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  • Union Budget 2017 – Check Budget for Financial Year 2017-18 & Highlights

    Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister, whose budget speech in Parliament included new rules on income tax, repercussions on black money as well as a drive towards digitising the economy, are highlighted below:

    Budget
    Highlights of union budget for common man

    Budget for Financial Sector

    • FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) will be abolished
    • Financial firms to get resolution mechanism
    • Panel of the commodities market will peruse legal framework for derivative and spot markets
    • A computer emergency response team will be created to enhance cyber security
    • New ETF will be released
    • Listing of public sector enterprises to facilitate public accountability
    • The lending target for Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana will be Rs.2.44 trillion
    • More than 16,000 new enterprises will be set up as per the Stand-up India scheme

    Budget for Tax Administration

    • Direct tax collection not proportionate to income/expenditure pattern of the country
    • Tax net to increase due to data received post demonetisation
    • Cash transactions in excess of Rs.3 lakhs will not be allowed
    • Transparency is sought in political funding as parties still get anonymous donations
    • For all kinds of political funding, the most cash donation allowed for parties to receive is Rs.2000, but digital transactions and cheques are still allowed
    • For personal income tax, individuals earning between Rs.2.5 lakhs and Rs.5 lakhs will be charged at 5%, and a suggestion has been made to have a simple form of just one page
    • Individuals who earn an income of more than Rs.5 lakhs per annum will receive a uniform benefit of Rs.12,500
    • Individuals who earn an annual income of Rs.50 lakhs to Rs.1 crore should be levied with surcharge
    • IT system being prepared as scheduled
    • GST to be implemented in the near future, therefore there won’t be many changes to excise duties
    • Investors from FPI Category One and Two to be exempted from indirect transfer provisions
    • Capital gains tax to have changes
    • Tax returns can now be revised over a period of 12 months
    • Concessional withholding rate to be moved forward to June 30th, 2020
    • MAT will carry on for 15 years, will not be abolished any time soon
    • LNG customs duty to be lowered to 2.5%
    • The corporate tax rate for companies whose annual turnover is under Rs.50 crore will be lowered to 25%
    • Charitable trusts can receive cash donations only up to Rs.2000
    Corporate Tax

    Budget for Fiscal Management

    • Rs.21 trillion will be the overall budget expenditure
    • Rs.2.74 trillion set aside for defence expenditure (does not include pensions)
    • Rs.3000 crore for the implementation of different budget announcements
    • Revenue deficit for 2017-18 set at 1.9%
    • Fiscal deficit for 2017-18 set at 3.2% of GDP

    Budget for Public Services

    • Passport services can be availed from head post-office
    • Centralised defence travel system created for defence
    • Centralised pension distribution system will be created for defence
    • A two-tier examination system to be established for government recruitment
    • Laws to seize assets of economic defaulters to be introduced by the government
    • Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary to be attended by a high-level panel and chaired by the Prime Minister

    Budget for Digital Economy

    • The country is on the brink of a major digital revolution
    • Aadhaar Pay will be released for individuals who have no cellphones
    • Two new schemes to be launched by the government to promote BHIM application (a cashback scheme for merchants is included)
    • Focus on semi-urban and rural areas
    • Financial inclusion fund will be strengthened
    • Payment regulatory board at the Reserve Bank of India will be created
    • Structural reforms on digital payments have been suggested by the panel
    Digital Economy

    Budget for Infrastructure

    • Total development and capex expenditure of railways estimated at Rs.1.31 trillion
    • 3500 kilometres of railway lines will be commissioned
    • A safety fund corpus has been established to increase passenger safety, and unmanned level crossings will be removed by 2020
    • Dedicated pilgrimage and tourism trains to be launched
    • Coach Mitra facility to be introduced to ensure cleanliness in railways by 2019, all coaches to have biotoilets
    • 500 railway stations will be made more friendly for differently-abled individuals
    • Announcement of a new metro rail policy imminent
    • A competitive ticket-booking facility will be offered by the railways, and service charge will be withdrawn if tickets are booked on IRCTC
    • Rs.64,000 crore allocated for national highways
    • Monetisation of land resources to be enabled through the amendment of the Airports Authority of India Act
    • Rs.2 trillion to be allocated in total to the transport sector
    • Rs.10,000 crore to be allocated to the Bharat Net programme in the telecom sector
    • India to become the worldwide hub for the manufacture of electronics
    • Digi-gau initiative will be launched soon
    • Rs.3.96 trillion to be allocated in total to the infrastructure sector
    Infrastructure Budget
    Infrastructure Budget

