India Budget 2018 Highlights (Arun Jaitley)

India Budget 2018 Highlights (Arun Jaitley)

Overview 
"Four years ago, we pledged to the people of the nation an honest government," the Finanace Minister began by saying. Jaitley stressed on the structural reform implemented by PM Narendra Modi that have enabled the government to positively transform India from being one of the fragile five. 

Jaitley said the indirect tax system had been simpler, and the use of technology has enabled the government to increase the tax base. 

Jaitley said India achieved an average 7.4% GDP growth in the last 3 years of the BJP government, in addition to the manufacturing sector being back on the growth path. Jaitley also said exports are expected to grow at 17% this fiscal. 

He also said the government hopes the economy will grow at 7.2% to 7.4% in the second half of 2018-'19. 

Jaitley said the Indian economy was on track to become the 5th largest in the world, while already being the 7th largest. Jaitley stressed on an often overlooked point that India is the third largest economy in purchasing power parity terms.
Health 

* Aayushman Bharat programme: 1.5 lakh centres will be set up to provide health facilities closer to home. Rs 1,200 crore to be allocated for this programme 

* Flagship National Healthcare protection scheme, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. Up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. World's largest government-funded healthcare programme. 

Universal health coverage will be expanded after seeing the performance of the scheme 

* Rs 600 crore allocated for tuberculosis patients, at the rate Rs 500 per month during the course of their treatment. 

* Jaitley announces setting up of one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies, with 
24 New government medical colleges also being envisioned. Government also will work on upgrading hospitals to medical colleges 

Social Security 
* PM Jivan Bhma Yojana has benefited 5.22 crore families 

Govt will expand PM Jan Dhan Yojana: Al 16 crore accounts will be included under micro insurance and pension schemes 

* 1.26 cr accounts opened under Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme 
* Social inclusion schemes for Scheduled Castes - Rs 52,719 crore 

* Social inclusion schemes for Scheduled Tribes Rs 39,139 crore 

MSME 
* Rs 3,794 crore allocated to the MSME sector in the form of capital support and interest subsidy By 2022, every block with more than 50 per cent ST population will have Ekalvya schools at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas 

Rs 3 lakh crore target has been set for the Mudra Yojana 

* Rs 4.6 lakh cr sanctioned under MUDRA Scheme 

Employee-centric schemes 
* Govt will contribute 12% of the wages of new employees in EPF in all sectors for next 3 years 

Women contribution to EPF reduced to 8% for first 3 years 

Infrastructure 

* India needs investment of Rs 50 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector 

* Construction of new tunnel in Sera Pass to promote tourism 

* Out of 100 smart cities 99 cities have been selected, with an outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore 

* 10 prominent tourist sites will be made iconic tourist destinations, with an amalgamation of private funding, marketing and branding 

* Bharatmala project: To develop 35,000 KM under phase 1 with an outlay of Rs 5.35 lakh crore 

Govt to introduce pay-as-you-use system for toll payments 

Railways 



* Railway capex has been pegged at Rs 1.48 lakh crore , up from Rs 1.31 lakh crore last year 

* Eliminate unmanned railway crossing 

* All stations with footfall of greater than 25,000 will have escalators. 

* More stations and trains will progressively be built with WiFi and CCTV camera 

Govt to eliminate 4267 unmanned rail crossing in broad gauge in 2 years 

* Allocates Rs 11,000 crore Mumbai rail network and Rs 17,000 crore for the Bengaluru metro 

* 150 km of additional suburban railway networks to be set up in Bengaluru at the cost of Rs 17,000 cr. 

Aviation 

* Airport Authority of India (AAI) has 124 airports. Propose to increase the number by at least 5 times 1 billion trips a year, Rs 60 cr has been allocated to kickstart the initiative 

* UDAN Scheme to connect 64 unconnected airports across the country 

Markets 
* Govt to take additional measures to strengthen environment for venture capitalists and angel investors. 


* SEBI to consider mandating large corporations to meet 1/4th of their debt needs 

SEBI to mull asking large cos to meet 25% debt from bond market 

RBI norms to nudge companies to access bond market for funds 

Technology 
* Allocation to Digital India scheme doubled to Rs 3073 cr 

* 5 lakh WiFi HotSpots to provide Broadband access to 5 crore rural citizens, at the cost of Rs 10,000 cr. 

* Government will take measures to stop cryptocurrency circulation, as it is not considered legal tender 

* Government will explore the usage of Blockchain technology. 


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