Union Budget 2018 and its Important Features

In India we have three-tire system of government, namely Central or Union government, State government and Municipal government, and these governments prepare their own respective budgets which are Union budget, State budget and Municipal budget containing estimates of expected revenue and proposed expenditure.

As per Article 112 of Constitution of India, Union Budget also referred as the annual financial statement which is a statement of estimated receipts and expenditure of the government for that particular year.
And Central government is constitutionally required to lay an ‘annual financial statement’ before both the houses of the Parliament and it is presented by the Union Finance Minister in Lok Sabha.

So accordingly, Arun Jaitley has presented the budget and this 2018 budget is crucial because this is a first full year budget after the implementation of GST in July 2017 and special attention will be paid to estimates pertaining to indirect taxes.

Important features of the Union Budget 2018-19

  • Jaitley has solved the issue of cryptocurrencies and use of block chain technology that supports crypto currencies that they shall not be deemed as legal tender and strict actions might be taken against investors in it and also said government of India can explore ways for using blockage technology for digital transactions.
  • Proposals have been made in Financial Bill, 2018 to amend Securities and Exchange Board of India 1992, Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956 and Depositories Act 1996, to stream line and provide penalties for certain violations.
  •  Jaitley has acknowledged that the use of Fintech in financing space will help the growth of MSMEs and said Ministry of Finance is examining the policy and institutional development measures needed for creating right environment for Fintech companies to grow in the country.
  • Announced the strong circumstance for bringing long term capital gains from listed equities in the tax net and proposed to tax long term capital gains exceeding INR 1 lakh at 10% without allowing the benefit of any indexation.
  • Jaitley has also dedicated to take reform measures with respect to stamp duty regime on financial securities transactions and with the consultation the States make necessary amendments to the Indian Stamp Act.
  • From April 1st, PAN to be used as Unique Entity Number for Number for non-individuals and made it mandatory for any entity entering into financial transactions of or above 2.5 lakhs.
  •  Health Scheme of government to cover 10 crore poor families which will be the world’s largest government funded health protection scheme.
  • Custom duty on mobile phones has been increased to 20 percent and they are set to become costlier now.
  • Cess on Health and Education has been increased to 4 percent.
  • Eklavya Schools to be started for Scheduled Tribe populations for every block with more than 50% of ST population by 2020.
  • Rs 1 lakh Crore allocated to revitalisation and upgradation of education sector as to promote learning based outcomes and research.
  • Allocation of Rs 600 crore to Tuberculosis patients undergoing treatment.
  •  Specialised Railways University to be set up in Vadodara.
  • And soon to provide connectivity on the go, all trains will soon be equipped with CCTVs and WiFi.
  • Ujjwala Yojana to provide 8 crore rural women free LPG connections.
  • Saubhagaya Yojana to provide power to 4 crore poor households at Rs 16,000 crores.
  • And to construct 2 crore more toilets under Swach Bharath Abhiyan Yojana.
  • Exemption of interest income on bank deposits raised to 50,000 for senior citizens.
  • It proposes no change in personal income tax rates for salaried class.
  • As an move to boost MSME sector, Corporate Tax has been reduced from 30% to 25% for companies with turnover up to 250 crore.
  • Allocation for Food Processing Ministry has been doubled and Operation Green will produce farmer producer organization, logistics, warehousing etc.
  • Kisan Credit cards now to be extended to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers and Rs 10,000 crore has been allocated towards it.
  • Under the Udan Scheme, 64 airports will be connected across the country to boost low cost flying and Government plans to expand airport capacity as much as 5 times and aims to take the trip count to 1 billion per year.
  • Food Subsidy has been increased from 1.4 lakh crore to 1.69 lakh crore.
  • Under Bharatmala project aims to connect eastern and western ends with 35,000 kms highway and road network, and pay as you use system to be introduced for toll payments on highways.
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