The finance bill 2018-19 presented by Arun Jaitley on 1st February 2018 was passed in the Lok Sabha. A total of Rs. 24,42,213 crore would be spent on the Budget this year out of which Rs. 1,48,528 crore has been allocated to the Railways. The estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health/education and social protection is Rs. 1.38 lakh crore. We present to you the highlights of the ‘NewIndia’ Budget that focuses on further taking- India from the ‘Fragile-five’ to the ‘Fastest-growing’ track. The Budget rightly termed as ‘India Rising’ has successfully met the expectations as it has been the most pragmatic and prudent budget for all the sections of the society from farmers to students to corporate to infrastructure to healthcare etc. The needs of the Senior Citizens have also been given a special attention in the policy making.

We saw few new schemes and programs that sought our attention as per their importance in our coming exams. We first discuss those followed by the highlights in the later post.

  • Operation Greens: To boost the ‘PM Kisan SAMPADA Yojna’

Shall promote farmer producer organisations (FPO)s, Agri- logistics, processing facilities and a professional management by investing Rs. 500 crore in this regard. Steps taken to boost the performance of the agriculture sector can be listed as:

  1. 100% tax deduction has been extended to the farmer producer companies under the Income Tax Act as it was previously given to only the agricultural cooperatives
  2. MSP (Minimum Support Price) for the Kharif crops has been fixed at 1.5 times of the input costs
  3. 11 lakh crore credit to the agriculture sector
  4. Tomato, Onion and Potato are basic vegetables consumed throughout the year but there is a lack of planning and proper infrastructure and logistic facilities because of which the produce does not reach all the markets easily and hence the consumers end up paying a high price in some seasons. Steps would be taken to improve the logistics and distribute proper resources to the farmers enabling production by the masses
  5. Food processing industry has been growing at an average rate of 8% p.a and the outlay of this sector has been increased to Rs. 1400 crore in 2018-19 from Rs. 715 crore in 2017-18
  6. An Agri market infrastructure fund with a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore will be set up for developing and upgrading agricultural marketing infrastructure in 22,000 gramin agricultural markets and 585 APMCs (Agricultural Produce Market Committee). These GrAMs (Gramin Agricultural Markets) electronically linked to e-NAM and exempted from Regulations of APMCs
  7. Long term irrigation fund in NABARD to be set up for meeting funding requirements of the irrigation work
  • RISE: To set up investments in Research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including Health institutions

  1. Total investment of Rs. 1 lakh crore in the next 4 years
  2. Higher education financing agency (HEFA) would be suitably structured for funding this initiative
  3. PMRF (PM research fellows scheme) for B.Tech students
  4. 2 new (SPA) schools of planning and architecture to be selected on challenge mode
  5. 18 new SPAs to be set up in the IITs and NITs as autonomous schools
  • Ayushman Bharat: World’s largest Government funded program

  1. Rs. 1200 crore allocated for health wellness centres
  2. Flagship National Health Protection Scheme to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families providing coverage upto Rs. 5 lac per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization
  3. Rs. 600 crore to provide nutritional support to all TB patients @ Rs. 500 per month for the duration of their treatment
  4. 24 new government medical colleges and hospitals by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country
  • GOBAR-DHAN Scheme: Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan for management and conversion of cattle dung and solid waste in farms to compost, fertilizer, biogas and bio CNG

Other relevant Data for the upcoming exams and interviews:

1. 8 crore new free gas connections to be given under the Ujjwala Yojna
2. Rs. 3 lakh crore Mudra lending target for 2019
3. Disinvestment target set @ 1 lakh crore for the financial year 2018
4. Disinvestment target set @80000 crore for the financial year 2019
5. Corporate tax for companies reduced to 25% from the earlier 30% now for companies having a turnover of Rs. 250 crore benefiting around 99% of the companies falling in the MSME sector
6. Construction of a tunnel under Sela Pass, Arunachal Pradesh
7. 2 Defence Industrial production corridors in the country
8. An industry friendly defence production policy 2018 to promote domestic production by public sector, private sector and MSME
9. Three major Insurance providers NICL, UIACL and OICL to be merged together and listed
10. Gold policy to develop gold as an asset class and a gold exchange to be developed
11. President, Vice-President and Governor Salaries revised after 2006

