Highlights of Budget 2018-19
This topic provides information related to the highlights of Budget 2018-19.
The General Budget 2018-19 was presented on February 1, 2018 in the parliament by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley. The sector-wise highlights are indicated below.
- Doubling farmers’ Income: government keeps MSP of all hitherto unannounced Kharif crops at least at one and half times of production cost
- Finance minister announces raising institutional credit for agriculture sector to Rs.11 Lakh crore for 2018-19 from Rs.10 Lakh Crore in 2017-18
- Rs. 500 Crore ‘operation greens’ announced to address price volatility of perishable commodities like potato, tomato and onion and benefit both producers and consumers
- Rs.200 Crore allocated to support organized cultivation of highly specialized medicinal and aromatic plants and associated industry
- 22,000 rural Haats to be developed and upgraded into Gramin agricultural markets (grams) for farmers to directly sell to consumers and bulk purchasers
- Rs.2000 Crore fund to be set up for developing and upgrading agricultural marketing infrastructure in the 22000 grams and 585 APMCS
- Doubling allocation for food processing sector to Rs.1400 Crore, government to promote establishment of specialized agro-processing financial institutions
- Facility of Kisan credit cards extended to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them meet their working capital needs; Rs.10,000 Crore funds announced cumulatively for infrastructure development in the two sectors
- Rs.1290 Crore re-structured national bamboo mission announced to promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner
- Rs. 2600 Crore allocated under Prime Minister Krishi Sinchai Yojna to provide assured irrigation in 96 deprived irrigation districts
- Special scheme to be implemented to support Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi to address air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue.
- In order to encourage professionalism in post-harvest value addition in agriculture, it is proposed to allow hundred per cent deduction to companies registered as Farmer Producer Companies and having annual turnover up to Rs.100 crores in respect of their profit derived from such activities for a period of five years from financial year 2018-19.
- Rs.14.34 Lakh Crore to be spent in 2018-19 for creation of livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas. Apart from employment due to farming activities and self employment, this expenditure will create employment of 321 crore person days, 3.17 lakh kilometers of rural roads, 51 lakh new rural houses, 1.88 crore toilets, and provide 1.75 crore new household electric connections besides boosting agricultural growth.
- The Government substantially increased the allocation of National Rural Livelihood Mission to Rs. 5750 crore in 2018-19. The Government is confident that loans to SHGs will increase to Rs.75,000 crore by March, 2019.
- Launch of Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (Gobar-Dhan) Scheme announced to improve lives of villagers. This will manage and convert cattle dung and solid waste in farms to compost, bio-gas and bio-CNG.
- A sum of Rs.9, 975 crore has been allocated for the National Social Assistance Programme this year.
- Proposal to launch a major initiative named “Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)” with a total investment of Rs. 1,00,000 crore over the next four years.
- "Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF)" Scheme to be launched. 1,000 best B.Tech students will be identified from premier institutions each year and facilities will be provided to them to undertake Ph.D in IITs and IISc with an attractive fellowship.
- By the year 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Ekalavya Model Residential School
- Ayushman Bharat for a new India -2022, announced;
- Under this 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people. The Budget has allocated Rs.1200 crore for this flagship programme;
- National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
- Infrastructure Allocation enhanced To Rs.5.97 Lakh Crore: Transport Sector Gets An All Time High Allocation
- Nabh Nirman initiative announced to expand Airport Capacity
- The Government proposes to develop ten prominent tourist sites as Iconic Tourism destinations through holistic infrastructure and skill development. In addition, tourist amenities will be upgraded at 100 Adarsh monuments of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- Allocation for Digital India program doubled to Rs.3073crore in 2018-19
- Department of Science and Technology will launch a Mission on Cyber Physical Systems to support establishment of centers of excellence for research in training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis and quantum communication.
- Rs. 10000 Crore provided for creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure. The Government proposes to set up 5 lakh wifi hot spots which will provide broadband access to 5 crore rural citizens.
- Online monitoring system Pragati helps fast track infra projects worth Rs 9.46 Lakh Crore
Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises
- MSMEs provided Rs. 3794 Crore for Credit Support & Innovation
- the Government will contribute 12% of the wages of the new employees in the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) for all the sectors for next three years.
- Measures to extend the benefit of reduced Corporate Income Tax rate of 25% to companies who have reported turnover up to Rs.250 crore in the Financial Year 2016-17.
- Amendments have been proposed to reduce women employees' contribution to 8% for first three years of their employment against existing rate of 12% or 10% with no change in employers' contribution in the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
- 8 crore free gas connection for poor women through Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Scheme
- Relief to Senior Citizens:
Exemption of Interest Income on deposits increased to Rs 50,000
- Limit of deduction raised for health insurance premium and/ or medical expenditure from Rs. 30,000/- to Rs. 50,000/-, under section 80D. All senior citizens will now be able to claim benefit of deduction up to Rs. 50,000/- per annum in respect of any health insurance premium and/or any general medical expenditure incurred.
- Limit of deduction for medical expenditure in respect of certain critical illness raised from Rs. 60,000/- in case of senior citizens and from Rs. 80,000/- in case of very senior citizens, to Rs. 1 lakh in respect of all senior citizens, under section 80DDB.
- Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana extended up to March 2020 under which an assured return of 8% is given by Life Insurance Corporation of India. The existing limit on investment of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen under this scheme is also being enhanced to Rs. 15 lakh.
To access the complete Budget Speech, click here.
Source : Ministry of Finance.