The Budget 2017-18 is based on the agenda of TEC – transform, Energize & Clean India. The agenda of TEC India seeks to
a. Transform the quality of life of people and governance.
b. Energize various sections of the society.
c. Clean the country from evils of corruption, black money and non-transparent funding.
Hence, to foster the agenda of TEC the Finance Minister presented the Budget under 10 distinct themes listed under.
1. Farmers – Welfare of the farmers with an aim to double their income in 5 years.
2. Rural Population – Providing employment & basic infrastructure.
3. Youth – Energizing them education and skill.
4. Poor & Underprivileged – Providing them better healthcare & social security.
5. Infrastructure – For efficiency, productivity & quality of life.
6. Financial Sector
7. Digital Economy – Speedy transactions & accountability.
8. Public Service – Effective governance through public participation.
9. Prudent fiscal management to ensure optimal deployment of resources.
10. Tax Administration – Honoring the honest.
Let us take a look at the highlights of budget 2017-18
For the Farmers
Rs. 10 lakh crore credit target for farmers. With focus on J&K and eastern regions. 60 day interest wavier for the farmers by PM from Co-operative credit structure.
FASAL BIMA YOJANA
30% cropped area covered in 2016-17, 40% to be covered in 2017-18, and 50% in 2018-19. Rs. 9000 crore allocated under this scheme.
SOIL HEALTH CARDS
Mini labs for testing soil health to be setup in 648 Krishi Vikas Kendras. Additional 100 mini labs to be setup by qualified entrepreneurs.
Rs. 40,000 crore corpus set up for the scheme.
Dedicated Micro-irrigation fund by NABARD – initial corpus Rs. 5000 crore.
585 mandis to be covered under e-NAM as against 250 markets presently. Assistance of Rs. 75 lakh to each e-NAM for establishment of cleaning and package facility.
New laws to be formed for contract farming.
Dairy processing Infra Fund will be created with corpus Rs. 8,000 crore in 3 years, initially the fund will start with Rs. 2,000 crore corpus.
Target to get 1 crore household & 50,000 Gram Panchayats out of poverty by 2019. Micro Plan for sustainable livelihood will be implemented.
5 lakh ponds, 10 lakh compost pits were to be constructed, out of which construction of 10 lakh ponds will be completed by march 2017. Which eventually will make the villages drought resistant.
Rs. 48,000 crore in 2017-18 is the highest ever allocation for MGNREGA.
Geo-tagging all MGNREGA assets will further help in better management of the assets.
Rs. 19,000 crore under this scheme will be contributed by the central Government and with the participation of state Government the funds will increase to Rs. 27,000 crore.
1 crore house to be built for those living in Kachha houses by 2019. The allocation have been stepped up from Rs. 15,000 crore in 2016-17 to Rs. 23,000 crore.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana
100% village electrification by May 2018, with an increased allocation of Rs. 4814 crore, is expected to be achieved.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Antoyadya Yojana
Rs. 4500 crore allocated to NRLM skill program.
Swachh Bharat Mission
Proposed to provide safe drinking water to 28,000 Arsenic and Fluoride affected areas. Sanitation in rural India up from 42% to 60%.
Mason training to be provided to 5 lakh persons by 2022. Immediate target of training 20,000 by 2017-18.
Agriculture and Budget 2017-18
Rs. 1,87,223 crore allotted to rural agriculture and allied sector, which is 24% higher than the last year.
Proposed a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in school.
Innovation fund for secondary education will be created to encourage local innovation for ensuring universal access, gender parity & quality improvement.
3479 educational blocks to be focused.
IT based “Swayam” platform with atleast 350 online courses, will enable student to access higher quality reading material, participate in discussion forums, take test & earn academic grades.
Proposal of National Testing Agency, as an autonomous, self-sustained agency to conduct all entrance exams for higher education. This would free the CBSE, AICTE from administration responsibilities and focus on academics.
Proposal to extend Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras to 600 districts from current 60 districts.
100 India-International skill centres for advance training & courses in foreign languages are to be established.
Proposal to launch Skill Education And Knowledge Awareness Promotion Program (SANKALP) at cost of Rs. 4000 crore to provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth has been put forth.
