Highlights of Union Budget 2018

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PAN to be used as Unique Entity Number for non-individuals from April 1

NEW DELHI

The Budget is finally out and to put it simply Finance Minister Mr. Jaitley did not disappoint. In fact, a majority of it was along expected lines. Most importantly, as promised, the government managed to do a commendable job of balancing economic populism with prudent economics. However, as is always the case, the good did come with a tinge of bad.
It was a no-brainer that the Budget would focus on the agricultural sector after BJP’s electoral performance in rural Gujarat. Mr. Jaitley went a step further and, in a major departure from the past, began his Budget speech with the government’s plan for the farming community. He unveiled a litany of measures in line with the government’s aim of doubling farmer incomes by 2022.

  • Here are a few highlights of the budget:
  • Govt makes PAN mandatory for any entity entering into a financial transaction of Rs 2.5 lakh or more from 1st April.
  • To tackle brain drain, Jaitley announces scheme to identify bright students pursuing B Tech in premiere engineering institutes, and providing them higher-education opportunities in the IITs and IISc. These students will receive handsome fellowships, and will be expected to dedicate a few hours to teach in higher education institutions weekly.
  • Govt’s health scheme to cover 10 crore poor families is world’s largest government-funded health protection scheme.
  • Electronic IT assessment will be rolled out across the country, leading to greater efficiency and transparency: FM
  • Cellphones set to become costlier as custom duty on them has been increased to 20 per cent.
  • For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to Rs 50,000: FM Jaitley
  • Companies with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore to be taxed at 25 per cent: FM
  • Arun Jaitley says that the government does not propose any changes in tax slabs for the salaried class this year.
  • Jaitley also proposes automatic revision of emoluments of Parliamentarians every five years, indexed to inflation.
  • Disinvestment target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore. Target for 2018-19 is Rs 80,000 crore.
  • Five lakh WiFi hotspots will be set up in rural areas to provide easy internet access.
  • Government will take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are funding illegitimate transactions.
  • Airport capacity to be hiked to handle 1 billion trips every year.
  • Arun Jaitley says that 4,000 km of new railway track will be laid down by 2019.
  • The government will undertake redevelopment of 600 major railway stations across the country.
  • Government aims to bring 60 crore bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
  • Government will set up two new Schools of Planning and Architecture, says Finance Minister Jaitley.
  • Indian economy has performed very well since our government took over in May 2014, says Arun Jaitley. –CINEWS
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