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9:23 am - Sunday March 18, 2018

Union Budget

Union Finance Minister Mr.Arun Jaitley presenting the Union Budget announced the world’s largest Government funded Health programme-National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover 10 crores poor and vulnerable families by providing health care upto Rs.5 lakh per family per year.

The Government is slowly but steadily progressing towards universal health coverage. Such persons will have a health card and on that basis will get treatment at secondary and tertiary care institutions. It will cover 50 crore beneficiaries.

This scheme will generate lakhs of jobs for women. The TB claims more lives every year than any other diseases. In the Budget there is provision of Rs.600 crores for nutritional supports to all TB patients of Rs.500 per month.

The fiscal management is the most vital point for Budgets. Mr.Jaitley said despite of tough condition on the economy the Government was able to contain it to 3.5 per cent in the current fiscal. Although the target was 3.2 per cent but revise deficit stood at 3.5 per cent. He announced the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 will be 3.3 per cent.

The budget is rural and agriculture oriented. The Finance Minister announced 1.5 times hike in minimum support price. Now all the crops will be covered under the support price programme. He announced setting up an agriculture corpus of Rs.2000 crore.

Like Operation Green and Operation Flood in agriculture and dairy sector now the logistics and management will also be provided to perishables like tomato, potato and onions.

Against expectations of slab rise upto Rs.5 lakh income tax exemption were not fulfilled, it remained static. For salaried class the standard deduction will now be upto Rs.40,000. For other sections there is rise of one per cent education and health cess on Income Tax.

The senior citizen got relaxation of the bank deposit from Rs.7.5 lakh to Rs.15 lakhs.
Mr.Jaitley said in the year the Government expenditure revised to be at Rs.2,24,463 crores. To generate more funds, the Finance Minister said that the Exchange Traded Fund Bharat-22 which was introduced to raise Rs.14,500 crores was over subscribed in all the segments.

The Government has initiated the process of strategic disinvestment in 24 Central Public Sector enterprises including privatization of Air India. In the previous 2017-18 Budget estimates for disinvestment were pegged at the highest level of Rs.72,500 crores and the estimated receipt from its sale are expected to the tune of Rs.100,000 crores in the remaining month till March. For the next financial year of 2018-19 Mr.Jaitley set the target of disinvestment of Rs.80,000 crores.

For the recapitalization of public sector banks bonds of Rs.80,000 being issued to level additional credit of Rs.5 lakh crores. The Government will allow strong regional rural banks to raise capital from the market to increase their credit to rural economy.

Rs.2600 crores has been allocated to provide assured irrigation in 96 deprived districts in the country.Lauding the Budget the Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi said it will accelerate growth in the nation and add to the ease of living. The budget is friendly to farmer, common citizen, business environment and development. It will add to ease of living.

Mr.Jaitley announced mulling a scheme for providing unique identity for every business. The move is aimed at increasing the coverage of Aadhar in the country. It will also ensure that individuals who are directors, promoters of the firms are easily tracked and floating of benami companies become tougher.

The moves is to block generation of black money. The Aadhar will have wide coverage as use of PAN is mandatory for any cash transaction of over 50,000 and for complying with KYC norms in the banks. Now the PAN will be generated for companies at the time of corporation.

Posted in: Editorial

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