Union Budget was presented every year on the last working day of February by the Finance Minister of India in Parliament. Since last year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley started to present the Union budget on 1 February in the Parliament.
First of all, let us know what Union Budget is and why it is presented every year.
What is Union Budget?
If we want to define Union Budget, according to Article 112 of the Indian Constitution, the Union Budget of a year is a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government for that particular year. The Union Budget is also termed as the Annual Financial Statement.
The major announcement made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 are as follows: -
We will understand the major challenges and roadmaps which have been set this year in various sectors by the Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley, with the help of the following points:
Highlights of the Union Budget 2018
Breaking the Tradition, FM Arun Jaitley presented The Bilingual Union Budget Speech.
Union Budget 2018 was focused on Agriculture and Rural Economy.
New salaries proposed: 3.5 lakh for Governors, 4 lakh for Vice President, 5 lakh for the President.
Automatic Revision of Emoluments of Parliamentarians every five years.
NITI Aayog will establish a national program to direct our efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development.
Electronic IT assessment will be rolled out across the country, leading to greater efficiency and transparency.
Impacts on Agriculture Sector
Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Agriculture products cost will be 1.5 times the cost of production.
Operation Green launched to improve logistics of tomatoes and potatoes with a corpus of INR 500 crore.
Fisheries farmers to get benefits same as the farmer in terms of Kisan Credit cards.
The government will develop 22,000 Gramin agricultural markets.
The cluster-model approach will be adopted for agricultural production.
Allocation in food production sector doubled to INR 1400 crore.
A fund for the fishery, aquaculture development and animal husbandry will be set up with a total corpus to be INR 10,000 crore.
Government will allocate INR 1290 crore for the Bamboo Mission, as it is green gold.
Impacts on Social Sector
5 lakh WiFi hotspots to be set up in rural areas to provide easy Internet access.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana target reduced from 2022 to 2019.
Targets of Swacch Bharat, rural electricity and LPG connections, increased substantially.
Namami Ganga Program outlay has been increased, with an all-around development plan for villages and cities along the holy river. Another push for the rural economy.
Ujjwala Yojana, the free LPG connection scheme expanded to eight crore households.
Six crore toilets have been built already, and in the next year, two crore additional toilets will be constructed.
Amrut program to focus on water supply to all households in 500 cities. Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth INR 19,428 cr. will be awarded.
4 crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana.
Impacts on Taxation
A standard deduction of INR 40,000 for salaried taxpayers.
Corporate tax for 2018-19 has been cut to 25% for companies with revenue up to INR 250 cr.
Tax on distributed income by equity-oriented mutual funds at 10%.
Customs duty on various luxury items have been raised. Items like smartwatches and other wearable devices and luxury cars will now be more expensive.
Health and Education cess have been increased to 4%.
Deduction on medical insurance premium for senior citizens has been raised to INR 50,000. Senior citizens with critical illnesses will get a deduction of INR 1 lakh.
Capital gains tax has been reintroduced, with certain caveats, at 10% on gains of over INR 1 lakh on investments.
Mobile phone sets to become costlier as customs duty on them has been increased to 20%.
Impacts on Banking Sector
Fiscal deficit for FY18 at 3.5 percent; for FY19 at 3.3 percent.
Smaller insurance companies to be merged and subsequently listed.
Micropension, insurance via Jan Dhan Yojana to boost financial inclusion.
Government aims to bring 60 crore bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to INR 50,000.
Impacts on Investments and infrastructure Sector
Railway capital expenditure at record high at INR 1.48 crore. 18000 km of line doubling and transforming entire network to broad gauge. Further electrification of the railway line and focus on safety.
Airport network to be increased to take care of rapidly increasing traffic.
National Heritage City Development Augmentation Scheme has been undertaken to preserve and protect heritage cities in the country.
Impacts on Personal Finance
Government to contribute 12% of EPF contribution for new employees in all sectors.
Standard deduction has been reintroduced at INR 40,000 in lieu of the medical and transport allowance currently available.
No changes in tax slabs for the salaried class this year
Impacts on Education Sector
Mudra Yojana target increased to INR 3 crore. It is a positive step for MSME and job creation.
Rail University in Vadodara to boost Research & Development initiatives in Indian Railways.
Integrated B.Ed. program for teachers.
Technology will be the biggest driver in improving the quality of education.
New scheme to identify bright students pursuing B Tech in premier engineering institutes, and providing them higher-education opportunities in the IITs and IISc.
Govt will set up two new Schools of Planning and Architecture.
Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe populations.
Impacts on Health Sector
Flagship National Health Program to be launched to cover 50 crore people.
INR 5 lakh per family annually to be given for medical reimbursement under the National Health Protection Scheme.
One medical college for every 3 parliamentary constituencies.
Health insurance coverage limit increased from INR 30,000 to INR 50,000 and raising the limit in critical illness. It is a positive move for salaried employees and bigger positive for insurance companies.
INR 600 crore allocated to Tuberculosis patients undergoing treatment.
Impact on Transport Sector
Capital expenditure of INR 1,48,528 crore for Indian Railways in 2018-19.
Arun Jaitley says that 4,000 km of new railway track will be laid down by 2019.
All railways stations with more than 25,000 footfall to have escalators.
Mumbai transport receives INR 40,000 crore.
Airport capacity to be hiked to handle 1 billion trips every year.
To undertake re-development of 600 major railway stations across the country.
Finally in a short conclusion of the Union Budget 2018, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tried to please the farmers and rural population. It seems a little bit disappointment for the common man and for consumer sentiment in general as there are no change in income tax rates.
The social media is flooded with different views and reactions of the different people. Here, we are going to share some top most reactions after the declaration of Union Budget 2018:
Top Reaction of Prominent People on the Union Budget 2018-19
“This Budget is farmer friendly, common citizen friendly, business environment friendly and development friendly. It will add to Ease of Living”
- PM Narendra Modi
“The govt has attempted to pay lip service to farmers and to other marginalised sections of society but it is a classical case of too less and completely at the inappropriate time,”
- Congress leader Manish Tewari
“It is a prudent budget. Unlike the UPA budget it didn’t try to increase the fiscal deficit.”
- Railway Minister Piyush Goyal
“This was a “historic budget. Medical insurance of Rs 5 lakh for 10 crore families is a huge initiative.”
- Union minister Nitin Gadkari
“Its a grand budget, lot of announcements for the poor, farmers and tribals. This budget will also cement India as a global economic power.”
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh
“I had expected some financial assistance to important infrastructure projects for national capital. Am disappointed that Centre continues its step-motherly treatment to Delhi.”
- Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
“The government has presented an “election budget”. The party said that the Centre had to take “desperate measures” following criticism over GST, note ban and Gujarat poll results.”
- Shiv Sena
“Like the previous budgets of the Modi government, this one was also “anti-poor and pro-capitalists”. “What happened to Modi’s promise of ‘achchey din’ he had made before the Lok Sabha polls in 2014?”
- BSP Supremo Mayawati
Eduncle also provides all the details and major highlights of the Union Budget 2017-18. You can share your thoughts with us on the Union Budget 2018-19. Share your views or comments in the comment box provided below.