Textile, leather & footwear sector to be in focus.
5 special tourism zones anchored on SPV to be setup in partnership with states, Incredible India-2 to be launched throughout the world.
Poor & Underprivileged
Mahila Shakti Kendras will be set up at village level with a corpus of Rs. 5000 crore in 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi centres.
For the welfare of Women and Children under various schemes across all Ministries, allocation have been stepped up from Rs. 1,56,528 crores in 2016-17 to Rs. 1,84,632 crores in 2017-18.
Affordable housing given infrastructure status which enable those projects to avail associated benefits.
National Housing bank will refinance individual housing loans of Rs. 20,000 crore in 2017-18.
Action plan to eliminate
Kala – Azar & Filariosis by 2017
Leprosy by 2018
TB by 2025
Measles by 2020
1.5 lakh health sub-centres to be transformed to health wellness centres.
Create additional 5000 post-graduate seats per annum to ensure adequate availability of specialized doctors.
2 AIIMS to be set up in Jharkand & Gujarat.
New rules regarding medical devices to be formulated.
Proposal to amend Drug and Cosmetic rules to ensure availability of drugs at reasonable rates.
Legislative reforms will be undertaken to simplify, rationalize & amalgamate existing labor laws in 4 codes:
- Social security & welfare
- Industrial relations
- Safety & working conditions
Allocation for welfare of Scheduled castes stand at Rs. 52,393 crore, a 35% increase from previous year. For Scheduled Tribes & minority affairs, the figures are Rs. 31,920 crore and Rs. 4195 crore resp.
For Senior citizens
Aadhar based smart cards containing their health details will be introduced.
LIC to implement a scheme for senior citizens to provide an assured pension of guaranteed return at 8% per annum for 10 years.
Total capital & development expenditure of Railways stand at Rs. 1,31,000 crores including Rs. 55,000 crore provided by Government from budget.
Focus on 4 major areas in Railways
- Passenger Safety
- Capital & Development works
- Finance & accounting reforms
Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore will be created over a period of 5 years.
Unmanned level crossing on broad gauge line to be eliminated by 2020.
Railway lines of 3500 km will be commissioned in 2017-18.
500 stations to be made differently-abled friendly by providing escalators and lifts.
Target to feed 7000 stations with solar power in medium terms.
SMS based “Clean My Coach” service has been started.
Proposal to introduce “Coach Mitra” facility, a single window interface to register all coach related complains and requirements.
All coaches to be fitted with bio-toilets by 2019.
Set up plants for disposal of solid & bio-degradable waste.
To compete with the private players, following steps will be taken by the Railways
- Railways will implement end-to-end transport solutions for certain logistics.
- Competitive ticket booking facility to public at large. Service charge on e-ticket booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn.
New Metro Rail policy will be introduced with focus on innovative models of implementation & financing as well as standardization & indigenization of hardware & software. Hence opening up new job opportunities for youth.
Road sector receives Rs. 64,000 crore in budget 2017-18.
2000 km of coastal road will be laid to enhance connectivity with the ports.
For transport sector as whole including Railways, Road & shipping Rs. 2,41,387 crore has been allocated in budget 2017-18.
Bharat Net project allocated Rs. 10,000 crore in 2017-18. High speed broadband connectivity on optical fibre to be available in more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats.
DigiGaon initiative will be launched to provide tele-medicine, education & skill through digital technology.
Proposed strategic crude oil reserves in phase-II to be set up at two locations more, increasing the total capacity to 15.33 MMT.
Proposed IInd phase of solar power development of additional 20,000 MW capacity has been put forward.
Allocation and incentive to MCIPS, EBFS stand at Rs. 745 crore in 2017-18.
Total allocation for infrastructure in budget 2017-18 stand at Rs. 3,96,135 crores.
Abolishing FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) in 2017-18. Further liberalization of FDI policy is consideration.
Computer emergency response team of Finasncial sector will be established in oreder to prevent cyber attacks.
Listing of Public Sector Undertaking
The Government will put in place a revised mechanism & procedure to ensure time-bound listing of identified CPSE on stock exchange. Divestment policy announced in last budget to continue.
