Budget 2018 -19 Pre Election Budget, Focus on rural India

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    Finance minister Arun Jaitley presenting the Union Budget 2018 in Parliament on Thursday.

    Agriculture got prime time attention in the Union Budget 2018 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today.

    Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Budget for the fourth time in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with emphasis on agriculture and healthcare.
    Rs.40,000 standard deduction on transport, medical expenses; personal I-T rates unchanged

    Customs duty

    ”We are making calibrated departure from trend to reduce Customs duty. Customs duty on mobile phones will be increased to 20 per cent and parts of televisions will be increased to 15 per cent. Customs duty on raw cashew will also be reduced from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

    The Education Cess and the Secondary and Higher Education Cess on imported goods will be abolished. Instead a Social Welfare Surcharge of 10% will be introduced.”

    The government will contribute 12 per cent of wages of new employees for all sectors.

    Women’s contribution to provident fund (PF) will be reduced to 8 per cent for the first three years of their employment, with no reduction in employer’s contribution.

    The Finance Minister doubles the allocation to the Digital India programme to ₹3073 crore in 2018-19.

    a SUM OF ₹10,000 crore has been allocated for creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure.

    The Commerce Ministry is developing a national logistics portal as a single window programme to boost the logistics sector.

    A major portion of the personal income tax collection comes from the salaried class. Returns numbering 1.89 crore were filed last year, and ₹1.44 lakh crore was paid as taxes.

    He proposes a standard deduction of ₹40,000 in lieu of the current exemption for medical and transport allowances. Revenue cost of this is ₹8,000 crore.

    Exemption of interest income for deposits in banks and post offices will be increased from ₹10,000 to ₹50,000 for senior citizens, and TDS shall not be deducted from this income.

    All senior citizens will now be able to claim benefit of a deduction of ₹50,000 for medical insurance premium.

    For critical illnesses, ₹1,00,000 deduction will be given for medical expenditure.

    We are launching a flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. We will provide them with upto ₹5 lakh per family per year in secondary and tertiary care institutions. He says this scheme will have 50 crore beneficiaries.

    24 new government medical colleges will be set up by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country.

    These schemes will generate lakhs of jobs, aprticularly for women, The government is progressing towards universal health coverage.

    Tuberculosis claims more lives every year than any other disease. The government will provide ₹600 crore for nutrititonal support to all TB patients.

    Ujjwala Yojana, the free LPG connection scheme, has been expanded to eight crore households.

    The Saubhagya Yojana will be another focus for the government. Six crore toilets have been built already, and in the next year, two crore additional toilets will be constructed.

    Under Saubhagya Yojna 4 crore household are being provided with electricity connections. More than 800 medicines are being sold at lower price through more than 3 thousand Jan Aushadhi Centres. Cost of stents have been controlled. Special scheme for free dialysis of poor have been initiated. Persons belonging to poor and middle class are also being provided a great relief in interest rates on housing schemes. Efforts are being made to provide all government services, whether bus or train tickets or individual certificates on line.

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents the Union Budget. When our government took over India was part of “fragile five,” we have successfully reverted it. We are now the fastest growing economy of the world, he says.

    Demonetisation has reduced the quantum of cash currency and spurred digitisation of the economy, says Mr. Jaitley.
    The Minister states that the government targets to provide every poor person in the country with a house of their own by 2022.

    The Finance Minister and his juniors arrived at the Parliament. The Budget was presented at 11 am in Lok Sabha and then was tabled in Rajya Sabha later in the day.

    This was Mr. Jaitley’s and Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s fourth budget, the penultimate one before the nations goes to polls in 2019. It may be noted that if the General Elections are announced earlier next year, the fifth budget will only have to be a Vote on Account.

    News Report by
    Mrs Nishat Sait
    Lifestyle & Event Management Editor; India.

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