional 20,000 MW capacity
  • ·        Government is creating an ecosystem to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing.
  • ·        The total length of roads, including those under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), built from 2014-15 till the current year is about 1,40,000 kms which is significantly higher than previous three years.

  • ·        Total allocation for Railways is Rs. 1,31,000 crore.
  • ·        No service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC
  • ·        Raksha coach with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore for five years (for passenger safety)
  • ·        Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020
  • ·        3,500 km of railway lines to be commissioned this year
  • ·        SMS-based ''clean my coach service'' is put in place
  • ·        Coach mitra facility will be introduced to register all coach related complaints.
  • ·        By 2019 all trains will have bio-toilets
  • ·        Five-hundred stations will be made differently-abled friendly
  • ·        Railways to partner with logistics players for front-end and back-end solutions for select commodities.
  • ·        Railways will offer competitive ticket booking facility
  • ·        New Metro rail policy will be announced with new modes of financing

Digital Economy:
  • ·        Digi Gaon initiative to provide tele-medicine, education and skills through digital technology
  • ·        By the end of Financial Year 2017-18 high speed broadband connectivity on optic fibres will be available in more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats.
  • ·        Digital India - BHIM app will unleash mobile phone revolution. The government will introduce two schemes to promote BHIM App - referral bonus for the users and cash back for the traders.
  • ·        Promotion of Digital Economy an integral part of strategy to clean up system and weed out corruption & Black Money
  • ·        No cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh

Tax Administration:
  • ·        No cash transactions above Rs3 lakh
  • ·        Political funding: Maximum amount of cash donation that can be received is Rs2,000; political parties can receive donations by cheques or digitally
  • ·        Personal income tax: Rate reduced to 5% for income bracket of Rs2.5-5 lakh
  • ·        Surcharge of 10 % will be levied on income bracket of Rs50 lakh-Rs1 crore
  • ·        All taxpayers above 5 lakh rupees to get benefit of 12,500 rupees across the board
  • ·        Simple one-page form for taxable income up to Rs5 lakh
  • ·        Time period of revising tax returns reduced to 12 months
  • ·        Limit of cash donation for charitable trusts cut to Rs2,000

Financial Sector:
  • ·        FDI policy reforms - more than 90% of FDI inflows are now automated
  • ·        Shares of Railway PSE like IRCTC will be listed on stock exchanges
  • ·        Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be abolished
  • ·        Computer emergency response team for financial sector will be formed
  • ·        Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target fixed at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18
  • ·        DBT to LPG consumers , Chandigarh is kerosene-free, 84 government schemes are on the DBT platform
  • ·        For big-time offences - including economic offenders fleeing India, the government will introduce legislative change or introduce law to confiscate the assets of these people within the country
Public Service
  • ·        Head post office as the central office for rendering passport service

Prudent Fiscal Management
  • ·        Total expenditure is Rs. 21, 47,000 crore
  • ·        Plan, non-plan expenditure to be abolished; focus will be on capital expenditure, which will be 25.4 %
  • ·        Rs. 3,000 crore under the Department  of Economic Affairs for implementing the Budget announcements
  • ·        Expenditure for science and technology is Rs. 37,435 crore
  • ·        Total resources transferred to States and Union Territories is Rs 4.11 lakh crore
  • ·        Fiscal deficit of 2017-18 pegged at 3.2% of the GDP. Will remain committed to achieving 3% in the next year

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