Union Budget 2018-19 Key Highlights : 10% LTCG tax introduced, No Personal income-tax Relief

Union Budget 2018-19
New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents the Union Budget at Parliament, in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo / TV Grab

New Delhi, Feb 1: Finance minister Arun Jaitley today presented Union Budget 2018-19. He said Budget 2018-19 will focus on boosting agriculture and rural economy.

Taking a cue from last year, the Railways Budget will be included in the General Budget. This was Narendra Modi government’s last full budget before 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Government chose to keep income tax slabs unchanged in Union Budget 2018-19.

In a boost for the healthcare sector, National Health Scheme launched to provide Rs 5 lakh cover for 10 crore families.

Here are the key points :

  • A Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 introduced in lieu of transport and medical reimbursements for salaried employees.
  • The exemption of interest income deposits with banks and post offices raised to Rs 50,000 for elderly people.
  • For senior citizens, the limit of deduction for health insurance premium and/ or medical expenditure from Rs. 30,000/- to Rs. 50,000/-, under section 80D.
  • Changes in custom duties: Customs duty on import of mobile phone parts will be increased to 20 percent from the existing 15 percent. Meanwhile, education cess has increased to 4 percent from 3 percent to collect additional Rs 11,000 crore.
  • Corporate Tax: Companies with turnover of Rs 250 crore to be taxed at 25 percent.
  • “The government has made many positive changes in the personal income tax rates applicable to individuals in the last three years, therefore, I do not wish to make any changes to this, FM stated.
  • In a setback for salaried class people, the government has made no Change in Income Slabs and proposed a Standard Deduction of Rs 40,000.
  • Revised fiscal deficit estimate for 2017-18 is 3.5 percent of GDP, fiscal deficit of 3.3 percent anticipated for 2018-19.
  • 12.6 percent growth in direct taxes in 2017-18; 18.7 percent growth in indirect taxes in 2017-18.
  • 100 percent tax deduction for the first five years to companies registered as farmer producer companies with a turnover of Rs 100 crore and above.
  • Pay hike for President – Rs 5 lakh, Vice President – Rs 4 lakh and Governors – Rs 3.5 lakh; Automatic revision of MPs’ emoluments every five years, indexed to inflation.
  • The Finance Minister proposed to tax long-term capital gains on equities exceeding Rs 1 lakh at 10 percent.
  • UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme will connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads.
  • Rs 80,000 crore disinvestment target for 2018-19, a target for 2017-18 has been exceeded and will reach Rs 1 lakh crore.
  • Government insurance companies to be merged into a single entity, and subsequently listed in the stock exchange, as part of the disinvestment programme.
  • National Logistics Portal as a single online window to link all stakeholders, to be developed by Department of Commerce.
  • Foundation stone of the bullet train was laid in September 2017. An institute is coming up in Vadodara to train the manpower required for the high-speed railway projects.
  • 12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and 700 locomotives being procured. There is significant achievements of physical targets by railways.
  • Road construction has scaled new heights, confident that 9000 km highway construction will be complete by 2017-18.
  • National Committee chaired by PM, including CMs, Gandhians and representatives from various walks of life for year-long commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Rs 1,48,528 crore capital expenditure for Indian Railways for 2018-19.
  • All trains to be progressively provided with Wi-Fi, CCTV and other state-of-the-art amenities.
  • NITI Aayog will establish a National Programme to direct efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development.
  • Five lakh Wi-Fi hotspots to be set up in rural areas to provide easy internet access.
  • Government to take all steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies which are being used to fund illegitimate transactions.
  • Individual enterprises too to have unique ID.
  • Government plans to construct two crore more toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • Rs 7,148 crore outlay for textile sector in 2018-19.
  • Hard work of farmers resulted in a record production of more than 275 million tonnes of foodgrain and about 300 million tonnes of horticultural produce.
  • Not only focussing on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ but also ‘Ease of Living’.
  • 70 lakh formal jobs have been created this year. Government will contribute 12 percent of the wages as EPF in all sectors for the next three years
  • Mass formalisation of MSME sector is happening post demonetisation and GST
  • Technology will be the biggest driver in improving quality of education. We propose to increase the digital intensity in education and move gradually from blackboard to digital board, the Finance Minister said.
  • The government will set up  24 new govt medical colleges and hospitals by upgrading existing district hospitals.
  • In a major boost for healthcare sector, the government launched National Health Scheme to provide Rs 5 lakh cover for 10 crore families.
  • Air Pollution in Delhi NCR is a cause for concern. A special scheme will be roll out to support governments of Haryana, Punjab, UP and Delhi NCT to address it and subsidize machinery for management of crop residue.
  • Scheme for revitalising school infrastructure, with an allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore over four years. Called RISE – Revitalizing Infrastructure in School Education.
  • For the education sector, Integrated B.Ed programme to be initiated for teachers to improve quality of teachers. Eklavya schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe population.
  • India is firmly on path to achieve 8 percent plus growth.
  • Propose to raise institutional credit for agriculture to Rs 11 lakh Crore for 2018-19.
  • Rs 14.34 lakh crore will be spent for rural infrastructure.
  • Eight crore free gas connections to women under UJJWALA and 4 crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana.
  • Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Fund to be set up with corpus of Rs 10,000 crore
  • Restructured National Bamboo Mission to be launched with allocation of Rs 1,290 crore to promote sector in a holistic manner
  • The government allocates Rs 500 crore for Operation Green.
  • India’s Direct Benefit Transfer scheme is a global success story.
  • The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops shall increase to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost.
  • 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 2017  due to the hard work and tireless efforts of farmers in the country.
  • Speaking on agriculture and rural economy: Jaitley said his government is committed to the welfare of farmers. He reiterates the centre’s clarion call to double farmers’ income by 2022.
  • Budget 2018 will work with states to provide more resources to improve quality of education.
  • Indian economy is on course to achieve high growth of 8 %. Economy to grow at 7.2-7.5% in second half of 2018-19.
  • He commenced saying the government has implemented a slew of fundamental structural reforms to help the economy.
  • The Session began with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan address.  Followed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Budget.

As per the tradition, earlier in a day, Finance Minister met President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan before tabling the Budget in the Parliament.

The government on Monday presented the Economic Survey 2017-18 in Parliament, in which it pegged India’s GDP growth at 7 and 7.5 in the upcoming financial year.

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