The Indian finance minister, Arun Jaitley presented the union budget in Parliament on Thursday. It is the last budget of the Modi government before the general elections, next year.
In front of the government, where there is a challenge to maintain financial discipline, the economic rate will not have to be derailed. It is estimated that in the second half of the current financial year, GDP will grow from 7-7.5%. The finance minister has said that the country is growing steadily on the way to achieve an 8% growth rate soon. The main aspects of the union budget presented for the year 2018-19 are as follows.
- The government will spend ₹14.34 trillion ($225.50 billion) on basic infrastructure in rural areas.
- By increasing the capacity of the airport, they will be prepared for 1 billion trips per year.
- Mumbai will get ₹40,000 crore for transport.
- Escalators will be installed at all railway stations with more than 25,000 passengers.
- By 2019, 4,000 km new rail line will be laid.
- 600 railway stations across the country will be redeveloped.
- For salaried employees, a standard deduction of ₹40,000 will be given at the place of medical resourcing or transportation expenses.
- No tax will be levied on companies registered as farmer producer companies for the first five years that have a turnover of ₹100 crore or more.
- Number of tax payers has increased from 6.47 lakh crores to 8.27 lakh crores.
- Increase in tax exemption limit for interest income from banks and post offices from ₹10,000 to ₹50,000 for senior citizens.
- There has been no change in personal income tax rates.
- Corporate tax rates have been reduced from 30% to 25 percent for companies with ₹250 crore turnover.
- Custom duty on mobile phones has been increased to 20%.
Agriculture, Health And Education
- The finance minister has said that the main focus of the government will be on strengthening the rural economy. He has allocated a sum of ₹10-11 trillion in the budget to give loans for agricultural activities. The minimum support price of the crop will be kept at least 1.5 times the production cost. Export of agricultural products will be liberalized.
- Under the “National Health Protection Scheme”, every family will be given ₹5 lakh for medical expenditure in one year. The finance minister says that this will provide health services to the 10 crore poor. Special schemes will be implemented in collaboration with the governments of the surrounding states of Delhi to tackle the problem of pollution.
- Arun Jaitley said that subsidy will be given to remove the remaining remains after the crop so that the farmers do not burn them, which contributes to pollution.
- The salary of the President, the Vice President and the Governors will be ₹5 lakh, ₹4 lakh and ₹3.5 lakh respectively. The salary of MPs will be revised according to the inflation rate every five years.
- Twenty four new medical colleges will be opened so that there is at least one medical college in every three parliamentary constituencies.