    Budget for Unprivileged and Poor

    • Rs.500 crore corpus for Mahila Shakti Kendras
    • Rs.1.84 trillion to be allocated for different schemes for children and women
    • Infrastructure status to be gained by affordable housing
    • Plan in progress to eradicate leprosy by 2018, lower IMR to 29 by 2020, and eliminate TB by 2025
    • Two new AIIMS to be set up in Gujarat and Jharkhand
    • Extra PG medical seats to be created per annum
    • Medical devices will be subject to the introduction of new rules
    • Senior citizens to receive Aadhaar-based smart cards
    • Rs.52,393 crore to be allocated to SCs, Rs.31,920 to STs, and Rs.4,195 to minority affairs
    • Existing labour laws to be amalgamated and simplified by legislative reforms

    2017 Budget for Youth

    • Emphasis to be laid on science, and implementation of a system to measure yearly learning outcomes
    • Secondary education to receive innovation fund
    • Under graduate colleges to receive more autonomy and will be identified based on rankings
    • Virtual learning to be promoted through the release of SWAYAM platform, thereby leveraging information technology
    • National testing agency will be created for every entrance exam, freeing up AICTE, CBSE and other bodies
    • Rs.4000 crore set aside for launching knowledge awareness and skill acquisition
    • Courses in foreign languages to be promoted through the establishment of 100 international skill centres
    • Five special tourism zones to be established
    • Special scheme to be launched for generating employment in the footwear/leather sector
    Budget for common man
    Budget for common man
    Women

    Budget for Rural Population

    • One crore poverty households to be brought by Mission Antyodaya
    • Rs.48,000 crore set aside for MGNREGA, women participation now increased to 55%
    • Rs.23,000 crore set aside for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
    • Rs.19,000 crore set aside for Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana, Rs.27,000 crore to be spent in 2017-18
    • Village electrification to hit 100% by May 2018
    • 5 lakh people to receive mason training
    • Rs.4500 crore set aside for rural livelihood mission
    • Rs.1,87,223 crore set aside for rural programmes
    • HR reform programme will be introduced for Panchayat Raj

    Budget for Farmers

    • Credit for farmers fixed at Rs.10 trillion to ensure that undeserved areas receive adequate flow
    • Government to establish mini-labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras for soil health cards
    • Model law on contract farming will be circulated
    • Rs.40,000 crore corpus for long-term irrigation fund in Nabard
    • Rs.5000 crore corpus for dedicated micro-irrigation fund
    • Rs.8000 corpus for dairy processing infra fund

    At the budget meeting, Aun Jaitley said that huge expectations surrounded the election of the government, and that a huge war against black money is well underway. He added that the government is now looked upon as a trusted custodian of public funds. The youth will be encouraged to help drive change, and although the world economy is under considerable uncertainty at the moment, India remains a bright spot. Fiscal consolidation will continue to be given high importance as India is viewed as an “engine of global growth”.

    Two of the biggest tectonic policy initiatives that will be focussed on are demonetisation and GST implementation. Mr Jaitley revealed that demonetisation is the continuation of a number of measures taken over the past two years, adding that it was a decisive and bold measure, and that it aims at creating a new normal to ensure that GDP will be bigger and cleaner. He also stated that the decline in economic activity because of remonetisation will have only a temporary effect and demonetisation has solid potential to deliver benefits in the long term.

    Mr Jaitley said that he firmly believes in the epoch-making impact that GST and demonetisation can have, adding that demonetisation will aid in transferring resources from tax evaders to the government. The speed of remonetisation is expected to soon arrive at comfortable levels and the effect of demonetisation will not carry forward into 2018. The three major reforms covered by the budget include advancement of date of presentation, abolition of plan and non-plan expenditure, and merger of railway budget with the general budget.

    News About Budget

    • National Health Policy cleared by Cabinet

      The Union Cabinet approved the National Health Policy after it was deferred twice previously. A suo motu statement will be made in the Parliament by Health Minister J P Nadda in order to make the details of the new policy public as there cannot be a policy announcement outside the House while Parliament is in session. This policy ensures that health is an entitlement but is not a fundamental right as envisioned by the draft policy. It does not provide a legislative backing for right to health. A constitutional amendment would be needed to bring health in the concurrent list from where it is presently on the state list.

      In the present policy, health services are only ‘assured’. However, discussions of imposing a health cess similar to the education cess that was put forth after RTE was legislated. It also talks of increasing public expenditure on health to 2.5% of the GDP.

      16th March 2017

    • Budget 2017: There won't be any service tax on health care services

      Regarding the Budget 2017, the government noticed speculation on social media pertaining to the proposal of service tax on healthcare service. The government has clarified that there won't a service tax on health care services. Some of the media channels had mentioned a proposal of 5% service tax on health care services. The government confirmed that the Union Budget 2017 doesn't have any proposal of service tax for the health care services. The proposal of service tax was dropped in the Budget of 2011-2012 itself due to strong opposition.

      15th February 2017

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