Home News Reports Highlights of the Union Budget, and what’s there for you

Highlights of the Union Budget, and what’s there for you

Under the UPA regime, we had seen discretionary spending, favouritism, crony capitalism based system that nearly ruined our economy. It was a challenge to pull the economy back after Modi government took charge in 2014, with the government requiring to keep the long term as well as short term needs in mind while budgeting.

This year’s Budget was in itself very unique. Firstly, it was preponed by a month so as to better plan the expenditure in line with monsoon cycle. Secondly, it removed the Plan and Non-Plan expenditure bifurcation. Thirdly, it was a merged budget encompassing the railways as well.

This year the Current Account deficit declined to 0.3% of the GDP from about 1%, the monsoons were good, crop sowing data showed excellent numbers, Foreign Direct Investment grew by about 36% in First half of 2016.

- Ad - - article resumes -

After the “war on black money” aka demonetisation, public was expecting a lot from this budget. So here is how the Finance Minister addressed each sector:

The budget was focused on 10 key aspects which are:

  • Farmers: Government committed to double the income in 5 years;
  • Rural Population: providing employment & basic infrastructure;
  • Youth: energising them through education, skills and jobs;
  • The Poor and the Underprivileged; strengthening the systems of social security, health care and affordable housing;
  • Infrastructure: for efficiency, productivity and quality of life;
  • Financial Sector: growth & stability by stronger institutions;
  • Digital Economy: for speed, accountability and transparency;
  • Public Service: effective governance and efficient service delivery through people’s participation;
  • Prudent Fiscal Management: to ensure optimal deployment of resources and preserve fiscal stability;
  • Tax Administration: honouring the honest.

In this article, we shall cover Farmers, Rural populace, youth and personal Income tax under the budget.

For Farmers

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has targeted agricultural credit in 2017-18 at 10 lakh crores. The Budget also provides for increased coverage under Fasal Bima Yojana scheme from 30% of cropped area in 2016-17 to 40% in 2017-18 and 50% in 2018-19; budgeted 9000 crore for the same.

The FM proposed setting up of new mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and ensured 100% coverage of all 648 KVKs in the country for soil sample testing. The long term irrigation fund already set up by NABARD is proposed to be augmented by 100% to take the total corpus of this Fund to 40,000 crores.

The biggest move was setting up of Dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund in NABARD to achieve ‘per drop more crop’ with an initial corpus of 5,000 crores. Coverage of National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) to be expanded from 250 markets to 585 APMCs. This will ensure the farmers have an option to decide when and at what price they can sell their produce.

With a move to formalize agriculture sector and address the problem of “small farms”, the FM proposed a model law on contract farming to be prepared by the Centre and circulated among the States for adoption.

For Rural Folks

The FM set the agenda that the aim of the Government was to bring 1 crore people out of poverty. Probably taking cue from the success of Jal Yukt Shivar scheme in Maharashtra, the budget proposed building 5 lakh farm ponds by March 2018.

The FM allocated 48000 Crores to MNREGA, which is the highest ever till date, and together with the states contribution allocated 27000 crores to rural roads in this budget.

Allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana–Gramin was increased from 15,000 crores in to 23,000 crores in 2017-18 with a target and set a target to complete 1 crore houses by 2019 for the houseless and those living in kutcha houses. Allocation for Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program and Credit Support Schemes was increased three-fold and Narendra Modi’s pet scheme the “Swachchha Bharat Abhiyan” too received considerable attention in this Budget.

This took the total allocation for Rural, Agriculture and Allied sectors is to 187223 crores.

For Youth

Proposal was moved for introducing a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in our schools, however the fine print on this is important. To spur innovation and grass root technology, an Innovation Fund for Secondary Education is proposed to encourage local innovation for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement in 3479 educationally backward districts of our country.

In a radical move, the FM suggested setting up of National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.

Building on the Skill India scheme, the FM proposed setting up of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras in more than 600 districts across the country and establishment of 100 India International Skills Centres across the country.

To bridge the Demand for skills and supply a Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion programme (SANKALP) is be launched at a cost of 4000 crores. It is estimated that SANKALP will provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth and the next phase of Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) will also be launched at a cost of 2,200 crores.

Other sectors for jobs were leather, footwear, textiles and tourism.

