Indian Budget 2017-2018: Merits and Demerits !!


Indian Budget 2017-2018: Merits and Demerits

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017-2018 in Lok Sabha. This was the fourth budget being presented by the Narendra Modi government. Jaitley said that the demonetisation drive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016 will not have a lasting impact on the economy. He also announced that the budget allocation for welfare of women and children under various ministries will be increased to Rs 1,84,632 crore. Additionally, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also said that he took immense pride in presenting a joint budget, including the Railway Budget. According to Jaitley, the main focus of Railways would be on passenger safety, capital works and cleanliness, among other issues. Following the presentation of the Union budget, both Houses of Parliament will adjourn for the day.

Below are the highlights of the Indian Budget 2017-2018:

  • One page tax filing form for taxable income under Rs 5 lakh
  • Those individuals in the tax bracket of Rs 50 lakh will stand to benefit from a tax rebate of Rs 12,500.
  • Jaitley reduces existing rate of taxation for individuals with income between 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh to 5% instead of 10%; Surcharge of 10% for those whose annual income is Rs 50 lakh to 1 crore; Surcharge on Rs 1 crore or more remains unchanged.
  • Govt considering option to amend Negotiable Instruments Act to ensure that holders of dishonoured cheques get payment
  • Max amount political party can receive in cash donation will be Rs 2000 from any one source
  • Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or digital mode
  • As an additional step, an amendment is being proposed to the Reserve Bank of India Act to enable the issuance of electoral bonds in accordance with a scheme that the Government of India would frame in this regard. Under this scheme, a donor could purchase bonds from authorised banks against cheque and digital payments only. They shall be redeemable only in the designated account of a registered political party. These bonds will be redeemable within the prescribed time limit from issuance of bond.
  • A proposal to receive all government receipts beyond a certain threshold through e-modes under consideration
  • No cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh, announces Arun Jaitley
  • We are committed to make our taxation rate reasonable, our tax administration more fair and expand the tax base of the country
  • Basic customs duty on LNG to be reduced from 5% to 2.5%, announces Arun Jaitley
  • Tax rate for companies with an annual turnover up to 50 crores to be reduced to 25%, to strengthen MSME sector
  • The net tax revenue grew by 17% in 2015-16, says Jaitley
  • Deposits between Rs 2-80 lakh made in 1.09 cr accounts post demonetisation, says Jaitley
  • Of 76 lakh individuals who reported income of over Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried, says Jaitley
  • Due to demonetisation advance tax on personal income tax increased by 34.8%
  • The rate of growth in advance tax in personal income tax domains has increased by 34.81%
  • Coastal roads of 2,000 kms to accelerate development of Coastal Economic Zones
  • 7 crore individuals filed tax returns, 99 lakh of them below taxable limit. Number of people with more than 50 lakh income is 1.26 lakh, says Jaitley
  • Predominance of cash in our economy makes it easy for people to avoid taxes, we are largely a tax non compliance society, when too many people evade taxes burden falls on those who are honest, says Arun Jaitley.
  • Total resources being transferred to the states & union territories with legislature is Rs 4.11 lakh crore. Budget allocation for highways stepped up to Rs 64,000 crore in FY18 from Rs 57,676 crore. Allocation for national highways stepped up to Rs 64,000 cr from Rs 57,676 cr. Fiscal Deficit target for 2017-18 is 3.2%.
  • Defence expenditure excluding pension at Rs 2.74 lakh crore, says FM Arun Jaitley
  • The total expenditure of budget 2017-18 has been placed at Rs 21.47 lakh crore, says Arun Jaitley
  • Good news for those who have to travel long distances for obtaining a passport. Arun Jaitley has announced that Head Post Offices will now be used as the front office for passport services.
  • Forex reserves to offer a cover for 12 months of imports, announces Arun Jaitley
  • New law to confiscate properties/assets of economic offenders fleeing country
  • Select airports in tier-II cities to be taken up for operations, development on PPP mode
  • Chandigarh and eight districts of Haryana have been declared Kerosene free
  • Railway tariffs to be fixed on the basis of cost, social obligation and competition; Railway related state-run companies like Ircon, IRCTC to be listed on stock exchanges, says Arun Jaitley
  • 125 lakh people adopted the BHIM app so far; merchant version of Aadhaar-enabled payment will be launched shortly for those without debit cards, mobile phones. Govt will launch two new schemes to promote the use of BHIM app.
  • Priority will be given to tribal, Dalit, women to setup greenfield enterprises, says Arun Jaitley
  • Action plan to eliminate Kala Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018, Measles by 2020 and Tuberculosis by 2025
  • Allocation for SCs increased from Rs 38,833 cr to Rs 52,393 cr, a rise of 35 per cent, Jaitley says.
  • Transport sector allocated Rs 2.41 lakh crore and Bharat Net Project allocated Rs 10,000 crore
  • The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has been abolished, Jaitley announced, adding that further liberalisation in the FDI policy would be taken in the next few days.
  • Total investment for infrastructure in budget 2017 stands at a record Rs 3,96,135 cr, says Arun Jaitley.
  • Railways will integrate end to end transport solutions for selected commodities through partnership. By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets.
  • At least 25 stations expected to be awarded during 2017-18; 500 stations will be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators
  • A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for our youth: FM Jaitley
  • Good news for all those who book tickets on IRCTC. You will no longer have to pay service charge, announces Jaitley.
  • Rs 1.3 lakh crore has been allotted for solar power, disabled friendly stations. Rail safety fund with a corpus of Rs 100,000 crore to be created over a period of 5 years. Jaitley announces Rs 55000 crore for Railways in Budget 2017. Capital and development expenditure pegged at Rs 1.31 lakh cr for railways in 2017-18 from Budget.
  • Focus is on swachch railways, says Jaitley. Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism, he says.
  • Jaitley also announced the restructuring of University Grants Commission.
  • On health, the government proposes to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025. Two new AIIMS Hospitals to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat
  • Budget allocation for welfare of women and children under various ministries increased to Rs 1,84,632 cr.
  • The government is looking to complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha houses. Open defecation free villages are now being given priority for piped water supply.
  • SANKALP – 4000 crores allotted to train for market oriented training. At least 3.5 crore youth will be provided market-relevant training under Sankalp programme
  • For youth, proposed to introduce a system of measuring annual learning; Science to be given focus; Quality education will energize our youth. Skill centres will be set up across the country to help youth seeking opportunities outside the country
  • 100% village electrification will be achieved by May 1,2018
  • Minilabs by qualified local entrepreneurs to be set up for soil testing in all 648 krishivigyan kendras in the country
  • Allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awaaz Yojana up from 15,000 cr to 23,000 cr

At the end, if we try to reform a crux of the whole Union Budget, it seems to be of a mixed view; comprising of benefits to the common men and women at some extent and at some places it seems of overburdening the general people by various introductions and amendments. Though through this budget, it seems that a major step has been indeed taken to abandon corruption and black money from the Indian Economy, but its always said that before creating a lock, there’s always a key in place to open it. Well, still we hope for the best to come out of this budget for general benefit.


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