Union Budget 2017: Highlights

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Finance Minister with positive view begins the Union Budget.

Following are the highlights:

1. India stands out as a bright spot amid world economic gloom.

2. Our focus will be on energizing youth to reap benefits of growth and employment.

3. IMF estimates world GDP will grow by 3.4 percent in 2017.

4. Oil prices, rising dollar, and volatile commodity prices are seen as risks to the Indian economy.

5. India is seen as an engine of global growth, have witnessed historic reform in last one year.

6. Demonetization is a bold and decisive measure, for many decades tax evasion was a way of life for many.

7. Note ban is expected to have only a transient impact on an economy.

8. I am reminded of what our father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi said: “A right cause never fails”.

9. The pace of remonetization has picked up.

10. Effects of demonetization not expected to spill over to next year.

11. Budget preponement to February 1 will give sufficient time to departments to implement government schemes.

12. Our Budget agenda is – transform, energize and clean India – TEC India.

13. Our approach in preparing the Budget is to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure, and poverty alleviation with fiscal prudence.

14. The agriculture sector is expected to grow at 4.6%, agriculture expenditure targeted at Rs 10 lakh crore.

15. 36% increase in FDI flow; forex reserves at $361 billion in January, which is enough to cover 12 months needs.

16. Allocation for MGNREGA at Rs 48,000 crore, highest ever.

17. Total allocation for rural, agricultural and allied sectors for 2017-18 is Rs 187223 crore, which is 24% higher than last year.

18. One crore houses for poor by 2019.

19. Safe drinking water to cover 28,000 arsenic and Fluoride-affected habitations in the next four years.

20. 133-km road per day constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana as against 73-km in 2011-14.

21. For senior citizens, Aadhar cards giving their health condition will be introduced.

22. Two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.

23. 3500km railway lines to be put up.

24. Service charge on rail tickets booked through IRCTC to be withdrawn.

25. Rail safety fund with the corpus of Rs 100,000 crore will be created over a period of five years.

26. 500 rail stations to be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators.

27. A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for our youth.

28. Foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) to be abolished.

29. Allocation for infrastructure stands at a record Rs 3,96,135 crore.

30. Government to set up strategic crude oil reserves in Odisha and Rajasthan.

31. 1.25 crore people have already adopted Bhim App for digital payments.

32. Aadhaar Pay- an app for merchants- to be launched’ 20 lakh aadhaar-based POS by September 2017.

33. The government is considering the introduction of the new law to confiscate assets of offenders who escape the country.

34. Defense expenditure excluding pension at Rs 2.74 lakh crore.

35. Fiscal deficit for 2017-18 pegged at 3.2 percent of GDP.

36. Fiscal deficit target for next three years pegged at 3 percent.

37. India’s tax-to-GDP ratio is very low. We are largely a tax noncompliance society when too many people evade taxes burden falls on those who are honest.

38. Out of 3.7 crores who filed tax returns in 2015-16, only 24 lakh persons showed income above Rs 10 lakh.

39. Of 76 lakh individuals who reported income of over Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried.

40. Small firms with turnover up to Rs 50 crore to pay 25% tax now, instead of 30%.

41. Black money SIT has suggested no cash transaction above Rs 3 lakh. The government has accepted this recommendation.

42. Maximum cash donation any party can receive will be Rs 2000 from one source.

43. Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheques or digital modes.

44. An amendment being proposed to RBI Act to enable the issuance of electoral bonds for political funding.

45. Jaitley reduces income tax rate from 10% to 5% for tax slab of Rs 250,000 to Rs 500,000.

46. Surcharge of 10% for those whose annual income is Rs 50 lakh to 1 crore.

47. 15% surcharge on incomes above Rs 1 crore to continue.

Source: Times of India

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