For the Poor and the underprivileged

FM proposed setting up of Mahila Shakti Kendra with an allocation of 500 crores in 14 lakh Anganwadi Centres. Government has taken up fighting diseases like Measles, TB, Leprosy etc.

Affordable housing has been given infrastructure status which should technically enable them to tax breaks etc.

With the bulk of our labour in rural areas the government has taken up the task of legislative reforms to simplify, rationalise and amalgamate the existing labour laws into 4 Codes on (i) wages, (ii) industrial relations, (iii) social security and welfare, and (iv) safety and working conditions. This will surely benefit the Employers and employees.

For Personal Income Tax

The existing rate of taxation for individual assesses between income of 2.5 lakhs to 5 lakhs was reduced to 5% from the present rate of 10%.

To compensate the loss of revenue to the state the FM proposed a Surcharge of 10% of tax payable on categories of individuals whose annual taxable income is between 50 lakhs and 1 crore.

This effectively means that INR 12,500 relief was provided to those earning more than INR 5 lacs. Post demonetization the honest tax payers were expecting much more than this from the Government.

To rationalize the tax filing procedure the FM introduced Simple one-page form to be filed as Income Tax Return for the category of individuals having taxable income up to 5 lakhs other than business income.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

As Barkha had predicted, the Sibals also blamed the newly-elected Narendra Modi government for the advertisers to back off. Lack of advertising revenues led to deepening of their financial troubles, they claim. 

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Proud to be a brand - Made in India?
Now, Advertise on Opindia

Interview: Former RAW officer makes further shocking revelations about Hamid Ansari after alleging that he endangered lives of RAW officers in Iran

In this exclusive interview, Former RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) officer NK Sood makes further revelations about his time in Iran, Hamid Ansari and the vilified scientist Nambi Narayanan

Kapil Sibal claims Barkha Dutt was sacked before her tweets, won’t be paid anymore, Barkha says Sibal is lying

As Barkha had predicted, the Sibals also blamed the newly-elected Narendra Modi government for the advertisers to back off. Lack of advertising revenues led to deepening of their financial troubles, they claim. 
Tiranga TV boots its employees: Here is why they don't deserve any sympathy

I am a journalist and here is why I have absolutely no sympathy for the ones who joined Tiranga TV

News emerged last night that bouncers had been sent to the offices of Tiranga TV as the employees were holding a silent protest in the premises.

Prime Minister Modi, Hindus are under siege, and now is the right time to speak up

PM Modi will still win elections due to sheer inertia and the pathetic state of the country's opposition but the faith that he commands will take a hit and even if it's among a small section of the support base, it would be a travesty
Supreme court judgements - regional languages

Here are 7 bizarre judgments by the Indian Judiciary that highlight the need for urgent reforms

It's not the first time that the rather bizarre tendencies of the Indian Judiciary have been on display. In this article, we revisit some of them.

Conversion at Karnataka High Court? Islamic proselytising organisation distributed Quran among judges and advocates

Salaam Centre engages in 'Dawah' or the Islamic practice of converting non-Muslims to Muslim.
Image Source: Newstate

Campaign to raise funds for Richa Bharti, who was ordered to distribute Quran by Ranchi court, surpasses target within hours

A 19-year old college student, Richa Bharti was ordered to distribute 5 copies of Quran as a condition of bail by the Ranchi court

Aspiring model Khushi Parihar murdered over ‘friendship with other men’, live-in partner Ashraf Sheikh arrested

Aspiring model Khushi Parihar was found murdered with her head and face smashed on Saturday morning at Chatarpur farms, around 50 KMs away from the Nagpur city, her live-in partner Ashraf Sheikh has been arrested

Jharkhand: Hindu organisations allege bias as girl is arrested for Facebook post on Tabrez Ansari death based on FIR by Islamia committee

Acting on a complaint by the Anjuman Islamia Committee in Pithoria district, Ranchi, over a Facebook post on the Tabrez Ansari death, the Jharkhand police have today arrested a girl named Richa Bharti.
Kapil Sibal backed Tiranga TV senior producer accused of sexual harassment

Tiranga TV in yet another controversy: Girl accuses senior producer of sexual harassment, makes lewd chats public

A girl has accused the senior producer of Kapil Sibal backed Tiranga TV of sexual harassment. Himanshi Gupta took to Twitter to make lewd WhatsApp chats public.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

173,547FansLike
158,572FollowersFollow
74,790SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post