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Budget 2018- Live News Updates - GST Station

Budget 2018- Live News Updates

Budget 2018- Live News Updates

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018 in Parliament on Thursday. Continuing with the trend from last year, the Railways Budget was included in the General Budget. This was the last full Budget of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the country goes to polls in 2019. It was also the first since the government effected major economic reforms, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

    • Following Jaitley’s speech, Sensex is trading 50 points higher at 36,015 points while Nifty is up at 11,030. The markets had briefly tanked.
    • From the House: Following Jaitley’s speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi approached him to congratulate the Finance Minister. Of the other MPs who went up to him immediately, was Jay Panda, who was recently suspended from BJD. Meanwhile, more than 25 members from the Rajya Sabha watched the Budget speech from the gallery.
    • After a vote, the Finance Minister introduces the Bill in the House. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourns the House till Monday, February 5. The Indian Express has explained and analysed the Budget for you.
    • Changes in custom duties: Customs of mobile phones to increase from 15 to 20%, accessories now at 15%, television at 15% to encourage domestic manufacturing. Meanwhile, education cess has increased to 4 per cent from 3 per cent to collect additional Rs 11,000 crore.
    • For senior citizens, the government proposes exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000.
    • On a side note, the markets are in the red this afternoon, with Sensex trading 35 points lower at 35,929, while the broader Nifty trades 27 points lower at 11,000. Meanwhile, strong case for long term capital gains from equities; 10 perc ent tax on long-term capital gains in excess of Rs 1 lakh, reports PTI.
    • There’s been a 12.6% growth in direct taxes in 2017-18; 18.7% growth in indirect taxes in 2017-18, says Jaitley. The government proposes no change in personal income tax rates for salaried class. Jaitley says a Rs 8,000 crore revenue was lost due to standard deduction allowed to salaried employees. Meanwhile, companies with a turnover of up to Rs 250 crore to be taxed at 25%.
    • 5.51 lakh new taxpayers filed returns in 2017-18, as against 66.26 lakhs in 2016-17. The number has increased from 6.47 crore in 2016-17 to 8.27 crore by end of 2017. Jaitley says there was a Rs 90,000 crore additional income tax collection in 2016-17 and 2017-18. He adds that the govt pledges to undertake measures to ensure black money is contained. Demonetisation was received by honest taxpayers for this reasons, he says.
    • The govt has proposed changes in salaries for the President, Vice-President and Members of Parliament. Emoluments of the President is revised to Rs 5 lakh per month, while for the VP is Rs 4 lakh per month. For MPs, the law will provide an automatic revision of emoluments every 5 years, indexed to inflation.
    • Fiscal deficit: Govt revised fiscal deficit for 2017-18 was Rs 5.95 lakh crore or 3.5% of GDP. Jaitley projects deficit of 3.3% of GDP next fiscal.
    • Jaitley says the government has identified 372 specific business reform actions to improve ease of doing business. The evaluation of performance under this programme to be based on user feedback, he adds.
    • On Aadhaar, he says, it has given every citizen a unique ID. Soon, individual enterprises to have Unique ID too.
    • Since the NDA govt assumed office, the government has modernised the Armed Forces, says Jaitley, including making the nation self-reliant under Make in India. The govt has opened the sector for FDI, he adds. The govt will bring out a new industry-friendly policy to boost domestic defence production.
    • Govt proposes to set up 5 lakh WiFi hotspots; allocates Rs 10,000 crore for this under telecom infrastructure. Meanwhile, govt does not consider cryptocurrency as legal tender, says Jaitley.
    • Under UDAN connectivity scheme, launched last year, operations have started at 16 airports across the country and will include many more in the upcoming year. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has 154 airports now, he adds.
    • For Indian Railways, the government allocates capital expenditure of Rs 1,48,528 crore for 2018-19, announces Jaitley. All trains will soon have state-of-the-art facilities such as WiFi for instance.
    • Govt to develop 10 tourist destinations to attract more people to the country. Amenities will be enhanced under the Amrut programme, he says.
    • Jobs and employment: Jaitley lists what the government has done in the previous year. Govt to contribute 12% to EPF in all sectors for three years, says Jaitley.
    • The govt allocates Rs 3 lakh crore for Mudra loans. He says there were 10.38 crore Mudra loans given out in this fiscal, 70% of which went to women.
    • Introduction of GST and demonetisation has created a large database on MSME’s, says Jaitley. Govt will soon announce measures to tackle non-performing assets (NPAs), adds Jaitley.
    • Govt sanctions over 180 projects for the cleaning of Ganga. The government has identified 115 districts along the Ganga to develop and aims at improving quality of life in these districts. The govt expects these to become a model of development.
    • For the healthcare sector, the government launches National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor, vulnerable families, says Jaitley. This translates to 50 crore beneficiaries. The govt will provide upto Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospital.
    • For the education sector, the government proposes revitalising infrastructure, opening schools for the ST populations as well as promoting programmes for teachers, in order to improve quality education for students, says Jaitley.
    • The government will provide eight crore free gas connections to women under its Ujjwala scheme, and 4 crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana, says Jaitley. The govt will also build 2 crore more toilets.
    • The govt will aid the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab to curb air pollution, says Jaitley. The government will also subsidise removal of crop residue to tackle the problem of pollution due to crop burning in these states.
    • Meanwhile, here are some pictures of Congress leaders following the Budget announcements.
    • The government allocates Rs 10,000 crore to set up a fund for Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure.
    • Govt allocates Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation green,’ which will promote processing facilities, professional management among other things. The govt will set up state of the art facilities in 42 mega food parks, says Jaitley. Further, the government will allocate Rs 1,290 crore for a National Bamboo Mission, to promote the bamboo sector in a holistic manner.
    • The Agriculture Ministry will reorient its schemes, and focus on promoting cluster-based approach to be adopted for agricultural production. He adds that the government is allocating Rs 200 crore for cultivation and associated industry.
    • The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops shall increase to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost, says Jaitley. The government will set up a fund of Rs 2,000 crore for developing agricultural markets.
    • Our focus is on productive and gainful on-farm and non-farm employment for farmers and landless families, says Jaitley, adding that agricultural produce has improved remarkably in the last year because of the hard work and tireless efforts of farmers in the country.
    • On agriculture and rural economy: Jaitley says his government is committed to the welfare of farmers. He reiterates the governemnt’s clarion call to double farmers’ income by 2022.
    • The government will now move forward from Ease of doing business and focus on ‘ease of living’ for the common people, says Jaitley.
    • There’s a “premium of honesty” in the country now, says Jaitley, adding that the government is allocating resources in a more transparent manner. He says the Budget will focus on agriculture and the rural economy, health, infrastructure and senior citizens.
    • Jaitley says India is a 2.5 trillion economy and is expected to become the 5th largest economy very soon. He reiterates that India will grow at 7.2-7.5% in the second half of the 2017-18.
    • Jaitley rises to present the Budget 2018-19. He says the government has implemented a series of fundamental structural reforms to help the economy.
    • The Session begins. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan speaks. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Budget shortly.
    • The Budget Session of Parliament commenced on January 29, and will be held in two parts this year. The first part of the session will be from January 29 to February 9. After nearly a month-long recess, Parliament will resume the session from March 5. The session concludes on April 6.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Parliament, along with Union Minsiters Smriti Irani and Ram Vilas Paswan. The Session is about to begin, and the Finance Minister’s speech will start at 11.00 am. Stay tuned, we’ll be giving you all updates on Budget 2018 here.