India runs on a parliamentary democratic government where constitution is considered as the highest document with values and guidelines that helps the government to run the country. Since the government is elected by the people they are not allowed to borrow or collect tax in order to run the states. To fulfill the demands of the common people and keep their promises of uplifting the economy, planning and budgeting is of utmost importance. The union budget is passed by the ‘then’ finance minister every year in the parliament on a date fixed by the President of India.
Similar to every other year this year too finance minister passed the budget on 1st February 2018. The passing of the budget was done in the parliament in front of other ministers and the Prime Minister himself. Below mentioned are some of the highlights of the budget passed.
GST income will be gathered for 11 months and that would affect the balance sheets. Rs 21.57 lakh crore has been transferred as net GST against the anticipated Rs 21.47 lakh. Government goes for 2018-19’s monetary deficiency focus of 3.3 for every penny of GDP.
Being a farmer friendly budget, finance minister, Arun Jaitley has announced that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all Kharif crops will be increased to 1.5 times to the cost of production. He has also proposed 11 lakh crores off credit for farm sector.
Indian Railways will be provided with the highest capital expenditure of Rs 1, 48,523 crore. The government also plans to renovate 36,000 km of rail tracks. Apart from that, schemes have been made to use technology and fog safety devices. Finance minister has also announced that trains would have ‘WIFI’ and ‘CCTVs’.
At present we have 124 airports wherein the government has plans to expand it by 5 times with which the airport capacity would be increased to handle 1 billion trips annually. It was also announced that under the UDAN scheme: 56 new airports and 31 new helipads would be constructed.
It was announced that gas connections will be provided to 8 crore poor women. The government has announced that the women’s contribution to EPF (Employee Provident Fund) will be reduced to 8% for the first 3 years.
Swachh Bharat and Rural Development
Arun Jaitley also announced that under the Swachh Bharat mission an approximate of 2 crore toilets will be constructed. Government has proposed Rs 14.3lakh crore to be spend for rural infrastructure.
Health and Education
The Finance Minister has declared that 10 crore families would receive Rs 5 lakh each every year. It has been stated that by the year 2022 every block with 20 thousand tribals and over 50% of STs will have an exceptional Eklavya school. Government has also proposed to allot Rs 600 crores for tuberculosis patients who are undergoing treatment.
It was also publicized that there will be a standard deduction of Rs 40 thousand for the salaried class. This step would help in tax reduction for the working class people.
A small summary on the budget
The impact of the 2018-2019 union budget is positive on agriculture, health, housing sector and textile sector. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that, it is a farmer friendly, business environment friendly, common citizen friendly and development friendly one. This annual budget is positive as it is beneficial to the working class people. Government has also decided to lower the tax rate of companies with a turnover of Rs 250 crore by 25%. The excess duty charges in petrol, diesel has been reduced which makes it cheaper for this year. On the other hand few things like automobiles (cars, motor cycles), tobacco products (bidi, cigarette and pan masala), electronic gadgets (mobiles, television sets, smart watch) and other wearable devices have become expensive. Not to forget metals like silver and gold are on the list too. This budget has proposed on changes in the personal income tax slabs and rates and not cut tax deduction for the big companies either. This budget has also reduced the costs on things like cashew nuts, solar panel, raw materials parts used in making surgical implants that would help the deaf.
The actual question that remains to be asked is how effective is this budget for common people. The budget is not reformative as the people had expected. On the contrary we can add that as the budget is targeted towards the poor or for those at the bottom of the pyramid. Now that they are targeted hopes have increased that the upliftment of poor would bring economic and political growth in the country. Whatever the results are we might have to wait a year to know all about it.