In line with “Indradhanush” roadmap, another Rs. 10,000 crore sum is allocated for recapitalization of banks in budget 2017-18.
PM Mudra Yojana
Proposed lending target of 2.44 lakh crores, which is double than the last year.
2 new schemes for promotion of BHIM app, currently operated by 125 lakh users will be introduced
- Referral bonus schemes for individuals.
- Cashback scheme for merchants.
Aadhar Pay – merchant version of Aadhar enabled payment system for those who don’t have debit card or mobile phones.
A mission will be set up with a target to achieve 2,500 crore digital transactions through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Pay etc.
Banks to be encouraged to introduce 20 lakh Aadhar based POS by Sep 2017.
To utilize Head Post Office to render Passport services in remote areas.
Comprehensive web-based interactive pension distribution system will be established. This system will receive pension proposals and make payment centrally.
Budget 2017-18 Proposes
- To rationalize the no. of tribunals by merging tribunals wherever appropriate.
- To introduce a system of registration & II-tier examination for the poor and underprivileged.
- considering introduction of legislative changes or even a new law to confiscate the assets (within the country) of offenders fleeing the country.
Total expenditure of budget 2017-18 is Rs. 21,47,000 crores.
Abolition of non-planned & planned expenditure.
Increase in allocation of capital expenditure by 25.4% over the previous year.
Total resource transferred to state & UT is 4.11 lakh crore as against 3.6 lakh crore in 2016-17.
Provision of Rs 3,000 crore under the Department of Economic affairs to implement various budget announcement & schemes.
For defence expenditure excluding pensions, a sum of Rs. 2,74,114 crore including Rs. 86,488 crore for defence capital.
Allocation for scientific ministries stand at Rs. 37,435 crore.
Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.2% in 2017-18.
Revenue deficit pegged at 1.9% in 2017-18.
Thrust of tax proposals in budget 2017-18 id to stimulate growth, relief to middle class, curb black money, promote digital economy, affordable housing, transparency in political funding & simplified tax administration.
Profit linked income tax exemption for promoters of affordable housing stands altered. Instead of built-up area of 30 sq. mtr. & 60 sq. mtr. the carpet area of 30 sq. mtr. & 60 sq. mtr. will be counted.
MAT to be carried forward upto a period of 15 years instead of 10 years at present.
Reduction of income tax for smaller companies with annual turn-over upto 50 crore to 25%. This would make MSME companies more viable.
Basic custom duty on LNG down to 5% from 25%.
Changes in customs & central excise duty in order to incentivise domestic value addition & promote Make In India.
Limit of cash donation received by charitable trust reduced from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 2,000.
No transaction above Rs. 3 lakh to be permitted in cash.
- To exempt BCD, excise & SAD on miniature POS card reader for m-POS, micro ATMs v. 1.5.1, finger print sensors/readers and Iris scanner has been put forth.
- To exempt parts & components for manufacture of such devices, so as to encourage domestic manufacturing of these devices.
Transparency in electoral fundings
Following schemes have been proposed to cleanse the system of funding of political parties:
- In accordance with suggestion made by the EC, the max amount of cash donation that a political party can receive will be Rs. 2,000 from one person.
- Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or digital mode.
- An amendment is being proposed to the Reserve Bank of India Act to enable the issuance of electoral bonds. Under this scheme a donor can purchase bonds from authorized banks against cheque & digital payments only. They shall be redeemable only in the designated account of a registered political party.
- Every political party would have to file its return within the time prescribed in accordance with provisions of the IT-Act.
Personal Income Tax
Existing rate of taxation for individual assesses between income of Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh to 5% from present rate of 10%.
Budget 2017-18 proposes to levy a surcharge 10% of tax payable on categories of individuals whose annual taxable income is between Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 1 crore.
Existing surcharge of 15% on tax on people earning more than Rs. 1 crore will continue.
Simple one page form to be filled as IT-return for individuals having taxable income upto Rs. 5 lakh other than business income.
Net revenue loss in direct tax would be Rs. 20,000 crore & no significant loss or gain in indirect tax proposals.