Today, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget of 2018-2019 in the parliament. The Union Budget 2018-19 refer to be the last budget of NDA government before the general elections that would take place in the last year. It is the first budget after several but big reforms such as GST, PSU bank recapitalization, and dynamic fuel pricing among others. There are several changes and new launches in the Union Budget 2018-19. In the Union Budget 2018-19, Mr. Jaitely stated that the India stand out among the fast economy of the world. It now stands as the 7th largest economy and soon will be the 5th one.
Budget 2018 highlights:
- Government to set up 1.5 lakh centres under the Aayushman Bharat programme to provide health facilities with an allocation of Rs 1,200 crore.
- PM Jivan Bima Yojana gave benefits to 5.22 crore families. Under Jan Dhan Yojana, the entire lot of 16 crore accounts will be brought under the micro insurance and pension plans.
- Jaitley says 1.26 crore bank accounts opened under the Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme. Allocation of Rs 52 719 crore for social inclusion of scheduled castes is proposed in the budget.
- FM proposes to launch a flagship National Health Protection Scheme initiative with nearly 50 crore beneficiaries which will provide up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, for hospitalisation, one of the largest programmes anywhere in the world.
- FM now spells out initiatives to address health issues holistically. 1.5 lakh health care centres will bring health closer to every household. The centres will provide free essential drugs and diagnosis.
- Nearly 70 lakh formal jobs have been created this year. Government will contribute 12 % EPF in wages of new employment in all sectors. According to FM, facility of fixed term employment will be extended.
- Revised fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 is 3.5 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The government is projecting 3.3 per cent for 2018-19.
- Jaitley said that the government has decided to allow a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried taxpayers, keeping in mind that they have been paying way more tax than individual business owners.
- The government will contribute 12 per cent to EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund) for all sectors. The target for lending under MUDRA (lending to microfinance firms) is Rs 3 lakh crore this year.
- The standard deduction is in lieu of travel and medical expense reimbursement, which amounts to Rs 30,000.
- FM proposes to raise the deduction under health insurance premium to Rs 50,000. In case of senior citizens with critical illnesses the deduction will be Rs 1 lakh.
- FD and post office interest will be exempt till Rs 50,000. 80D benefit has been enhanced to Rs 50,000.
- Railway capex for 2018-19 set at ₹1.48 lakh crore.
- Disinvestment target for this year set at Rs.80,000 crore.
- Automatic revision of emoluments parliamentarians every five years, pegged to inflation.
Overall, the new Union Budget is quite good. There are several positive changes that we can see and new launches as well, which will promote the growth of India and its economy as well. A few steps for the overall development which are presented in today’s budget are highly appreciated. Popular reforms of Union Budget 2018 such as New Health Protection Scheme, deduction in tax slabs for senior citizen, aim of education to all and promoting health-care on a grand level are a few things that are commendable. Now lets just hope for the best and wait for its implementation. Goodluck!
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