(a) President- 5 lakh
(b) Vice President- 4 lakh
(c) Governor- 3.5 lakh

12. New law to govern salaries of the MPs from 1st April 2018
13. Fiscal deficit- (राजकोषीय घाटा)

(a) 2017-2018 was 3.5 % of GDP which amounts to Rs. 5.95 lakh crore
(b) 2018-2019 targeted at 3.3 % of GDP

14. Crypto currency will not be accepted as a legal tender
15. 85.5 lakh new tax payers paid their taxes
16. Government aims to lower the Government Debt to GDP ratio @ 40%
17. Direct tax collection till 15th January 2018 has increased by 18.7%
18. 1.89 crore salaried individuals paid a total of Rs. 1.44 lakh crore as tax to the government whereas 1.88 crore individuals or professionals paid a total of Rs. 48000 crores
19. A standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 allowed in lieu of the present exemption in respect of transport allowance and reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses
20. Rs. 3073 crore allocated under the Digital India Mission
21. 10% Capital Gain Tax imposed on long-term investments
22. 15% tax on shares held for a period of 1 year
23. Education of 3% to be replaced by a 4% Health and Education cess
24. E-assesment of Income Tax across the country
25. Customs Duty on mobile phones increased to 20% from the earlier 15%
26. Customs Duty on raw cashews goes down to 2.5% from 5% earlier
27. Social welfare surcharge to be imposed on imports
28. Central Board of Excise and Customs renamed as Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs
29. Senior citizens:

(i) Exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices to be increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000 and TDS shall not be required to be deducted on such income under Section 194 A

(ii) Raising the limit of deduction for health insurance premium and/or medical expenditure from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 under Section 80 D

(iii) Raising the limit of deduction for medical expenditure in respect of certain critical illness from Rs. 60,000 in case of senior citizens and from Rs. 80,000 in case of very Senior citizens to Rs. 1,00,000 in respect of all senior citizens

(iv) Pradhan Mantri Vyay Vandana Yojna to be extended upto March 2020 under which an assured return of 8% is given by LIC of India. The existing limit on investment of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen under this scheme is also being enhanced to Rs. 15 lakh

30. 42 New Mega food parks proposed
31. PM Soubhagya Yojna, under this scheme 4 crore poor households are being provided with electricity connection free of charge
32. Construction of 2 crore toilets after successfully constructing 6 crore toilets
33. 51 lakh houses to be constructed under the PM Awas Yojna (rural) and 37 lakh houses to be constructed under PMAY (Urban) in the year 2018-19
34. Loans to SHGs (Self help groups) would be increased to Rs. 75,000 crore by March 2019
35. Allocation of Rs. 5750 crore in 2108-19 in National Rural Livelihood Mission
36. Eklavya Model Residential School for the ST population to be constructed at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas
37. Allocation of Rs. 56,619 crore for the SC and Rs. 39,135 crore for the ST
38. 12% EPF contribution for new employees for three years by the government in sectors employing large number of people like textile, leather and footwear
39. Increasing paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks along with provision of crèches
40. 99 cities have been selected with an outlay of Rs. 2.04 lakh crore for the Smart cities mission
41. 100 Aadarsh Monuments of the Archeological Survey of India will be upgraded to enhance visitor experience

The above points have been covered with the exam point of view. We have left out few points that are important but not relevant as per our exams. We may keep covering those in various quizzes on a regular basis. For a quick scan of the budget this year, the above points however would suffice. Read well and post your doubts in the comment section below. Any improvements if found are most welcome.

Good Luck!

Happy Studies 🙂

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