Decoding Budget 2018:
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget 2018-19 speech emphasized on the fact that the economy is on the path of over 8 per cent growth rate. In his Budget speech, the finance minister said that the government will focus more on infrastructure creation, raising farmers’ income and economic reforms. The indirect tax regime has been made simpler by the introduction of GST, he added. The structural growth initiative announced by the government will help the government to accelerate in the future, the minister said.
Economic growth is expected to slow to a four-year low of 6.75 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 31, 2018, according to the Economic Survey. Mr Jaitley announced that the minimum support price (MSP) for all agriculture produce would be fixed at a level to ensure the farmer a minimum return of one and a half- times over the production cost. The finance minister said this measure would go a long way to realize the government’s goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
Highlights of the budget 2018
- Proposal to increase Target of Providing free LPG to 8 Cr poor women.
- 2 Cr more toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission.
- Msp of all crops shall be increased to at least 1.5 times of production cost.
- 2000 Cr Argi Market Development Fund to be set up.
- 34 Lakh crores for Rural Infrastructure (by 2022 every block with more than 50% ST population at least 20,000 tribal people will have model infrastructure school).
- Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana for Power for all.
- Special Scheme to Subsidise Machinery for Management of Crop Residue.
- National Health Protection Scheme for 10 Crore Families.
- Measures to be announced to help Deal with NPAs of SMEs.
- Improving Quality of Education in the Country .
- proposes construction of Tunnels under Se-Le Pass.
- AMRUT Program to focus Water Supply to All House Holds in 500 Cities.
- Allocation of Rs.1.48 Lakh crores to Railways.
- EPF contribution Reduced to 8% for First 3 years of Employment.
- Government Does not consider Crypto currencies as Legal Tender.
- Government May Propose LTCG tax on Equities.
- Govt Insurance Companies to merged into Single Entity.
- FY19 Divestment Target set at Rs. 80,000 Crore.
- Pay hike for President- 5 lakh, VP- 4 lakh and Governor- 3.5 Lakh.
- 100% Tax Deducted for 5 years for companies registered as Farmer Producer Companies.
- Fiscal Deficit for FY18 Pegged at 3.5%.
- No change in IT Slab, Standard Deduction of Rs. 40,000 Proposed.
- EPF Contribution for Women Reduced to 8% for First 3 Years of Employment
- Corporate Tax Rate Cut to 25%
- Custom Duty on Mobile Phones Increased to 20%