Budget 2018 – Key Highlights

* Arun Jaitley says that the government does not propose any changes in tax slabs this year.
* FM proposes a fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP for 2018-19.
* Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposes revising emoluments as per the following structure:
— Rs 5 lakh for the President of India
— Rs 4 lakh for the Vice President
— Rs 3.5 lakh for the Governors
* Jaitley also proposes automatic revision of emoluments of Parliamentarians every five years, indexed to inflation.
* We have already exceeded our disinvestment target, announces Arun Jaitley.
Disinvestment target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore. Target for 2018-19 is Rs 80,000 crore.
* 5 lakh WiFi hotspots will be set up in rural areas to provide easy internet access.
* Government will take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are funding illegitimate transactions.
* Govt announces Amrut program to focus on water supply to all households in 500 cities. Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth Rs 19,428 core will be awarded: FM
* NITI Aayog will establish a national programme to direct our efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development: FM
* Airport capacity to be hiked to handle 1 billion trips every year.
* Arun Jaitley says that 4,000 km of new railway track will be laid down by 2019.
* All railways stations with footfall more than 25,000 to have escalators, says the Finance Minister.
* The government will undertake redevelopment of 600 major railway stations across the country.
* Arun Jaitley announces capital expenditure of Rs 1,48,528 crore for Indian Railways in 2018-19.
* National Heritage City Development Augmentation Scheme has been undertaken to preserve and protect heritage cities in the country, announces the Finance Minister.
* Government to contribute 12 per cent of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors: FM
* Infrastructure is the growth driver of economy: Jaitley
* Target of 3 lakh crore for lending under PM Mudra Yojana: FM
* MSME enterprises are a major element for growth, says Jaitley. He also added that mass formalisation of MSME sector is happening after demonetisation and GST.
* Govt will launch health scheme to cover 10 crore poor families, Arun Jaitley says.
* The Government is slowly but steadily progressing towards universal health coverage: FM
* Government aims to bring 60 crore bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
* Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe populations: Finance Minister
* Rs 600 crore allocated to Tuberculosis patients undergoing treatment.
* Govt will set up two new Schools of Planning and Architecture, says Finance Minister Jaitley.
* To tackle brain drain, Jaitley announces scheme to identify bright students pursuing B Tech in premiere engineering institutes, and providing them higher-education opportunities in the IITs and IISc. These students will receive handsome fellowships, and will be expected to dedicate a few hours to teach in higher education institutions weekly.
* Specialised railway university to be set up at Vadodara.
* Jaitley proposed integrated BEd programme for teachers: “training of teachers during service is essential.” Technology will be the biggest driver in improving the quality of education.
* Budget allocates money for social security and protection programme for all widows and orphaned children.
* We have a target to provide all Indians with their own homes by 2022, says Jaitley.
* Ujjwala scheme to amplify targets, will now provide 8 crore rural women free LPG connections.
* Air pollution in Delhi-NCR has been a cause of concern, govt has proposed subsidised machinery for in-situ management of crop residue in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT Delhi.
* Govt of India will take necessary measures to put in place measures for the state government to purchase surplus solar power produced by local farmers at sutiable prices.
* Arun Jaitley proposes a sum of Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation Green’ on the lines of ‘Operation Flood’.
* Food processing sector is going at an average of 8 per cent per annum.
* We have been saying it for years that India is primarily an agricultural country: Jaitley
* Arun Jaitley on Minimum Support Price of agricultural products: Only increasing the MSP is not enough, the government will fix the MSP of agricultural products at 1.5 times the market rate.
* Our emphasis is on generating higher benefits and productive employment for the farmers: Jaitley while addressing the agricultural sector in his Budget speech 2018.
* Our government has worked sincerely, and without weighing the political costs, hoping that benefits are delivered to people at their doorsteps. The Direct Benefit Transfer system of India is a success story that is reiterated across the world: Jaitley.
* This year’s Budget will particularly focus on agriculture, says Jaitley.
* The finance minister also pointed out that India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
* Indian economy has performed very well since our government took over in May 2014, says Arun Jaitley.
* Arun Jaitey recalls the measures — like GST, FDI, demonetisation, etc. — taken by the NDA government in the past four years that have impacted the economy of the country.
* Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents Union Budget 2018-19 in Parliament.
* The cabinet, in a meeting, approved the Budget.
* Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has arrived in the Parliament to present his Budget for the year 2018-19.
* The Budget of 2018 is India’s first after the implementation of the Goods and Services tax (GST) in June last year.

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